How to sing and play guitar at the same time: 11 essential tips
Excerpts by Kathy Dickson from GuitarWorld
A step-by-step guide for beginner singer-songwriters
Are you one of the many guitarists who struggles to coordinate their hands and vocals? You know, you can play the song. You can sing the song. But it all goes to pot when you try to sing and play guitar at the same.
Singing while playing electric or acoustic guitar can be a daunting challenge for a beginner. A good sense of timing and rhythm and the ability to synthesize two different actions is necessary to pull it off. But like everything else you've learned to do on the guitar, it can be mastered.
Here are 11 tips to help get you started: (follow the link to GuitarWorld to see all 11 tips!)
1. Apples and… apples!Like a pianist who uses both hands to play two different rhythms concurrently, or a drummer who uses all four limbs working independently, you need to meld your strumming and singing rhythms so that they sound seamless. Playing and singing aren't two separate things.
2. Simple rhythms, simple rhymes. Don't complicate the task unnecessarily by choosing songs that exceed your skill level. This will only leave you feeling frustrated and defeated.
Start off learning easy songs that you like and know well. Songs that only have a few chords, a simple strum pattern and lyrics you can easily remember, like Happy Birthday or Sweet Home Alabama. Or you might like to learn a song or two from 10 famous songs with three chords or less.
3. Know your guitar basics. Trying to remember how to finger a B7 chord while playing is going to make singing at the same time virtually impossible. Your guitar playing must be at a level where chord changes are effortless.
You need to be so comfortable with your strumming that you don't even have to think about it. This will free you up to concentrate singing.
4. Practice strumming with a metronome. For better timing and rhythm, practice with a metronome. Although it will feel a bit restrictive at first, a metronome will make you a more consistent player.
Spend 10 minutes a day practicing a simple strumming pattern with a metronome, and you'll notice significant improvements in your timing within a few weeks.
5. Know how to play the song. Play the music on your guitar until you have it memorized and can perform it fluently. One way to tell if you've mastered a song is to play it while reading aloud from a book lying open in front of you, or playing it flawlessly while watching television or carrying on a conversation.
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