Singing and playing guitar at the same time

Discussion in 'Beginner's Q&A Forum' started by hs07, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. hs07

    hs07 New Member

    I have a problem singing and playing at the same time - specifically if the strumming pattern doesn't "fit" the words, I run into trouble. I have tried to get around this (and succeeded) by focusing ONLY on playing the song and nailing down the strumming before starting to add words. Only issues with this is that it takes way too long (I really have just about 1/2 hour maybe every day).

    Unfortunately I am often just a single man show (if u can call it a show, that is !!), so I have to really sing (just playing doesn't work for the usual janta (ppl who are musicians on the other hand enjoy only instrumental as well).

    Any tips from the maestros?
  2. moadhia

    moadhia New Member

    I second that
  3. ananth222

    ananth222 Beginner

    Yea I know the difficulty. To really nail it you must develop terrific rhythm sense.
    Jayswami is a guru here when it comes to strumming and singing. Hope he'll chip in with some pointers.
    (If you don't believe me, listen to some of his mp3s, they r amazing!)
  4. jayswami

    jayswami Blue J

    I wish I could.
    I can only say this..
    a few years i ago i couldnt strumm and play, or play piano and sing.
    but now i can. I dont focus on my fingering, chord changes and things like that when playign and singing.. i do them naturally. If i am focussing on making the changes rt, then i miss my words.. hope that helps.

  5. d_ist_urb_ed

    d_ist_urb_ed Genuflect b*tches!

    I can neither strum nor sing properly............that's why i opted for pure lead........
  6. nik_bokacheley

    nik_bokacheley :help: I'm a mad :sadbye:

    lol..i can only pluck the strings and nothing else... And my voice is worse than the crows.. When I sing my friends shoo away.!! Damn.. What to do??

    Can anyone suggest... DO I have to learn to sing?? Is that compulsory?? Or only playing the guitar with style and perfection is required??
  7. d_ist_urb_ed

    d_ist_urb_ed Genuflect b*tches!

    You dont "have" to learn to sing, course it's not compulsory, if you opt to play in a band, you wanna do solo? Go ahead and start crooning.
  8. death_metal_fan

    death_metal_fan oh goody, it's a woody!

    This is one of the hardest points when it comes to playing live. The key is to practice the guitar playing rhythm until you can do it in your sleep. That leaves you free to concentrate on singing while playing live.

    Sorry that's the best I can explain it.
    theguitaristofm likes this.
  9. hs07

    hs07 New Member

    death_metal_fan - that is how I try to do it. As I mentioned in the thread starter, I can only do it this way - spend a lot of time, nail down the rhythym and then start fitting the words. Unfortunately, tendency is to try squeezing the wods from the beginning in an urge to get it right sooner rather than later and failing - get back to rhythym alone and the fit the words!! Seems like no easy way out :eek::

    anyhoo, thanks for replying - at least I am not the only one facing this issue - I listen to jayswami and another friend of mine who can sing and play and think I am just missing something. But I hope it'll come with more practice.
  10. jayswami

    jayswami Blue J

    i can sing?? lol
  11. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    only advice would be to take things slowly and really get easy in being able to play rhythm. just play a lot of different songs that have a nice easy slow beat but consistent change to them. then once you can do that go onto more complex songs.

    Great songs to start (acoustic versions):
    Bryan Adams - Back To You
    Bryan Adams - Summer of 69
    Chris Isaak - Wicked Game
    Eagle Eye Cherry - Save Tonight
    Eagles - Hotel California
    Eric Clapton - Cocaine
    Eric Clapton - Layla
    Green Day - Time of Your Life
    Metallica - Nothing Else Matters
    Nirvana - Polly
    REM - Everybody Hurts

    thats just a few of course, there are plenty more.
    but from that list i would advise to tackle Layla last. That is the most complex in that group due to the number of different chord changes and the weird timing of the vocals in relation to the chords. its weird at first but its right.

    Good luck :)
    .:SpY_GaMe:. likes this.
  12. jayswami

    jayswami Blue J

    save tonite is a cool song.

    other songs easy to sing and play...
    wonderwall by oasis
    lola by the kinks

    if u wanna practise arpeggiating and singing.. try
    december by collective soul

    intermediate level:

    crash by dave matthew band
    no such thing by john mayer
    RD burman songs in hindi.. they got the syncapated groove going,. singing and playing doesnt come inititally.. but once u get it.. its so much fun.

    the thing is when u have a syncapated rhythm.. it becomes difficult to sing and play rhythm. most of the songs rabi mentioned r straight beat songs.

    latin rhtyhms like bossa nova are difficult to song and play as well.. check out the thread on tamil forum kadhal ovium. i posted couple of mp3s. the groove of that song is kinda difficult to sing and play.. but once I practiced the rhythm and chord changes multiple times (about 20 practices and 5 takes during recording) i could sing and play it.

    so i guess in the end it practice and hard work
  13. maverick8218

    maverick8218 New Member

    I agree with rabi. chose some easy songs where the vocals as well as the guitar is relatively simple. some more easy songs.
    pearl jam - last kiss
    eagles - take it easy
    rem - man on the moon ( i think you require to play arpeggios for this, but playing the chords doesn't sound all that bad)
    Lotsa guys out here claiming that they are bad singers. guys, I also belong to this club. But, i read somewhere that singing while playing helps one develop as a guitarist. so i blare out my cacophony every time i play.
  14. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    i may as well say this but you probably know anyway and its only stating the obvious.

    But when you sing in most songs you will notice that the vocalists words should always start and end on the beat. and if you go with a four chord turnaround then each line in the song will almost always start on the same beat or chord change for every four chords like a pattern. Best example of this is Bryan Adams - Back To You as he rotates between C major, A minor, F major and G major (it isnt really G but this-3x0013) and you will notice that the chord changes always happen on a particular beat count (they are fortunately all the same) and that the words he sings each line lasts for about two chords.
  15. Subhro

    Subhro Argentina lost :&quot;(

    don kno whthr thts the prfct way 2 do it.. but i 2 do it da same way..

    was tryin 2 play now n forevr-richard marx (got da tabs frm net)..
    somehow i managed 2 learn da tabs .. sort of ok types.. then i thought wht if i sing along too..
    man ! .. it suckd.. da tabs n lyrics were all ovr the place..:mad:

    then i gav up the singin part n just playd da tabs ovr n ovr again.. and whn 1 day i thought 2 try singin along once agn.. wow ! :shock: i made it.. i lrnt da tabs so well i hardly evr concentrated on it n just sang along...

    as 2 how well i sang ... thts another issue :p:
  16. jusmail

    jusmail New Member

    Always, beats and singing do not start at the same time. In some songs, you will note that the rhythm count begins before the singing; while in others, singing preceeds the count. Observe Truly, Madly, Deeeply by Savage Garden, for example. It is a good song to learn singing too.
  17. hs07

    hs07 New Member

    thanks rabi and subro and others and also jayswami (yeah! I think u do a decent job singing - at least on some songs !! ;) , mucho better than novices like me).

    jusmail, I have seen that many times, in many cases the song will start on the & of 3 i.e. it will be
    song starts here
    1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &

    and other funky starts. Plus syncopated rhythm throws me for a loop. And some finger picked songs make it just that harder as well. I play and sing Blackbird (Beatles) - its got this very nice finger picking, but it took me a couple of months b4 I could get the song together with the picking. Just hard work to really nail the rhythm so well that I don't have to think and then start singing.
  18. hs07

    hs07 New Member

    oops! the arrow should pint at the & of the 3, not in the beginning, stoopid web site didn't put the spaces in !
  19. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    you have to use the code and font (courier new) tags in order to line up stuff.

    [font=courier new]
    1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 
  20. i had this prob in the start n worse is that my voice could not match my playing at times...............................

    i think practice will improve that?????????

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