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  #16  
Old 09-20-2017, 08:03 AM
Mike CT Mike CT is offline
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This is really difficult for me too. I've had a little bit of success trying to nail down only one verse line at a time, and then moving to the next, etc.
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  #17  
Old 09-22-2017, 05:03 PM
Big Band Guitar Big Band Guitar is offline
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Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
????
Could you 'splain what you mean? Maybe less graphic pics of the carnage and damage wrought by tablature (& such - meaning what, notation? Chord charts? Lead sheets?)

I normally learn songs by ear myself, and to be honest I never really got into tab as I read music notation myself, but how can it possibly "damage" anything to explore the various tools available?

To the OP I suggest just strumming out a very basic rhythm on guitar while singing. Play the first chord to set your vocal, then just sing (lead with your voice) and follow with the guitar.
Tablature and chord charts limit you to only 1 way of playing.
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  #18  
Old 09-22-2017, 05:25 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Originally Posted by Big Band Guitar View Post
Tablature and chord charts limit you to only 1 way of playing.
I completely disagree. What you know doesn't limit you - what you don't know is what limits you. The more tools you have the less limited you are. I can learn by ear (preferred), by reading notation, by looking up the chord charts, by checking out an on-line tutorial, etc.

Because I've never taken the time to get familiar with tab, that's a tool I don't use so it actually limits me to not have it.
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  #19  
Old 09-22-2017, 07:02 PM
Big Band Guitar Big Band Guitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
I completely disagree. What you know doesn't limit you - what you don't know is what limits you. The more tools you have the less limited you are. I can learn by ear (preferred), by reading notation, by looking up the chord charts, by checking out an on-line tutorial, etc.

Because I've never taken the time to get familiar with tab, that's a tool I don't use so it actually limits me to not have it.
We are all free to believe whatever we want to.
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  #20  
Old 09-25-2017, 07:01 PM
Old Poseur Old Poseur is offline
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Singing and playing, at the same time and well, isn't easy. My teacher has always insisted that I sing and play every song as I've been learning it - which was tough since I was just learning the guitar and had no confidence in my voice. Before I did an open mic a few weeks ago, she was the only one to have heard me do either. Now that I've jumped off that bridge, and it went well, I'm very happy that she consistently made me do both. I'm by no means an expert, but getting your playing into a solid rhythmic groove is essential. Development of muscle memory is essential. I hate them, but she insists I practice with a metronome which does help (otherwise I apparently get excited and the song speeds up too much). That lets you focus on your singing and allows you to lock into the melody. That in turn lets you improvise on the guitar more. It now just seems symbiotic to me. Just don't ask me to play a really complicated run while I'm singing - there are limits as to what I can do at this point!
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  #21  
Old 09-25-2017, 08:43 PM
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KDepew KDepew is offline
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I find it helpful to repeat sections of songs over and over until I get it right and then move to the next section. And I agree with the folks who said you lead with your voice and the melody and the guitar is accompanying the vocal. Until breaks and bridges and licks and such.....
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  #22  
Old 10-05-2017, 01:24 PM
lpa53 lpa53 is offline
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Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
I think you have got it all backwards.

The point of the guitar chord progression is to accompany the vocals.

Tablature and such can be quite damaging to some - I'd never use it.

Hit that first chord to give you the key for the vocals - and sing the vocals adding the progression as and when necessary until you have developed your own style.
Thought I personally have never had the OP's problem, you make a great pint here. In the wake of Michael Johnson's recent, and untimely death, I read several articles her wrote for Singer/Songwriter magazine, and in several of them he discussed his approach to arranging, his main point being that the guitar had to come second to, and complement, the vocals.

Here are two excerpts:

"I bring the song - that means the music, the guitar part, the vocal, the phrasing, everything - down to its lowest common denominator, ... That means no licks on the guitar, no stylistic tendencies, no scooping up to notes vocally, no bent notes on the guitar - just bare bones. Then I begin filling in some of the blanks - still staying with the discipline - slowly finding the things that work for the song. I try not to force style into a song, but listen for things that work for the song. When things begin to work, the style, or feel of the song becomes more apparent. If it's working, you hear it. If it's not, go back to the bones. This really helps keep my songs genuine and keeps me from copying other artists.' "

"Solo guitarist-singers often overdo it, when it comes to their arrangements. The tendency for a solo, is to try to be the one-man band so you're often busy intimidating a bass part, rhythm part and fills, even percussion. Traditional playing styles, like Travis picking, have been developed and embellished over the years, to accomplish this. It is a balancing act, and if not done carefully, the result is often an arrangement that is ill-conceived and too busy. It's tempting to play those notes that are laying under your fingers, just because they're there. Arrangements can be based on convenience rather than inspiration, and the problems multiply when you add other musicians to the equation. It's difficult if you haven't learned to be an objective listener, not to mention a tactful leader."

And as I've progressed with my playing. I've also learned that I don't have to play the piece exactly as the original, or most famous, recording was done. Sometimes that's done because I don't have the ability to do it "right", or just like it another way.
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  #23  
Old 10-06-2017, 01:25 AM
JayBee1404 JayBee1404 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
I think you have got it all backwards.

The point of the guitar chord progression is to accompany the vocals.

Tablature and such can be quite damaging to some - I'd never use it.

Hit that first chord to give you the key for the vocals - and sing the vocals adding the progression as and when necessary until you have developed your own style.
Yes, THIS!! Just play the chords straight, and sing the song until you 'know' it and you're comfortable then, once the chords, tune and lyrics are set in your head, you're free to work on your own embellishments. And, as often as not, a song doesn't need 'clever' guitar - the vocal is the important thing. The vocal isn't an accompaniment to the guitar, it's the guitar that accompanies the vocal.

And I agree wholeheartedly about tab - I don't want to do a wooden version of a song that someone else wrote down, I want to play and sing it my way.

Usual disclaimers apply......IMHO, YMMV etc.
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  #24  
Old 10-06-2017, 01:56 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Here's my approach.

I write /type out the lyrics in 14 pt script leaving a line above every line.

Then, after determining the key I want to sing/play the song in, I write down the chord changes above the words - and over every syllable that the changes occur.

I rarely seem to forget the changes, but I do have problems recalling the lyrics sometimes.

Then learn the song without embellishment until you are confident with being able to "TELL THE STORY" convincingly and accompany the vocal melody line(s) with basic chords.

Then add the intro and outro, and change the rhythm phrasing whatever to make it your style - tasking influences from the original singer/writer is OK but never try to copy them ... because you will fail.

No-one else is as good at performing like you ... as you.

Listen to this wonderful story song from the late great Guy Clark :



This is my version :



Song is the same, story is the same - but a different way of telling it - remember - a song is a STORY ... your story (no matter who wrote it) sung to your music.

Hope that helps. Ask more questions if you like - no problem.
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  #25  
Old 10-06-2017, 02:23 AM
JayBee1404 JayBee1404 is offline
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Yep, that's my technique too, SM! The only difference is that I type the lyrics and chords in MS-Word, then Dropbox them into OnSong on my iPad - I stopped faffing about with loose-leaf binders and huge music stands several years ago!

I class myself as 'a singer who accompanies himself on guitar' rather than 'a guitarist who sings'. I think there's a tendency for some people to see the guitar as the 'most important' part of the song whereas, for me, it's the vocal that's top priority, the guitar follows on from that.

Usual disclaimers apply......IMHO, YMMV etc.
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  #26  
Old 10-06-2017, 05:51 AM
Old Poseur Old Poseur is offline
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Default Singing while playing....

I just completed my second open mic tonight where I played and sang 3 songs. The bar was jam packed, really loud, and the acoustics were horrible. On my last song, Joan of Arc, I was joined by two woman friends to sing the ďJoanĒ verses as well as the choruses and another friend who is a jazz violinist who just jammed around us. My inexperience showed - not only facing the challenge of playing and singing at the same time, but the distractions of the venue, playing and singing with others, and throwing in a very good musician who Iíve never played with before (and who, truth be told, dazzled me). So guess what? I screwed up left and right, missing chord changes, forgetting lyrics, and forgetting even to sing my bits at times. And you know what? It still sounded glorious. What a thrill. So hereís my advice - just do it, play and sing in public. There are things you will learn there that you canít learn from a teacher, a video or a book. And itís the most fun you can have with your pants on.
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  #27  
Old 10-11-2017, 07:24 AM
AndrewG AndrewG is offline
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If you think you have problems, pity the poor drummer who not only has to coordinate four limbs, all doing something different, but sings as well! That chap in the Eagles, Mr. Henley, comes to mind. It's like separating mind from body; knowing the guitar part so intuitively that muscle memory takes over so that you're almost playing on auto-pilot, leaving you to concentrate on the vocal part without having to think about what your hands are doing. It will come with time.
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  #28  
Old 10-11-2017, 05:21 PM
HodgdonExtreme HodgdonExtreme is offline
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Been playing for 20 years, but really only began to focus about two years ago.

What I consider some of my biggest breakthroughs in the course of the last year or so, are being able to tap my foot in time with the music - which previously felt like my brain had a whole separate task to handle. Now, tapping my foot HELPS me play the music. Secondly, the ability to sing along.

It was almost a eureka moment; I was fingerpicking "Landslide" (over and over and over and over ad infinitum), and just all of a sudden I started singing along. It continues to get easier the more I do it.

What DIDN'T work for me in trying to learn to sing along - was overthinking it and dissecting the song. Specifically considering what word I should be saying during a strum or chord change... It sounds patronizing and cliche - but once you get into a groove and you're FEELING the rhythm, the singing comes much much easier.
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  #29  
Old 10-11-2017, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewG View Post
If you think you have problems, pity the poor drummer who not only has to coordinate four limbs, all doing something different, but sings as well! That chap in the Eagles, Mr. Henley, comes to mind. It's like separating mind from body; knowing the guitar part so intuitively that muscle memory takes over so that you're almost playing on auto-pilot, leaving you to concentrate on the vocal part without having to think about what your hands are doing. It will come with time.
Don't forget Levon Helm, what a great singer;

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  #30  
Old 10-11-2017, 05:55 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewG View Post
If you think you have problems, pity the poor drummer who not only has to coordinate four limbs, all doing something different, but sings as well! That chap in the Eagles, Mr. Henley, comes to mind. It's like separating mind from body; knowing the guitar part so intuitively that muscle memory takes over so that you're almost playing on auto-pilot, leaving you to concentrate on the vocal part without having to think about what your hands are doing. It will come with time.
Andrew, remember that hovel in King Street? Were you there when I still had my drum kit stacked in the corner?

I used to sing whilst playing drums with a mic stand between my legs. Playing drums was so much easier for me than playing guitar - more tiring, but it just "happened" (with a little encouragement from Charlie Watts).
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