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Old 01-17-2021, 04:19 AM
Willitaylor Willitaylor is offline
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Default Singing and or Playing

Just curious, is anybody having problems trying to sing while playing? I have never been able to make it happen. The instant that I start singing my playing goes straight to hell. Iím told that I have a great voice but I simply go mental trying to sing and play. Iíve tried different suggestions with little to no results. I guess Iím in good company, Jimmy Paige has the same problem. Any suggestions would be great but history has shown that it is impossible. Thanks for your input.
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Old 01-17-2021, 06:24 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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I doubt that I'm alone in saying that the only reason I took up guitar was to accompany my singing.

Remember that the song and the story of the lyrics are the priority.
The guitar accompaniment is secondary.
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Old 01-17-2021, 06:52 AM
Skarsaune Skarsaune is offline
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Just have to be able to rub your belly and pat your head at the same time.

Itís easier to sing songs where the vocal rhythm matches the guitar part - I always figure these were written by guitar players.

The guitar part can be simple - just strumming some chords - behind the vocal, because as mentioned above, people are listening to the words, not the flashy guitar parts.
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Old 01-17-2021, 08:15 AM
HOF dad HOF dad is offline
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It's a challenge for sure
For me, it seems like I need to have the guitar part down so it can run on auto pilot and I can concentrate on singing
Otherwise, my singing is too tethered to my playing if that makes sense
Like everything else.....just keep practicing
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Old 01-17-2021, 08:22 AM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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When I started playing it was difficult because I was still working on my guitar playing. You just need to practice.

I remember trying to play/sing Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd) back in the late 80s. It was challenging. My buddy told me you just have to practice, and that's what I did.

Make sure you have the guitar part down before trying to sing.
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Old 01-17-2021, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
I doubt that I'm alone in saying that the only reason I took up guitar was to accompany my singing.

Remember that the song and the story of the lyrics are the priority.
The guitar accompaniment is secondary.
Hi SM

That's my story. I was a singer, and couldn't find accompanists who knew how to play what I was singing. So I learned guitar to accompany myself.




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Old 01-17-2021, 09:02 AM
tnvolfan5 tnvolfan5 is offline
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Yep. Rub your belly and pat your head. Don't know why, but I never really had a problem singing and playing guitar other than being asked to quit singing ..... but when it comes to singing and playing electric bass, the bass playing goes out the window. Much to do about rhythm I'm sure.
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:22 AM
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Try starting the first lyric on the downbeat of a strum. Think outside yourself, relax and feel it. Get out of your head. That's when you lose track of what's going on and lose the beat with the guitar. All in the privacy of an isolated space. It'll take many efforts to get started but if you keep trying it will happen. If you don't keep trying it'll never happen. It takes concentration not feeling.

I never wanted to sing. I just wanted to be a guitar player. I couldn't take playing the crap material singers wanted to do. So I started singing. I found that the only way I could sing in tune was to listen to the guitar I was playing and adjust my voice to be in tune with the guitar
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:25 AM
Nimiety Nimiety is offline
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Not that I'm any good...and I'm not being humble, I'm being objective, but my learning to sing while strumming has had a huge positive impact on my overall "musicality".

I don't find it difficult...but I don't think I could sing while fingerpicking, or anything more complicated than basic strumming. I would need to be really focused on where my fingers were going to do that, for every note versus every bar or so.
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:38 AM
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I'm with the singer first group. I was a singer before I was a guitar player. I know several people who want to sing but have trouble doing both and almost without exception they are trying to accompany their guitar playing with their singing, not the other way around. Just concentrate on singing and let the guitar come along for the ride.
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:50 AM
Fatfinger McGee Fatfinger McGee is offline
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Itís totally normal. It just takes practice, and simplifying the guitar part over the verse to the point you can on autopilot. Save the fancy guitar work for the intros and outros, it will sound better anyway. When Iím learning a new song, Iím usually just strumming half or whole notes to keep time and follow the chord changes, then gradually add in syncopation as I get more comfortable with the vocal. I get a lot of mileage out of a simple Travis roll with alternating bass and the occasional melody note too, kind of the guitar version of piano fake books. Sounds impressive to people who donít know better.
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Old 01-17-2021, 12:46 PM
SupremeDalek SupremeDalek is offline
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It took me a long time to get them together. When I started, no one told me that they're two different instruments (duh!). I was essentially learning bit at the same time.

Nowadays, especially with something more complicated, I'll have the guitar down to a science before adding vocals. I have to try harder to sing than to play. Guitar parts become automatic, and that allows me to focus on a solid vocal performance.
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Old 01-17-2021, 01:32 PM
MThomson MThomson is offline
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One thing to check is if you are internally verbalizing in order to keep rhythm. If you are, and you start singing, you lose the verbalization and therefore the rhythm. So to sing and play, you need to feel the rhythm rather than think the rhythm.

One method to practice feeling the beat is to use an online metronome where you can program it to blank for a set number of bars. You start at one and gradually increase making sure you get back on time (and making sure you're not using verbal processing either). Then it's just time and practice.
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Old 01-17-2021, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimiety View Post
Not that I'm any good...and I'm not being humble, I'm being objective, but my learning to sing while strumming has had a huge positive impact on my overall "musicality".

I don't find it difficult...but I don't think I could sing while fingerpicking, or anything more complicated than basic strumming. I would need to be really focused on where my fingers were going to do that, for every note versus every bar or so.
This is basically me also. First off, I'm a terrible singer and merely OK guitarist. I'm learning fingerpicking right now and I can't even imagine myself singing and fingerpicking at the same time. But strumming (with a little bit of fill-in picking / arpeggiating) and singing comes pretty naturally. I don't remember if it always did - I'm sure it didn't, but from the time I had the basic cowboy chords down, I remember being able to sing and play fairly simple stuff without much trouble. And I guess I just picked up more complex stuff as I went.

But if I have any strength as an acoustic guitarist, it's probably being able to just feel my way to strum my way through a song pretty naturally, and that helps me be able to sing with it. I'll never sing well, but I'll never stop doing it because I enjoy it immensely. And to whatever level I can sing on a given day, I think I do it a bit better when I'm playing.

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Old 01-17-2021, 02:05 PM
Andyrondack Andyrondack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willitaylor View Post
Just curious, is anybody having problems trying to sing while playing? I have never been able to make it happen. The instant that I start singing my playing goes straight to hell. Iím told that I have a great voice but I simply go mental trying to sing and play. Iíve tried different suggestions with little to no results. I guess Iím in good company, Jimmy Paige has the same problem. Any suggestions would be great but history has shown that it is impossible. Thanks for your input.
Just what is it you are trying to do with your guitar accompanyment? Play a few open position chords or something more challenging? Are you playing from a song book or trying to accompany your own songs or something else?
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