Written by Monica from GuitarTrance
Playing guitar is one thing; singing is another. Both of these arts require serious mastery, even if you have a knack for them. But of course, it would be great if you could integrate these skills together to usher an impeccable performance. Do you want to know how to sing and play guitar at the same time? Well, you just come to the right place.
People think that it is easy for professional vocalists and guitar players to do these things simultaneously. Behind their fancy and wonderful delivery is a trail of hardship. For beginners, such challenge is very imposing and scary. In the get go, you will certainly need great rhythm and timing. Moreover, you should develop a natural sense of intertwining these two fields.
Fortunately, talent is not an excuse for not learning this skill. With serious practice, you can sing and play the guitar at the same time. We have listed some ways that could help you in this endeavor. If you are currently struggling with these aspects, consider trying these following methods. Let’s get started!
How to Sing and Play Guitar at the Same Time
1. Treat Them The Same
Although these practices are different, singing and playing guitar are still interrelated. One of the biggest mistakes that novice players do is that they always put a huge boundary between these two. You must never think that you cannot sing when you want to play the guitar. The same thing is applicable if you want to master singing.
Just think of your pianist friends. You should realize by know that coordinating both of their left and right hands is not an easy task. They were developed through practice, too. Of course, you might also want to seek help to drummers. After all, working their four limbs together is not a byproduct of pure luck.
Regardless of their difference, you should realize that these skills can be joined. Just condition your mind!
2. Choosing the Simple Route
Why do people need to over complicate themselves? We are already aware that singing and playing guitar simultaneously is not an easy feat already. Therefore, why should you subject yourself in practicing difficult songs? Of course, we are not undermining your skill level. But at the same time, we are also pleading that you should not exceed on what you current pace. Otherwise, you might just get discouraged along the way.
Even for those that have a considerate amount of skills, choosing an easy song to practice is still recommendable. Specifically, you have to pick a piece that doesn’t have too many chords. Moreover, it should come with a basic strumming pattern. In this way, your hands can easily handle the stress.
If you can pick a song that is familiar to you, that is already a minus burden to your part. You can already have yourself focused on singing.
3. Master the Guitar Basics
It is undeniable that playing guitar is more “technical” than singing. There is a lot to of things that you have to mind by just playing this instrument. In this sense, we can say that you can’t incorporate singing into your playing if you haven’t mastered all the basics yet.
For instance, thinking about the chord progression while singing is practically hard or impossible. You cannot baffle yourself with those chords while you are performing. They will easily distract you and make you forget the lyrics of the song. Moreover, it could eventually break your rhythm.
Ideally, you can only integrate singing in the equation if you are on the level where you are comfortable playing your instrument. If switching chords are like a breeze to you, then you are ready to do some complex stuff. But if not, then just keep practicing. There is no need for you to push yourself.
4. Dealing with Metronome
If you want to improve your rhythm and timing, you should work with your metronome. At first, it would feel that your playing style is being inhibited. However, you should realize that a metronome will help you solidify your skills as a guitar player.
You have dedicated at least 15 minutes of your day in practice strumming (that has a metronome). Just do it consistently, and you will certainly notice improvements in your rhythm and timing.
5. Familiarize the Song
Of course, aside from mastering your guitar, it is also imperative that you know how to sing the song as well. Specifically, you should be aware how to sing and play it. There is one good indicator that you are well-versed with a particular song. If you can play it while having a conversation or watching television, then you are ready to go.
After this, you should be able to memorize the lyrics and tune of the song as well. At this point, it is quite ideal that you should put down your guitar for a while. In this way, you can focus solely on the singing process. Of course, we have our techniques on how we memorize songs. However, the best way is still by feeling the song. Sing it from time to time, too, even if you are taking a shower! If you can already master the song, then it is time for you to put things together.
6. Taking it Slow
There is no need to rush yourself. After all, singing and playing the guitar at the same time might toil you. For us, it is better to have a slow but correct pace rather than a fast but incorrect one. Going at full-speed from the start will push you on committing unwanted mistakes.
Take the song per measure, per stanza, or in any way you want to slice it. Just do this until you can sing and play the song without committing flaws. The proper speed of the song will just come once you can already polish all the parts.
If you want to play a song that requires fingerpicking, you should start with the basics. The first thing that you need to do is to play the chords with the use of simple strumming. Once you can master this, you can already do some sophisticated strumming. When you can get the hang of it, you can switch to the song’s fingerpicking pattern.
8. The Keys
Some people have difficulties in hitting the notes of the guitar while they are singing. If you are encountering such predicament, you might want to change the key of the guitar so that it can complement your voice. Specifically, you should take the chords one to two-fret higher. Moreover, you could also change the piece so that it can become either high or low pitch. The main essence here is changing the sound of the guitar so that it could blend in with your voice.
Learning how to sing and play guitar at the same time is indeed a daunting task. Any seasoned guitar players would tell you this. But despite such difficulties, this challenge is still achievable. You just have to practice constantly so that you can put all the elements into account. Master your guitar, then integrate any songs that you want into your practice. Just keep on doing this until you can do these two things smoothly.
If you have any questions, comments, and suggestions, just feel free to ask us. We love to hear from you!
Hello, I am Monica, and I am self-confessed guitar geek. Since I was a child, I have been fond of this stringed instrument. Although I didn’t pursue a music career, I still have my free time allocated on studying songs and different musical gears. Of course, the experience that I have in this field is quite vast already. The reason I created Guitar Trance is to share this knowledge with any interested fellows. I hope that our enthusiasm will get syncopated along the way!