How To Sing And Play Guitar At The Same Time?
Many artists and musicians make it seem like singing while playing a musical instrument is way too easy. Maybe you think that, in a band, the vocalist who also plays guitar only plays the easy part, right? Well, that’s partly true. But how about those playing fingerstyle while singing? That’s a different story! If you want to know how to sing and play the guitar at the same time, you came to the right place!
For some people, singing while playing the guitar may come easy. However, not everyone may be blessed with impeccable timing. Yeah, you heard me right! Singin while playing a musical instrument is all about timing. Let’s dig some more details.
Timing is Everything
Songs and other musical pieces follow a time signature. Without following a defined time signature, it would be more like of a noise rather than music. You and your pals would not meet on the same measure! Someone would surely be ahead, and someone would be delayed. And you know what that is? That is a tragedy, my friend.
It comes more evident when you are singing along with your guitar. The vocal parts should have the same tempo as the guitar, and you have to know when, exactly, you should sing the lyrics. For those not gifted with the ability to feel the rhythm and jump in flawlessly, there are some techniques you could learn that would help you sing along with the guitar. Let’s take a look at them. As long as you know how to count up to 4, you are good to go!
The Right Method For You
Some of these methods may be easier for some while others may find it difficult. We have different learning ways, and it will really depend on you. Now, here are the methods you may want to try out!
The Easy Method
That’s right. There is an easy method! That involves choosing an easy to play a song. Before you try anything fancy, choose a song that does not contain too many complicated guitar chords. Aside from the difficulty of the guitar chords, find something that is not overly fast. Start with slow songs.
One, Two, Three, Four Method
Modern songs follow a certain rhythmic pattern that often follows 2/4 or 4/4 time signature. That means four quarter notes in one measure. If you are not that familiar with those musical terms, just count one to four following the rhythm of the song.
Follow the rhythm of the song and take note when the lyrics come in. Usually, it would fall on 1 or 3. Make a particular mental note as many people really find it hard to determine when to come in.
A metronome might come in handy to keep track of the time signature. Most mobile phones can support a downloadable metronome app. Go on and get one!
Brute Memorization Method
Memorize the lyrics of the song and sing it. Sing it without a guitar while taking a shower. Try singing the lyrics while getting dressed for work. Play it on your car stereo and sing along with it while going to work! If you feel like it’s a bit awkward to sing aloud while at work, sing it inside your head! Basically, you sing it whenever you feel like it until it becomes ingrained in your memory.
Now, grab a guitar and memorize the chord progression. It may take a few minutes or hours to memorize the progression completely. Memorize the guitar chords until your fingers bleed! Or if that’s a bit brutal, maybe until your fingers hurt?
Now, that you have the song and the chords memorized, the timing would become natural to you. When you are confident that you have memorized it wholeheartedly, grab a guitar and sing along with it.
The Ultra Slow Method
Some songs have unorthodox timing and can be quite challenging to sing. Songs with palm-muted accents can be quite tricky. It’s either you would let go of the accents to sing along with it, or you mess the lyrics while maintaining the accents.
How do you deal with it? The key is practicing really, really, really slow. If the song is too fast or has a tricky timing, divide the song by part and practice each section slowly. You will be surprised at how easy it can become when you switch to a slow tempo. Once you get the hang of it, you can increase your tempo gradually.
When you got the rhythm, chords, and lyrics memorized, increasing tempo would be a lot easier.
Other Useful Techniques
Singing along with your guitar is not just strumming and uttering words at the same time. It has more elements than just singing and playing the guitar. Here are some few tips to help you improve with your guitar and song performance.
- Stick with the rhythm.
Don’t hesitate to hook a metronome in your ear. Use a mobile app and dial the right tempo for your song. Plug your earbuds and ride the rhythm of the metronome. This will help you count and stay on the right tempo.
- Tap your feet.
You may have already noticed that you are, unconsciously, tapping your feet while playing a musical instrument or while singing. This is your body tuning to the rhythm of the song! You can make the most out of it by consciously counting with every tap of your foot. This can help you keep up with the right rhythm.
- Time your breathing.
If you just sing without paying attention to your breathing, you may find yourself struggling for air at the end of every verse. Make sure you take in air before every line of the song. Some songs may even require you to take breaths in between. Inhale at every pause and fill your lungs with air. Without air, you won’t be able to produce a sound!
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Do you know why your favorite artist has that impeccable timing? It’s because of the countless hours of practice they put behind every song! Before they went on and recorded their songs, it took them long hours practicing and repeating the same song over and over again until they can sing and play guitar without getting distracted by the complicated rhythmic patterns.
What are you waiting for? If you want to know how to sing and play guitar at the same time with ease, you better start practicing now!