Master Musicians’ Methods of Singing While Playing the Guitar

man playing guitar and singing

Coordination is a tricky business without a doubt. If it were easy there wouldn’t be many “two left feet” people on the dance floor. Like all things on earth, nothing is beyond someone’s ability to learn and that’s the same when it comes to singing and playing the guitar together.

For these techniques to have maximum effect quickly it is recommended to first attain complete mastery over playing the guitar and singing as individuals. And no, being just a bathroom singer won’t make the cut.

Get your basics down for singing as well as guitar and you are all set to be the next rockstar (or a really good multitasker). Without further ado, let’s dive into five fool proof methods to singing and playing your favorite musical instrument together.

man singing and playing guitar
Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Please keep in mind to try out all of these methods to find out which suits you best. Everybody has their own rhythm of learning so do not put unrealistic deadlines or goals on yourself. Try and naturally develop the talent. After all, music is there to save you not to put you in a hospital.

Start small, dream big

The key to learning anything complicated is to start small and build it with complete momentum. Pick an easy song that uses very few and easy chords on your guitar. It could be a just nursery rhyme or an old favorite. Practice just singing it as many times as you need to until you have the words completely memorized.

Get a metronome (if you’re the fancy kind) or just use the free metronome online and set the timer to 4/4 and play the song on your guitar repeatedly until you can hit every beat. On completion of these exercises, try singing the song and playing its music both in 4/4 time. The results are bound to astonish you.

Divide and conquer

Pick a song you love, download it, and set it up on your music player.

man plays guitar while singing
Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Sing or hum along with the song until you can sing without the player. Practice singing the song in your head too without actually voicing the lyrics out. Sync the music and lyrics in your head and visualize the entire song.

Once that is done, pick up your guitar and strut those chords to your song. Practice until you can play without even thinking about what comes next or what the next progression is going to be. Then we can move onto singing and playing the guitar simultaneously. Don’t try too hard. Just remember that you can do both of those tasks individually exceptionally well, so let the sync come in naturally.

Distractions are good for you!

Watch TV while you play. Yes! You read that right. Distract yourself by watching a regular show on television or a rerun of a show that you’ve already watched while you sing and play guitar.

Changing your focus slightly makes you less susceptible to mistakes and gives a more natural feel and brings out your inner artist. The choice of show is vital; choose something that is interesting but not so good that you forget to play. Perhaps a fantastic movie such as Chappie, Blackhat, or Transformers you’ve already watched or a repeated telecast of games would do the trick.

Slow and steady wins the race

The first step remains the same. Learn to sing the song and learn to play the song on your guitar separately. When you are ready to combine both, go through the song measure by measure, repeating each measure until you have mastered it and add a new measure to the one you already know until you can go through the entire song without errors or hiccups. This might seem like a much slower process but it definitely ensures thoroughness quicker than the previously mentioned techniques.

man playing acoustic guitar
Image Courtesy of Flickr

Switch from manual to automatic

Sing on autopilot and tediously learn to play the guitar. While playing the guitar, count out loud for 4/4 time, then count in your head. If possible, get hold of a drum machine and practice playing and singing along with the drum machine at a pace that’s comfortable for you adjusting the tempo as necessary. Once you’ve learned the entire song on guitar, replace the 4/4 time with the song. Sing the song and use your singing as the tune or music to which you are playing the guitar.

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