How to sing and play guitar or bass at the same time: best tips
This guide on how to sing and play the guitar, bass or any other musical instrument at the same time is intended for beginning musicians, newcomer singer-songwriters, who goes step by step how to master both musical instruments.
Whether you are a guitarist, bassist or play any other musical instrument, you may also be interested in singing. On the contrary, you may be a singer-songwriter or just a singer, and playing a musical instrument will help you develop your musical skills related to the composition of your songs. So you may wonder, how do I sing and play guitar or bass at the same time?
5 easy steps to learn how to sing and play guitar at the same time
- Start with a simple song or one that you know perfectly to play with the guitar or your instrument.
- Always play with the metronome, to keep the tempo when you play the song, so you will be more aware of the rhythm and time.
- Practice dissociation, that is, doing other things while playing your chosen song on the guitar, bass, or musical instrument you play.
- Start playing the song and instead of singing, hum it. Also, if necessary, slow down or simplify the way you play the song. Later, with more practice, you can speed up and play the song as it is.
- Practice a lot, consistency is essential. You will see that you will quickly have control of your guitar and your singing simultaneously.
How to master singing and guitar simultaneously
Are you one of the many guitarists struggling to coordinate their hands and voice? You know, you can play the song. You can sing the song. But it all goes into the pot when you try to sing and play guitar at the same time.
Singing while playing the electric or acoustic guitar can be a daunting challenge for a beginner. A good sense of time and rhythm and the ability to synthesize two different actions is necessary to carry it out. But like everything you’ve learned to do on the guitar, it can be mastered.
The best tips and tricks to learn to sing and play the guitar at the same time
Although we have already shown you 5 easy steps to be able to learn to sing and play any musical instrument at the same time, here we develop more tips that will help you learn to sing and play simultaneously.
- Sing and play the guitar as if it were just an activity.
- Little by little: simple rhythms, simple rhymes.
- Learn the song well both on guitar and sung before you start.
- Practice strumming with a metronome.
- Work on dissociation while playing the guitar.
- Hum first while playing the guitar.
- Slow down to learn the song.
- Simplify songs when necessary.
- Change the key of the song to sing.
- Practice with the guitar and your singing.
Sing and play the guitar as if it were just an activity
Just as a pianist learns to play different melodies, at a different rhythm with each of the hands, or a drummer uses his two hands and feet to play the drums at different times and moments, sing and play the guitar, it can also be taken , as a single joint activity.
Little by little: simple rhythms, simple rhymes
Just like when you start playing guitar, you start with something simple, do the same with singing and guitar. Don’t complicate yourself unnecessarily by choosing complicated songs that exceed your skill level. Start easy songs to play with simple and easy rhythmic figures, basic guitar chord progressions you already know.
Start by learning easy songs that you like and that you know well. Songs that only have a few chords, a simple strum pattern, and lyrics that you can easily remember. Here are examples of easy-to-play songs: 11 famous songs easy to play on guitar for beginners.
Learn the song well both on guitar and sung before starting
It is important that you learn to play the song with your guitar well, and that you know the lyrics of the song and how to sing it well, before trying to do it at the same time. You must be so comfortable with your strumming and chord changes, you shouldn’t even have to think about them. This will free you up to focus on singing.
It is important that you use the metronome and, if you can, record yourself to see if you are making any mistakes in timing or something else.
Practice strumming with a metronome
The metronome should be a constant companion in your study, your best friend. For better timing and rhythm. Although it may feel a bit restrictive and annoying at first, a metronome will make you a more consistent guitarist and musician.
A good exercise is to spend 10 minutes a day practicing a simple strum pattern with a metronome, and you will notice significant improvements in your timing within a few weeks. It can help to mark the rhythm with your foot while playing the guitar.
Work on dissociation while playing guitar
Try playing this song on your guitar while walking or watching TV. It is about practicing dissociation, that is, doing two things at the same time. This will get your brain used to working with tasks in the background, like when you ride a bike, allowing you to sing without problems later.
You can also try playing the guitar while chatting with someone. Thus, playing the song you chose will practically become a reflex action.
Hum first while playing the guitar
One trick used by some is to first hum the melody parts over their strum pattern before singing them. This will give you the opportunity to get used to any chord changes without having to worry about the lyrics directly.
Once you get used to humming different parts of the melodies, you will gradually become comfortable singing.
Slow down to learn the song
It is much better to sing and play correctly, albeit slowly, than to be playing rhythms at full speed. Go through the song measure by measure, line by line, until you can play and sing it without mistakes. Speed will come once you fix all the problems.
Simplify songs when needed
If you’re playing a song that uses fingerpicking, you may find it helpful to simplify the song a bit to get started. First, sing using a simple strum pattern to play the chords.
Once you know the song perfectly this way, move on to a more complex strumming pattern combining with fingerpicking, until then playing the entire song.
Change the key of the song to sing
If your voice feels too forced to sing a song, try changing the key to one that suits your voice. You can transpose a piece to a lower or higher pitch. Try singing again until you find a key that suits your voice.
You can also change the key using a capo, this allows you to keep the same fingering as the original.
Practice with the guitar and your singing at the same time
Learning to incorporate singing when you play the guitar takes practice. Even once you’ve acquired the basic skill, add more and more songs to your repertoire, some of which may contain awkward combinations of rhythms that can cause you to stumble.
When this happens, divide the song into parts and analyze the problem areas just as you did when you learned to sync your performance with your voice.
Related Articles: How to practice without guitar or bass? The best tips 2020!
For more information, head over to Guitar Quarter.
You can share opinions or also chat about this and more with other musicians in our comments section.