How To Sing And Play At The Same Time
When writing a new song it’s highly effected to have your instrument at your side. For a long time I hoped to find some people who would like to make music with me. I would sing and they would play for me. That thinking was limiting me SO much. I bought myself a nice guitar, sat down and practiced a lot to be able to sing and play for myself. That increased my productivity by a lot.
Most of the times I play my chord progressions and sing my lyrics over it and then change and adjust as I go.
You have a lot more freedom when you’re able to sing and play at the same time without recording the instrument and then sing over it. Also it’s a lot of fun to sing cover songs on the fly or perform your own pieces live.
For me, it’s the guitar because I don’t have a piano at home, although I love playing it.(badly though) I really think about getting an electric piano soon. What do you think about that?
If you want to learn how to sing and play at the same time keep on reading! These tips apply for all kind of instruments!
If you’re a beginner, try to pick an easy song. The more you know about the song, the better. Know the lyrics by heart and maybe you’ve tried to play the chords once before.
Listen to the song at least 10 times before trying to sing and play. One important tip I learned from my vocal teacher is to never sing with the original artist. You will not notice your mistakes, nor will you hear what the original song sounds like. First ONLY listen and then break the song down into parts. Verse Chorus Bridge.
Learn the lyrics so you don’t have to look them up all the time. Same thing with the chords, memorize them well!
This will only help you later on because singing and playing the first time isn’t easy. We have to make the rest more easy.
Listen how the artists pronounces words and how the rhythm and rhyme of the song is like.
Start Slow Start Easy
So now you think you’re ready? Are you sure? Ok, here we go!
Play your chords first but very slowly. It’s WAY better to play the song slower but perfect than original speed and wonky. Unfortunately we love to remember mistakes. Do yourself a favour and start it the right way from the beginning. If you think you have the first verse right, we can continue.
Play the chord progression and think about something else or talk with yourself or even better with somebody else without screwing up. I remember it very well… my brain got SO messed up. Up to this day I can’t play complicated rhythms on the first go and just sing along like it’s nothing. If it doesn’t feel good, you might play it even slower. Focus only on the first verse for now. Do you feel more comfortable now? Let’s move on to the chorus.
Every new part of the song can be a little frustrating at first but you will get there, trust in yourself! Keep the rhythm simple and take your time.
Don’t rush and take your time. If you can’t play the song slow you won’t make it in its original speed.
There is one easy, very helpful, very boring tool. I got used to it way too late but it’s super helpful. Use a metronome to improve your rhythm!
Just type in Google “Metronome” and you will get a slider where you can adjust speed. Once again start slow and clap to the metronome. Alternate forth and eights notes and clap like this:
One Two Three Four. One and Two and Three and Four and. One Two Three Four.
Play around with the notes but always stay on rhythm with your metronome. This will make you very flexible and a much better musician in general.
After a few minutes play your chord progression. Do this a few days, weeks, months or maybe forever and you will have perfect rhythm which is so valuable. It’s very boring though.
You can also try to build your own drum set in Garageband now on your phone. It’s very easy, quick and for free and might give you the feeling of making real music and not just playing with a metronome. Personally, I think it’s a lot of fun and it gives you a little more motivation. Garageband has its own metronome too, by the way.
Some people have rhythm in their blood and they feel the groove and if you’re one of those you might not need to invest a lot of time into this step. Otherwise it’s really just practice!
Practice Practice Practice
Practice makes perfect. In fact, I already wrote a post about talent and hard work right here. Music contains hours and hours of practice. If you want to sing and play at the same time you have to work for it. But I think it’s totally worth it at the end. You have the ability to play any song, when you see the chords. Covering songs will be much easier.
I would like to compare it to riding a bike. It seems impossible at the beginning and you have to think about it a lot. Your brain needs to make new connections but once it clicks it’s there and you won’t have to think about it all the time. You will be very flexible. Singing and playing will feel like breathing. I can play guitar and have a normal conversation at the same time but that took a lot of practice.
Start slow and don’t get overwhelmed. You can take your time. It’s not going to work after one try. Increase the speed slowly little by little until you’re at normal speed.
Once you’re able to sing and play we can talk about songwriting some more. Believe me it’s much more convenient to be able to do both at the same time.
I hope I could inspire some of you guys with today’s post and maybe you could learn something new.
Keep your positive attitude and I will talk to you very soon.