How to Play Guitar and Sing At the Same Time?

In all honesty, it is not a piece of a cake to be able to sing and play the Guitar simultaneously. It takes a lot of time, effort and devotion to master this art. Being a multitasker is never easy, is it? And when it is about playing a difficult instrument, as well as performing as a vocal artist, it is even more challenging. However, it is not impossible. 

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But, why should you have to sing and play the guitar at the same time? Well, it is important to keep the audience hooked to their seats. When you do both the acts at the same time, they are likely to be more involved as well.

Not to forget, you are likely to find the opportunity to play at a concert if you are great at both playing and singing. How well you do both together will highly depend on how much you have practices and how experienced you are. 

Hence, to make this journey of mastering both the skill of playing the instrument as well as being a stunning vocal artist, we have compiled a list of tips or steps that you can check out.

Learn to walk before you run: Start simple!

It really does not matter whether you are a beginner or a professional at playing the guitar. When you are just starting to learn to play the Guitar and sing at the same time, it is very essential that you begin with a simple and easy song. You do not have to show off your skills at this stage.

All you need to do is develop your ability to do both and to multitask simultaneously. This will only become harder when you choose a complicated song to play on your instrument. Do not forget, you also have to sing over it.

What do we mean by a simple song thought? Well, it is just one with a maximum of three or four chords overall. There are lists of simple Guitar songs available all over the internet to assist you at this stage. 

Fix the muscle memory by playing the Guitar

It is important that you first train yourself well enough to play the chosen song repeatedly on the guitar before you attempt to sing it. Try to play the entire song. Repeat a few times, and continue until your muscles have memorized the act of playing the song in the instrument.

How to test this? Well, once your muscle memory is committed to the song, you can play the song in the guitar without putting the full concentration on it. For instance, check if you can do so while you are on a call with someone else over loudspeaker. 

Make use of a metronome

Why is this useful? Well, a metronome will help you by providing you with a constant beat, using which you are able to keep the right pace and time when playing the song.

Moreover, when you are a beginner, and starting off on the journey of mastering the skill of playing both the guitar and singing the song simultaneously, one of the biggest hurdle on your way is the ability to maintain the beat with the song. 

The metronome will give you a hand in the process of identifying when you are out of time and you will be able to fix it at the soonest. You can also try to keep tapping your foot in sync with the beat of the song while you are playing it on your guitar.

Once you have practiced it enough, your feet will in turn act as the metronome to help you maintain the time with the song during your playing. 

Start by Humming the Song while Playing the Guitar

You do not have to start with words from the very beginning. It can be dreadful to start with the lyrics straight up when you begin playing the guitar. Hence, start with humming the vocal tune to get yourself more into the process of singing.

When you hum, you do not have to spend too much energy to learn the lyrics in order to sing the song. You do not have to think too much. You simply have to focus on the humming. This will have you to master the melody enough and hence you can solely walk towards taking on the lyrics.

You do not have to sing entirely as of yet. You may only practice with parts of the whole song first. 

Do not rush, Take it Slow

What is the rush? Remember that singing and playing in a slow motion is much better, at any and every stage, than juggling up the rhythms at the top of speeds. The latter will please no one.

Try to check the song, the beats and the different parts of the songs, measure by measure, one line after the other, without rushing to skip to the end. Train yourself patiently until you truly equip yourself with the skill to play and sing the song entirely, without any sort of flaws.

Speed is a by product of practice. When you fix the rest, you will speed up automatically. So, focus on fixing the details.

Learn the lyrics of the song beforehand

Before you decide to embark on the act of playing the guitar and singing the song at the same time, it is imperative to actually learn the lyrics of the song by heart. As you climb up the level, this will start to become less important. However, it is super essential when you are just in the budding stage.

Why so? Well, when you know the lyrics, keeping up with the melody and the beat will become highly smoother. You will feel more confident and at ease than when you have to read it from a screen or a paper.

Try to practice singing the lyrics on your own while you are engaged in other daily chores such as cooking or driving. 

Time to stop humming, and start singing 

This is when you have already mastered the playing of the instrument by training your muscle memory well enough. Also, you are now proficient in the lyrics of the song and you have also gained the complete insight of the beats and melody of the song through the initial humming practice sessions. You are now ready to go to the actual lyrics.

It is understandable if you are not at the top of your game yet. If struggles are still coming your way, try to start off with a simple basic chord. Try to play the chord of the chosen song, and start singing the lyrics on that specific chord only. Do not forget to repeat it a few times.

After you are confident that it is working out well in the given chord, you can choose to move on to the following chord and take up the next set of lyrics. Once again, keep practicing till you master it fully. 

It will take some time for you to get fully comfortable and confident about this step. However, that point will come, and you will soon be able to play the song and sing the lyrics at the same time without having to pause or take breaks. Until then, patience will be your key!

Try to Change Keys

Sometimes, you may catch yourself putting a lot of strain on your voice or muscles to hit the right note on the song. At this point, you should consider altering the key in order adjust the tones of the guitar with your voice.

This can be done simply by moving the chords up by a fret or may be two. You can also try to switch a tone with a lower or higher pitch. When you attempt to sing at the new keys, try to find out if your voice feels better suited to it. 

Practice Makes It Perfect

What is better than a good practice? As understandable already, it is no easy job to incorporate your voice with the tune of the guitar you are playing at the same time. When you start to master the basics, you should start to add more songs to your practice sessions.

You can try combining unexpected notes, rhythms and tunes. You can also break the songs down into several sections and start to detect the problem areas. When you know what to fix, know that you have already fixed half the problem. You will then be able to easily synchronize your vocals with the strings you are playing.

Final Words

It is indeed challenging to sing and play the guitar at the same time. However, our aforementioned tips and tricks are meant to make the process a little easier for you, boosting your confidence to master the art.


Read: How to Hold a Guitar Pick.

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