One of the first things you have ever imagined before getting a ukulele is that you will be singing and playing it simultaneously. Don’t deny it. We all have been in that place. However, it is probably the most asked question from beginner instrument players on achieving this balance?
It is certainly not the easiest thing to do. However easy it looks from a distance. You will either fall out of breathing or forget the chords of the song you are singing. Your brain can mix up the melodies and do it the wrong way. Playing the ukulele is more accessible than most other instruments, but the struggle of singing while playing remains the same. All you need is a little bit of training and patience.
You will learn how to sing and play the ukulele in no time. We will provide a step-by-step guideline so that you can follow and master this skill. Keep reading this article till the end, then.
1. Start with the Metronomes First
One of the first things every instrument teacher would say is to practice your timing and rhythm. They will suggest you use a metronome, and we are going to follow their steps as well. A metronome will help you to have a consistent tempo while maintaining the timing. At times you will be on the verge of quitting, but it will get better.
So, take out a specific time of your day and practice with the metronomes first. You will know if you are strumming at the right time or not with its help. You should start practicing the song at a slower tempo and set beats at 60-70 beats per minute. Speed up as you get comfortable.
2. Pick a Song That You Know By Heart
Before you take up complex songs, you must start with something you know the lyrics of. So, take a very dear song to you, and you might as well be passionate about it. Trust us, the adrenaline of singing the song will inspire you, and you will keep going.
Consider the tempo, rhythm, difficulty level, and the style of the song you are going for. Don’t go for a song that has a fast tempo. Select a song that is pretty easy to sing and requires moderately more straightforward style. You can consider singing easy songs like One Love by Bob Marley, Riptide by Vance Joy, and Counting Stars by One Republic or anyone of your choice.
3. Start Learning the Chords
Now that you have selected the song, you can start learning the chords. While playing a song, changing a chord is one of the most challenging things for a beginner. However, our advice to you would be to start with a slower tempo. So, do it at a slower pace and change the chords from, say G to D. Keep practicing until you get the hang of it.
You will build muscle memory with enough practice. Stop in between each session and see your mistakes to rectify them. Switching between each chord can be tricky so take your time. Maybe start with two chords for the song and increase it as you go.
4. Hum and Play the Song
Trying to remember the lyrics and playing the song can be a lot to achieve at first. So, what you can do is hum the lyrics and play the chords. You will gradually gain enough confidence and start singing afterward.
You have to learn the strumming rhythm and singing rhythm separately, which is quite tricky. The solution for this is through humming. Keep doing this until you feel like you can sing while playing the chords. You will reach a point where everything will come together naturally.
5. Play and Sing the Song
Now is the time to take the first leap of faith. Since you have had enough practice of both the chords and the tempo, you can now start singing. Remember to learn the lyrics. You can start little by little, like sing the first part of the song while playing. Keep working on it until you gain the perfect balance. Now keep covering the other aspects of the song gradually.
Be consistent with the entire song and practice singing and playing for a few days. It is better if you have a ukulele teacher by your side too. However, it is quite possible to do it yourself.
6. Record Yourself
If you have been practicing the song for a while now, you must know its lyrics and chords. Now is the time to see how well you are doing. So, set up a camera or song audio recorder to record yourself. This way, you will be able to listen to your mistakes and evaluate your performance.
Listen to the inconsistencies you have in the melody or rhythm and be better at it the next time. This entire process will help you to track your progress, and you will be more confident.
7. Perform In Front of Other People
This is what you were waiting for. Now that you have gained control over a song and you can sing and play the ukulele simultaneously. It is time to have a little singing session with your friends.
You can play the ukulele and have them join you while singing it. Do it over the following weekend and inspire them as well. Who knows, you guys might as well start your own band. This will also boost your confidence as a musician and motivation to keep learning more songs.
Nothing good happens without practice and dedication. That was our 7 step guideline for you to start singing and playing the ukulele simultaneously. If you listened to our suggestions and practiced as we talked about, you will be a good player in no time. Send this article to your friend and inspire them too!