I can play lots of scales but I can't sing any of them

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Jeeves, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. Jeeves

    Jeeves Member

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    This is what we did in my lesson last night:

    1) Teacher plays ii-V-I in key of F. 1 measure of ii, 1 measure of V etc. He had me improv some bepob lines over the progression - no fancy rhythm, just all eigth notes. Then has me put my guitar away and asks me to sing the same line. Its tough but I sqeek it out. Then he asks me to sing the same line in all 12 keys. Very difficult.

    2) Then he plays some chords and has me sing the corresponding scale - i.e. he plays Cm7 and I have to sing C dorian. He plays Bb13b9 and I have to sing half-whole diminished. I can do the dorian but I crash and burn on the diminished

    3) He plays a starting tone on his guitar. Then he points to the rest of the notes and asks me to sing them. I'm singing happy birthday while he's playing mary had a little lamb.

    This is why I am never truly improvising. I'm always playing canned lines and relying on intellect and memorization instead of relying on my ears. I think the effort I put into this will pay dividends if I'm diligent about it.
     
  2. tomkatzz

    tomkatzz Member

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    That's a heck of a teacher you've got. My (last) two teachers merely tabbed songs of my choice and then I taught myself.

    That's why I cut them loose. I can get that out of videos from the guitar center for a lot less than $30/hr.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2008
  3. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Yeah that sounds pretty grueling, in a good way, sort've. (singing even a very limited melody in all 12 keys could be pretty difficult).

    Does he make you do pushups if you miss a note?
     
  4. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    It most definitely will. :dude :AOK
     
  5. Gene

    Gene Member

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    Many "players" do. I've said it over and over here. You are only as good as your inner ear. And working hard at it CORRECTLY will improve it somewhat. Good luck.
     
  6. Jeeves

    Jeeves Member

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    Only "Somewhat"??? Any advice on how to work on it "correctly"?

    Thanks!
     
  7. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    I've found it helpful to practice improvising over a tune with no other accompaniment than me singing the chord roots.

    I wish I could get my students interested in that! Kudos to you for going with it...
     
  8. ?&!

    ?&! Member

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    I teach my beginner students to sing along with every riff or solo they are trying to learn, to establish the ear/voice/hands connection early. I had a professor in college that introduced me to the concept of "if you've got it in your head and get can get it out of your mouth, it's easy to learn it with your hands". It improved my playing by leaps and bounds. Ear and voice training is probably the most productive studying you can do to improve your guitar playing.
     
  9. Jeeves

    Jeeves Member

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    Would you rate it ahead of spending hours on TGP discussing the sonic differences of different types of rosewood fretboards? :)

    Thanks for the comments everyone! I'll keep at it and will report back after a few months of practice!
     
  10. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    I'm not trying to do anything nearly that complex, but I am learning to sing, and it has certainly done more for my ear than years of just playing.
    I initially play the melody (or scale in your case) as I sing, and progressively withdraw the accompianament (? spelling ) playing the last note in a phrase to check how stable my pitch is. Eventually I try to get to singing the whole tune in key and ending accurately without any accompianament.
    What he asked you to do sounds like the end of the road, not the beginning, so I would not sweat your present position.. Souinds like you actually did pretty well.
     
  11. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    When you sing you don't actually have to sing the notes. I have a terrible singing voice, but it helped me greatly when I realized I didn't have to really sing the stuff, just hear it. So what I started doing was humming- humming was much easier than straight out singing.
     
  12. Gene

    Gene Member

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    Spend time trying to play back every thing you hear on your instrument. Easy stuff first. Try to hear phrases, riffs as a whole and then figure it out in your inner ear, then apply it to the instrument. Play it in all 12 keys.
     

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