Playing and singing

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by TommyStrat, Jan 24, 2008.


  1. TommyStrat

    TommyStrat Member

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    I am curious to what some of you did to learn to play and sing at the same time. I see the masters do it effortless and the novice players strugling. I remember when I first started it was really hard. I was lucky to hear Bugs Henderson a while back and noticed he would sing a line and follow with a killer fill or hit and chord and answer. It was so intense and so emotional. Any tips for us mere mortals here?
     
  2. Birddog

    Birddog Member

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    I'm neither a virtuoso player, nor a great singer. But I do do both on any given weekend in front of any number of bar patrons... There is a trick, like most things in the musical world, for doing both at the same time. It's simple: Practice.

    Learn the songs backward and forward. Learn the vocals backward and forward. Once they are effortless, practice doing them together until THAT becomes effortless. It will happen, with practice.

    The hardest thing for me to do is sing backup, and play wah-wah parts, particularly on reggae-ish stuff, but that even comes with a little work.
     
  3. dave s

    dave s Member

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    Like Birddog said ... practice, practice and MORE practice.

    Being unsure of your exact requirements, it might help to start with material that is relatively simple in nature, see how you do then move up when you're comfortable. Example: Tequilla Sunrise by Eagles. Chord changes are simple; Tempo is slow. Vocals will probably fall within your range.

    OTOH, it gets more difficult if you are the only guitar in the band, covering multiple guitar parts AND playing fills while trying to remember lyrics, sing on pitch and keep the three verses to the song in the right order...and the guitar solo continues INTO the third verse! :crazy

    dave
     
  4. Shiny McShine

    Shiny McShine Member

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    Bass/Voice here. For me, it was certain songs that were just easy. Saw Her Standing There was a breeze for some reason. Others were a royal pain and I could never really do them well.
     
  5. TommyStrat

    TommyStrat Member

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    We rehearse all vocals with just acoustic and sometimes with a click. I take a lot of pride in my rhythm work as well as soloing. Any other secrets other than repetition? I also burn disc for the truck to work on harmony. Thanks for the response.
     
  6. Birddog

    Birddog Member

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    I think you're also on to something with listening a lot, singing in your truck, etc. I do the same thing, burning CD's or loading up my MP3 player for the drive to and from work. Great place to practice your harmonies!
    Click track is good, singing along with acoustics is good. Still, I think practice is the key.

    I'd say "repetition is king" but that would be repetitious.

    Good luck!
     
  7. TommyStrat

    TommyStrat Member

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    Thanks for the replys. I have always practiced. I love it and look forward to it. I just wonder if there is anything out there I do not know that will help even more. In our four piece band ( two guitars bass and drums) I have to play a lot of parts and sing harmony as well. On Harrisons if I needed someone I play the head on the guitar and sing lead as well. Took me over and hour to pull off. I did not sing the last note for a while and then it just happened. I have found that slowing down things and just repeating them over and over is the only thing so far that works. Badge is a tough one for me too but I just about have it.
     
  8. scoob

    scoob Member

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    I've decided to start singing too. I never was any good at singing and playing...but lately the band I'm in cannot find a singer...so it looks like it may be me if I can pull it off.
     
  9. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    Working out which part of the vocal line falls on the first beat of the bar, or another relevant or accented beat is one way to anchor the vocal line within the rhythm and get them in sync. That kinda creates a set of navigation points which lets your concentration move between the guitar part and the vocal part, without losing track of either.
     

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