Many thanks to Cameron from The Singers Corner for providing this guest post. Learn more about the author at the end of the post.
Some can play guitar, some can sing – but learning how to play the guitar and sing at the same time, is a whole other art form of itself.
Often the tool of choice used by romantics, poets, and those with a message that they need to be shared with the world, the guitar has been a popular instrument for centuries.
While it may not have always been called the guitar (the lute, anyone?), this stringed instrument in all of its varying forms has a close and rich history with civilization. From bards to present-day-musicians, it’s been used to create both anthems to rally around and ballads to make lovers swoon.
Learning the art of the guitar is a battle all its own. Learning to sing while playing the guitar? It’s a challenge for those brave at heart.
However, this article will discuss a few tips on how you can learn to play the guitar and sing at the same time that may just make it easier for you to master.
1. Start Simply
You may be anxious to become the next big star on The Voice or be discovered on Youtube, but something as technical as guitar playing and singing requires time.
Regardless of your level of ability in either playing the guitar or singing, bridging the two is difficult, and as such, you need to start with the basics. Don’t immediately try to jump into a song from “Queen,” or the “Beatles.” Start with simple rhythms and simple structures.
Even something as easy as “Happy Birthday,” could be an excellent starting point for you to become used to using your fingers and voice at the same time. You have to build up your comfort with being able to strum and sing at the same time.
2. Hammer Down The Basics
It may be a good idea to take some time and learn the guitar part of the song first.
Go through the song again and again until your fingers know exactly where they need to be and when they need to switch between strings and brackets. Once that’s become more muscle memory than anything, you can add your voice to the mix.
With your fingers already confident with where they need to be, you can focus on your voice and what you need to do with its tone and pitch throughout the song–not to mention actually remember the lyrics!
3. Use A Metronome
When you first think about using a metronome, you may believe that the device is more appropriate for pianists or orchestral bands.
The use of a metronome can actually help you keep time while you’re learning to strum and sing at the same time. Often, when you’re trying to concentrate on two things at once, it’s easy to drag or speed up the rhythm. To ensure that you’re right on track with the rhythm, use a metronome to keep pace.
You should do it right from the start, too, so your fingers learn the song correctly the first time. You’ll also have a better understanding of how demanding the song will be on your stamina by ensuring that you’re practicing it at the correct pace.
One method to consider if you can’t seem to nail down singing and strumming at the same time is simply humming first.
An excellent method to see how your voice measures up with the guitar, in regards to key and pitch, is simply through humming. You won’t have to worry about memorizing lyrics just yet, so long as you know the lyrical rhythm.
Because humming will also test your abilities to multi-task, it will build that skill without being too demanding like singing might be for those not quite ready to sing and strum at the same time.
5. Change Key
Sometimes a difficult song can be made easy by simply switching the key.
If the key from the guitar doesn’t quite match up with your voice, a simple solution is changing it. Take some time to experiment with the pitch. By moving the frets up either up or down, you might find the key that best fits your voice and perhaps even put an exciting new twist on a beloved song.
For those who are finding it difficult to reach certain pitches, this could be the tip for you. Especially if you’re only just learning to sing.
Essentially, what every tip will come down to is practice.
You can’t master anything without putting in the time. You may need to practice each skill separately now and then in order to bring it all together into one harmonious performance. Keep to it though and don’t allow your frustration to get the better of you, and you’ll be jamming it out with the best of them.
A free tip is to have fun. Making the learning experience enjoyable will help the time fly by, and before you know it, you will have mastered the art. Whether you want to play guitar professionally or just invest time in a new hobby, so long as you’re having fun during the process, then you’ll win every time.
Grab a guitar and start the journey now!
About the Author
Cameron is a contributor to The Singer’s Corner, which is a great place to learn, refresh, and delve into the music world.
Whether you want to learn a new approach to singing, give you tips to make you better, and teach you ways to be the best of the best.