PDA

View Full Version : I can sing really well but while playing lyrics disappear



Braga2966
03-30-2016, 06:53 PM
Hey everyone,

I've always been a really good singer. I've gone on stage and sang with bands but two years ago I decided I wanted to sing and play an instrument. Ukulele happened and I have 4 songs I can say I can sing and play but I'm having a problem trying to do both. Does this get easier or change with time? I know some of the lyrics while playing the uke and then poof I blank.. Is it that I'm thinking of the next chord to play at the same time and mixing up the signal for lyrics and Chord names?

Ideas or suggestions anyone have to get past this wall so I can start really cranking on my song list that I can do both sing and play.

I really want to be able to do both better. Because separate I can do both very well.. :/

SteveZ
03-31-2016, 02:54 AM
Hey everyone,

I've always been a really good singer. I've gone on stage and sang with bands but two years ago I decided I wanted to sing and play an instrument. Ukulele happened and I have 4 songs I can say I can sing and play but I'm having a problem trying to do both. Does this get easier or change with time? I know some of the lyrics while playing the uke and then poof I blank.. Is it that I'm thinking of the next chord to play at the same time and mixing up the signal for lyrics and Chord names

Ideas or suggestions anyone have to get past this wall so I can start really cranking on my song list that I can do both sing and play.

I really want to be able to do both better. Because separate I can do both very well.. :/

You got it! Once the "muscle memory" has you going to the correct chording without planning, the problem shrinks. It's no different than driving a car (esoecially in reverse) or any other skill. Also, it may help initially practicing stanzas rather than whole songs. It all does link together - practice, practice, practice....

Down Up Dick
03-31-2016, 04:35 AM
Steve's correct, I think. I have your same problem, but I also have trouble memorizing stuff. So, I can usually remember the melody, and, on a good, lucky day, I can remember where to chord and how to strum. Then the rest becomes some of the correct words and some la di da di dahs. I whistle a lot also.

More practice would probably help me too, but I'm busy with other stuff. Practice, practice, practice! :old:

PhilUSAFRet
04-01-2016, 06:10 AM
When it's open mic time at my uke club, I usually tell them I can either remember the lyrics or the chords, but not both at the same time. The primary reason is that I can't remember the lyrics very well and I'm using the part of my brain that already knows the chords to try and do both. It begins when one starts playing and ends when one practices the song as much as is necessary....in my case, it takes my ageing brain longer to "get it."

Down Up Dick
04-01-2016, 07:28 AM
Funny, I can remember songs we sang in high school Boy's Glee, but I can't remember the words to a tune I worked on Tuesday.

Old Age would be the pits if there wasn't beer! :old:

Barrytone
04-01-2016, 08:56 AM
Oh yeah, I know the feeling all too well. There is something about uke stuff that comes with a built in dependency on pieces of paper. I can sing and play a song by myself and improvise around the chords and sometimes the words but, come the weekly group sessions, I find my eyes fixed on the paper, even tunes I know well, and when I look away I fumble. After years of playing 5string and picking bluegrass, without a piece of music in sight, I am dependant on that paper and I do not like it.

acmespaceship
04-01-2016, 10:51 AM
This is a tricky thing to learn. It is an entirely new cognitive skill, requiring your brain to do two things at once. It takes practice. But practicing failure only teaches you how to fail. What you need to do is practice playing and singing successfully at whatever level you can handle. When you can't walk yet, you crawl.

Play some really, really easy songs. Easy to the point that you'd be embarrassed to play them in public. Two or three chords, lyrics you memorized back in grade school. Can you get through "Happy Birthday to You" without paper? If necessary, scale it back to one chord and one downstrum per measure and sing "Row, row, row your boat." The point is to find something you can sing and play at the same time. Practice until it's easy, however long that takes. With practice you'll develop your skills enough to try progressively more difficult songs.

Booli
04-01-2016, 02:45 PM
Can you count OUT LOUD 1-2-3-4 when you strum in time?

If so, then you can learn to strum and sing at the same time.

Like everything else it's a matter of how bad you want it and how much time you put in to practice, despite any and all frustrations a long the way.

Remember:
'Winners never quit, and Quitters never win'


(via BamBam from The Flintstones)

Braga2966
04-14-2016, 11:11 AM
Thank you everyone for your input, I was out of town for a week so I am just getting to the posts before I left.

I am going to get a chance over the next few days with my Uke so I will look over everything you guys have recommended and see what works best in getting past this issue for me with playing and singing.

I will be back in a bit with any questions I may have but thank you so much for taking the time to reply and help me out here it means a lot :)

Rllink
04-23-2016, 06:00 AM
I'm getting to a point now where I'm forgetting the songs that I memorized earlier on. It seems to me that I can keep about fifteen to twenty songs in my brain. Anyway, I was looking at a list of songs that I could play and sing from memory that I made last summer, and most of them I've forgotten. But I guess the upside is that I still know as many songs from memory, they are just different songs.

But I'm getting to a point where I am starting to recognize chord progressions. I've been studying them a lot in the past three or four months. I'll actually be trying to learn a song, and all of a sudden it will come to me that the chord progression in the song that I'm trying to learn is the same as some song that I already have memorized. That helps a lot. So now, if I'm looking at a song and I want to memorize it, I start breaking down the chord progressions right off the bat to see if it is something that I am already doing. It is interesting that I can be struggling with a song, then all of a sudden realize that I already know how to play it. A light comes on and almost in that moment, I go from struggling with it to playing it without thought. But the more I do that, the better I get at recognizing them. Just yesterday I was playing "Hey Good Lookin'" for the thousandth time with the music in front of me, and I was thinking that I should just be able to play that from memory and I wondered why I couldn't. But then I actually took a look at it and I saw that the verses were a Morris progression, or a Salty Dog progression, and ten minutes later I had it down. Funny how the brain works.

The point is, once I can play the chords without thinking, which is what studying chord progressions make easier, I can concentrate on lyrics, and once I have the lyrics down, I can work on spicing things up a little with some melody thrown in for flavor. For me it is a three step process.

RedBeth
08-30-2016, 12:51 PM
The point is, once I can play the chords without thinking, which is what studying chord progressions make easier, I can concentrate on lyrics, and once I have the lyrics down, I can work on spicing things up a little with some melody thrown in for flavor. For me it is a three step process.

Playing the ukulele and singing at the same time can be a real challenge for me as well. I've been singing for decades and got some classical training in my late teens, so the voice part is my strength. About a year ago I started singing at open mics with my Autoharp. And then my brother asked me to join his Renaissance Festival band last winter, and I knew I didn't want to lug around such a heavy instrument or deal with tuning 37 strings in all weather outdoors. So I picked up my ukulele and learned the songs with them. It's taking time, but the more I play, and the more people I play with, the easier it gets.

Down Up Dick
10-11-2016, 04:53 AM
I haven't been singin' with my Ukes for a while mostly because I'm doin' other stuff, but also because I was having a difficult time trying to do it.

I started playing the Uke because I wanted to sing with it. But I learned that I have a really poor memory. I found that I could memorize or read the words and play the chords, but not at the same time. So, after a while, I just played the chords and whistled the melody. Then, little by little, the other stuff took over.

Now, I'm gonna make another run at it. I know the chords and mostly whistled melodies to a few songs, so now I'm gonna stress the words and cut down on the chords. C is good for me and G for some songs. F is possible, but it always seems too high, and it's got the dreaded Bb. I'm gonna stick to C mostly for the time being.

Funny, I do know how to play/sing a few songs. I wonder why I can do it with some but not others . . . Anyway, I think I'll try to learn the words line by line and then put the stanzas together.

Actually, I've done most of the above before with minimal results. Maybe the stars will be in the right position this time. :old:

LimousinLil
10-15-2016, 06:52 AM
I haven't been singin' with my Ukes for a while mostly because I'm doin' other stuff, but also because I was having a difficult time trying to do it.

I started playing the Uke because I wanted to sing with it. But I learned that I have a really poor memory. I found that I could memorize or read the words and play the chords, but not at the same time. So, after a while, I just played the chords and whistled the melody. Then, little by little, the other stuff took over.

Now, I'm gonna make another run at it. I know the chords and mostly whistled melodies to a few songs, so now I'm gonna stress the words and cut down on the chords. C is good for me and G for some songs. F is possible, but it always seems too high, and it's got the dreaded Bb. I'm gonna stick to C mostly for the time being.

Funny, I do know how to play/sing a few songs. I wonder why I can do it with some but not others . . . Anyway, I think I'll try to learn the words line by line and then put the stanzas together.

Actually, I've done most of the above before with minimal results. Maybe the stars will be in the right position this time. :old:

I'm only a rank beginner, but I haven't actually attempted to play/sing any songs from memory; I have the words (and chords) written out in front of me. This works very well if you are just recording, but obviously wouldn't be so good for a live performance - not sure which you're talking about Dick.

Down Up Dick
10-15-2016, 07:15 AM
I'm talking about memorizing the words to songs so I can sing (solo) where ever I am. I know I could just read the words, but that's difficult too when there's lots of stanzas.

Anyway, it gives me somethin' to do and keeps me off the streets. :old:

Down Up Dick
10-16-2016, 07:03 AM
Well, I'm amazed. My plan is a bit successful. I've learned three stanzas and the chorus of Down In The Valley. Sure it's an easy song, but success is success. I've also managed to remember two or three songs I already knew. My next foray is into Jumpin' Jim's "Ukulele Country" book -- good ol' songs.

Ha! Today my music room; tomorrow Nashville! :old:

LimousinLil
10-24-2016, 01:37 AM
Well, I'm amazed. My plan is a bit successful. I've learned three stanzas and the chorus of Down In The Valley. Sure it's an easy song, but success is success. I've also managed to remember two or three songs I already knew. My next foray is into Jumpin' Jim's "Ukulele Country" book -- good ol' songs.

Ha! Today my music room; tomorrow Nashville! :old:

Good stuff, Dick!

Down Up Dick
10-24-2016, 05:55 AM
Thanks, Lil, a little success does wonders for one's desire to improve. :old: