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View Full Version : Singing + Playing = Disaster



specialmike
05-27-2009, 07:03 AM
Does anyone have trouble singing and playing at the same time?

More specifically, does anyone have the problem where you can achieve one action at a time, but when you combine the two, they both become totally anti-harmonious.

For example, you can sing fine.. You can play well. But bring the two together and just...:stop:

Any tips on how I can go about improving my off key singing whilst I play my ukulele? Greatly appreciated.

:shaka:

sukie
05-27-2009, 07:07 AM
I will give you my standard answer -- Practice. Maybe concentrate on learning how to play the song well, and then start in with the singing. It is not a natural thing to do -- both at once, that is. With patience it'll come. Good luck :D

Mobben
05-27-2009, 07:19 AM
Try humming while you play to start with, then you can always add word when you feel like it..

Bratset
05-27-2009, 07:23 AM
I have the same problem, it's getting better and better now. The only thing that help me is practice!
Been playing for soon 5 months and I can only play and sing a few song at the same time, it takes much more practice for me to learn to do both at the same time.

rossjr
05-27-2009, 07:27 AM
Some of just know we should never sing, of course that would mean that we can't sing fine with out the Uke anyways....

Gcow55
05-27-2009, 07:28 AM
Practice, practice, practice.

Start slow. Try singing while vamping on a single chord. Once you get good at that, try singing over a chord progression of two chords, and so on. Eventually it will come to you.

sukie
05-27-2009, 07:45 AM
Some of just know we should never sing, of course that would mean that we can't sing fine with out the Uke anyways....

Isn't that true! I belong in this category. Makes it a lot easier.

deach
05-27-2009, 07:48 AM
Some of just know we should never sing,....

I belong in this category but it's never stopped me.

CoffeeJunkee
05-27-2009, 07:52 AM
I cant sing or play.... But I keep trying!

spots
05-27-2009, 07:53 AM
This is why woodwind and brass instruments were created.

cpatch
05-27-2009, 08:33 AM
Any tips on how I can go about improving my off key singing whilst I play my ukulele?
Change the key you're playing in to match your singing. (Capos are your friends.)

specialmike
05-27-2009, 08:51 AM
Change the key you're playing in to match your singing. (Capos are your friends.)

It's not my singing that is off key, it's the singing while I play that is off key.

generem
05-27-2009, 08:59 AM
Try humming while you play to start with, then you can always add word when you feel like it..

I totally Agree with mobben... I will hum along till I get the strumming down.. Practice, Practice, Practice. then eventually it will all come together...

After that, try recording yourself.. That Im still struggling with... :D

But the best suggestion is Practice. I practice the chord progression of a song till I dont have to look anymore. Till then, I wont even attempt to sing along. just hum so I wont get bored :)

tripl3thr33
05-27-2009, 09:07 AM
indeed, tons of practice will get you used to the song. like what mobben said, humming helps. i do it and at the same time, i notice (every now and then) what words my strumming should be at (ex. a down strum at the end of the first line of the chorus). they serve as "bookmarks" so i know my strumming is consistent.

Pueo
05-27-2009, 09:19 AM
You mean you and I are not the only ones with this problem? What a relief! I started taking guitar lessons when I was about 8 years old. I love to sing, I love to play, but when I try to do both at once I fail miserably. In fact, it was just about a month ago that I was able to sing and play a song at the same time! Wow, it only took 33 years! Someone once told me that I should try singing and playing at the same time right from the get-go of learning the song, and that seemed to work in this case. I can now pull off a few more, it's kind of like something finally clicked, but I attribute it to daily practice, something I never really did when I was just a guitar player. I am finding that slow songs are easier for me, Or songs that I can play fast I just slow down a bit when I want to sing along.

misterdub
05-27-2009, 09:21 AM
Rather than humming, I tackle the song from the opposite direction. I'll often sing the song through a couple of times only doing a single down strum at the chord changes.

It's really just a similar way of approaching the problem: I'm trying get a feel for where the chord changes occur during the song. I can read them but I need to really "feel" it out before I can keep them in sync. This method seems to work well for me but I may try humming next time to see if I pick it up quicker.

KC8AFW
05-27-2009, 09:27 AM
Something that I found helps me (a little...I'm still a looooonng way off) is to play and sing with my iPod playing. That way I have something to match my pitch to. I'm still struggling, but it helps me a little.

-KP

UkuleleHill
05-27-2009, 09:35 AM
Try humming while you play to start with, then you can always add word when you feel like it..

This is the best advice I have read. Humming gets the tune in your head while you strum without having to think about the words. Once you get the melody and playing together and are comfortable with it adding the words is a sinch!

rossjr
05-27-2009, 09:53 AM
This is why woodwind and brass instruments were created.


That is the other reason I started music with a trombone and a baritone....

Ukuleleblues
05-27-2009, 03:37 PM
Does anyone have trouble singing and playing at the same time?

:shaka:
It's practice. Sometime when I play, I'll have play harmonica around my neck, alternate singing and also have a band of bells around my ankle for percussion. It takes practice. I found out if I put the bells on my right ankle and I pick a solo I can't keep my foot on beat with the bells. I kind of end up like a dog who scratches the air when you scratch his ear. If I move the Bells to my left Ankle It is much easier to keep time wihile picking a solo with the right hand.

DeG
05-27-2009, 03:46 PM
Practice with songs that have a constant rhythmic strumming. I think it is easier to sing to these than something that has a irratic pattern or picking.

I never have been able to sing worth a crap while playing a bass. I think that picking a back beat, and singing a lead is too much for my little brain to handle..:D

gotrice415510
05-27-2009, 04:16 PM
im pretty sure that this is the case with every beginner... i myself have been playing for around 7 months. At first it was really hard to play and sing at the same, but i just practiced playin to the actual song. So one day i decide to play along with I'm Yours, and then 'CLICK!!!' i was able to sing along and can now do so with pretty much every song.

Bissrok
05-27-2009, 05:28 PM
I can do both without any trouble if I know the song and words really well. Even then, I still end up having to have the lyrics in front of me. Otherwise I tend to get too focused on the chords and timing, so I end up forgetting to sing.

Harold O.
05-28-2009, 06:20 AM
I've been playing with a blues/rock band for the past month or so. They have me strumming rhythm mostly, but I also get to sing from time to time.

I noticed the other night that I missed a few strums while singing, kept a good solid rhythm during the solos (no singing), then drifted back into missing a strum or two while finishing the song. I'm taking the fact that I at least recognize what's happening as a sign of progress.

Yeah, it'll be a matter of practice.

And yes, it is harder than some people make it look. Next time you see a band playing live on stage (recorded or otherwise, not a music video) notice that the guy doing the singing tends to NOT be playing anything really complicated during the verse.

ukulelebadass
05-28-2009, 06:24 AM
It may sound strange but one step you can take to help with this is to try just concentrating on your breathing while you play. It is something we are rarely conscious of. Try breathing in and out in time to the music, it will help you get to the point where you are able to play without paying so much attention to what your hands are doing, eventually the playing will become second nature.

Another tip is to memorize the words and chords of the song before you attempt to sing and play. When you are reading lyrics, singing and playing all at once your brain is constantly having to re-focus between all these different tasks Contrary to what some people think, our brains are not capable of multi tasking. We can, however, learn to rapidly change focus back and forth between a variety of tasks.

Good Luck!

Witters
05-28-2009, 07:55 AM
Singing??? What's that?
I make a sort of gruff noise with my throat that is well hidden by my buzzing strings and out of tune chords:)

But if your a good singer then I know what your going through - frustration - because its not easy to play and sing. You will get there though:)

Bender
05-28-2009, 08:35 AM
Rather than humming, I tackle the song from the opposite direction. I'll often sing the song through a couple of times only doing a single down strum at the chord changes..

This is great advice, and this is what worked for me. Simplify your strumming until you can synchronize the chord changes with your singing, then get a little more complicated with your strumming (if the song calls for it).

ukebrudder
05-28-2009, 11:33 AM
I have the same problem. What I do is just strum the basic up, down, up, down, etc. I've yet to get into the more complex struming paterns with singing because thats where I get lost.

iamdanielle
05-28-2009, 05:52 PM
pwactice makes perfect! have fun!