View Full Version : Playing and Singing

08-30-2009, 03:06 PM
How do you train your mind to do both?
People make it look easier than it seems.

08-30-2009, 03:08 PM
How do you train your mind to do both?
People make it look easier than it seems.

TOTALLY. I can sing the song backwards and forwards. I can play the tune backwards and forwards. Bring them together, and I can't strum if my life depended on it.

For now, I just practice and practice and practice until my wife kicks me out of the room. I also find that playing and singing along with the actual song is extremely helpful. I'll turn the volume lower and lower as I feel more confident until I don't need the song anymore.

Uncle Rod Higuchi (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/member.php?u=13582) was good enough to put together a very methodical approach to learning songs.

08-30-2009, 04:41 PM
I've just learned to sing and play at the same time. It's a lot harder than it looks. Pretty much, I have to have the playing part down pat (to where I don't have to think about it)...then I just sing along with the tune I'm playing. If I start paying attention to what my hands are doing, then the singing just crashes and burns.

08-30-2009, 04:53 PM
At first I thought it was going to be impossible but I managed to do it in a few weeks.

08-30-2009, 05:20 PM
Start off with really basic strums first, singing along to the strums (if that makes sense), then as you feel more comfortable move onto down down up updown strums etc.

08-30-2009, 06:22 PM
I suck at coordination..:(

Carbon Kiwi
08-30-2009, 08:34 PM
It's probably a bit silly, but I taught myself to multi-task in preparation for singing by sitting around with my friends just working out a chord progression and playing it over and over again as I paid attention to the conversation, which included speaking. From time to time I switched up the chord progression or the strum pattern. Sometimes to get used to a song I'll sing it and only strum down where the chords change, to get my fingers used to when they have to move.

Good luck!

08-30-2009, 09:49 PM
I didn't really train my mind, I just can do that kind of stuff.

08-30-2009, 11:33 PM
I didn't really train my mind, I just can do that kind of stuff.
Same here. I also think it comes very natural if you just keep practicing...

08-31-2009, 02:04 AM
the same here. if i strum a really new and complicate pattern as Aldrine shows in his lessons i need to master them before i can also concentrate on the singing :)

08-31-2009, 02:15 AM
IT's not easy. But once you do it for the first time, it gets really easy afterwards.

Start off by humming the vocals and then later use the words. That's what I did, and within an hour or two my brain thought 'we can do it, we can do it alll night loooong'

So now I can play and sing ... sort of. :o

Uncle Rod Higuchi
08-31-2009, 04:56 AM
It might be a matter of trying to do too many things at once (same time).

I advocate for learning the chord (shapes) by name, by rote, it you will.

Then practicing smooth transitional changes from chord to chord, eventually, without looking at your chord-forming hand/fingers. This would be at, let's say, 4 strums per chord. Probably only down strokes to begin with, then up and down strokes.

NOTE: you will NOT be playing a song per se, just playing chords, one after another, at 4 strums each. If you write down the chords from the song you want to learn in the order in which the song requires, you will (sort of) be practicing "playing the song". However, do NOT bring the melody of the song into your practice at this time. Your goal is to 4-strum your way through the chords smoothly, at a moderate pace, without interruption and without looking at your fingers.

After reaching your goal, per the above, begin humming, subvocalizing, or "la-la"-ing the melody. Don't try to sing the song yet. Having to focus on the lyrics can throw you off even at this point. Your goal here is to LISTEN to the melody (in your head) and the chord sounds from your uke, to figure out where to make the chord changes. Just try this maybe 5 times.

Then go to the original song sheet and now play the chords and learn the lyrics. You'll make quicker progress if you've already practiced the chord changes as per above.

Remember, (I suggest) work on strumming and rhythm LAST. You will be tempted to try to emulate the song you want to learn as you eventually want to perform it. However, you'll need to get the basics (chords and chord changes) down first. Once that becomes "natural" experimenting with strums and rhythms becomes easier.

I hope this helps.

08-31-2009, 07:15 AM
Usually the more complicated the strum and rhythm is, the harder it is to sing with for me.

Practice, practice, practice. It gets easier with that.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
08-31-2009, 07:47 AM
I whole-heartedly agree, Practice is the key.

It took me a few weeks to learn the triplet to where I could insert it whenever
I felt the need. And, as with everyone else, it felt awkward at first. I'm not sure
where the threshold is where things become "natural" but perhaps this will help:

Learning progresses from: to:

Unconscious Incompetence (don't know, don't care, can't do)

Conscious Incompetence (I'm learning, but it takes a lot of time and repetition)

Conscious Competence (I'm getting there, I can do it if I pay attention)

Unconscious Competence ( what's the hubbub all about?, I can do it without thinking)

There's no shortcut. The Locals say, "If can, can. If no can, no can." To get from "no can" to "can" is the same as "getting" to Carnegie Hall, Practice, Practice, Practice.