View Full Version : Playing and singing

Howlie Boy
02-08-2008, 10:09 AM
Just a question, does any one else have the problem of not being able to sing and play at the same time? I come froma guitar background and used to play in a few punk/ rock bands and never have a problem playing a singing with my guitar but i cant for the life of me play and sing on my ukulele.

Its kinda funny, ill start playing then the part were the singing comes and my strum gets messed up timing goes out the window and i find my self not being able to find the chord i need and then i get frustrated and start over this time with no singing.... lol:eek:

Maybe just alittle more practice. Just was wondering if any one else has this problem also...

-Howlie boy

02-08-2008, 11:10 AM
It's a mater of practicing.
I'm sure you can play your guitar with your eyes closed.
No yet the same with your uke.
You need to play... and play... and play... and sing.

I've got the same problem :D
Peace & Ukes

02-08-2008, 12:25 PM
I thin everybody has that problem when they first start out. It's harder than most people who don't play an instrument think!

02-08-2008, 01:48 PM
I thin everybody has that problem when they first start out. It's harder than most people who don't play an instrument think!

Nope....I don't have "that" problem. Reason: I can't even sing to begin with. At least you feel comfortable singing....haaha.

02-08-2008, 02:00 PM
picking and singing is pretty hard too. for example, Do You Remember by Panchoman Kuunoni. and try picking Santeria by Sublime and singing on the chorus.

02-08-2008, 03:29 PM
rayan is right. you just need to keep practicing. even with as long as i've been playing a song will come out with a weird strum pattern, like the "break up song" by Chris Ramos Wong, and i have a hard time playing and singing it. that one took a couple of days until i could play and sing where usually its a couple of minutes.

and like ukestar said singing in general is hard. i think im a terrible singer, even though my friends always ask me to sing and what not. i asked my uncle how he got good at singing and he said to just practice. so there you have it. practice.

Howlie Boy
02-08-2008, 04:03 PM
I thin everybody has that problem when they first start out. It's harder than most people who don't play an instrument think!

Ive been playin the ukulele for about 7 months now. so im not that new to it. and ive been playing music for as long as i could remember. so im not new to music at all. like i said in my first post i can play guitar and sing no problem... i think that its cause the chords are so diff. and im used to the guitar chords, that my fingers want to go to guitar chords.

When i decided to learn to plat the ukulele i decided i wouldnt pick up a guitar at all so i could focus on one thing. i tried to play the guitar last night and i acually had a hard time playing cause the strings are so much closer, and the body was huge (playing acoustic).

02-08-2008, 08:23 PM
You're probably so used to making those guitar chord shapes that your brain doesn't even have to think about them anymore, so it can concentrate on the singing. If you have a tenor uke, or can borrow one, try tuning it like a the bottom 4 strings on a guitar -- the way a baritone is tuned. I'll bet you can strum that puppy and sing along just fine. So, like the others have said it isn't the uke, it's just a matter of getting those new chord shapes ingrained into your muscle memory so you aren't struggling with them anymore. It will come. Good luck!:)

02-08-2008, 09:41 PM
i came from a guitar background too. only been playing uke since august07. but soon as i got back to the hotel that night, i figured out how to play some key chords, we went to the beach in waikiki, and had a jam session out there with some locals and tourists that just happened to be hanging out in the middle of the night. it was awesome. so the singing part just came natural i guess. but i do agree with the extra attention it takes to develop that muscle memory for the chord progressions.

02-09-2008, 06:09 AM
I don't have too much trouble playing and singing unless the strum pattern is really complicated. I can't for the life of me pick and sing though. Like doing bass lines on guitar and singing. MAN.... I've been trying to do that for years.

02-09-2008, 05:56 PM
Yes finally!!!!!!!!

I thought i was the only one with that problem.

I found a solution though.

Memorize the song. and i mean MEMORIZE it.

play it until its second nature and you dont even realize that your playing it.

then start to sing.

its hard at first but practice will help, as much as it is a pain.

04-18-2009, 05:54 PM
I'm the same way... even with something as simple as one night stand... just keep at it, and it'll improve... as is the way with all instrument related things... all things get better with practice!

04-19-2009, 02:17 AM
I'm in a similar boat on occasion. there are a few songs that have that thing where the chord changes are a little funky or come in an odd place or the strumming is counter to the vocal line.
I end up slowing it all down and going over it note by note sometimes. Figuring out the specific word or syllable that the chord change happens on. It doesn't come easy or naturally to me, but I can eventually get it to work.

I can fingerpick and sing a bit now after a year or so. But it's been the end of a long process of just playing and playing until that part of my brain can hit the patterns on autopilot.

04-19-2009, 04:18 AM
I agree with Lanark. Practice slow, really slow. Once you can sing and play at a slow tempo, you can start to speed things up.

04-19-2009, 08:03 AM
I used to have this problem (still do on occasion). I would be strumming, and then when I would begin to sing, my strum pattern would start following my singing, which would screw everything up. The trick to fixing my problem was to learn the song so well that I could play it without thinking at all (this takes lots of time and practice). Then, I could concentrate on singing while my hands naturally did the motions to the song.

Ukulele Friend
04-19-2009, 08:06 AM
Aloha Howlie Boy,

It's the story of my life! I'm not a very good singer to start but playing and singing, especially with all the variations in strumming and picking patterns nowadays has been a challenge for me as well.

It'll come over time and before you know it you'll be rockin' (and singing) away, my friend....:shaka:

be well,


04-19-2009, 09:57 AM
I really don't have this problem. I come from a singing background though, and ukulele is the first instrument that I have stuck with.

I occasionally have problems finding my pitch, and I really have to find songs that work with my voice. I would say this is probably the most important thing when it comes to singing and playing the uke. Find a song that suits your voice first.... because otherwise, there's kind of no reason to try. If you can't sing the song right, learning to play and sing it will make it even harder.