View Full Version : Singing Problem

06-27-2012, 09:26 AM
I've been absent for a while - practicing of course. Now I've got to a point where I try singing the song I'm strumming.

I can strum - sort of.
I can sing - sort of.
(there are those who would disagree with both of the above statements - sort of!!)

Unaccompanied, I can carry the tune (sort of!). But as soon as I try singing and strumming, I lose the tune. Why? And what can I do about it?


Uncle Rod Higuchi
06-27-2012, 09:51 AM
Depends. What are you concentrating on? If you're concerned about the ukulele - chords and strums,
you'll forget to pay attention to your singing - melody and lyrics!

That's a lot to have on your mind. Check out the FREE Songbook link in my signature. When the chords
and strumming become second nature, you can focus more on voice and lyrics. Then, I'm sure, you'll
sound better because, let's face it, people will be listening to the song, not just the uke playing. :)

Beyond that, it's a lot of practice. Begin with very simple songs and notice what makes you feel comfortable.
Is it that you know the lyrics well/by heart, or that uke playing (chords and strumming are NO Problemo), or
is the combination of BOTH? That will be your answer. Every other song will be exactly the same!!! Either
you will know the song/melody, and the lyrics, and the chords, and the strumming... or not. when you practice
well, you're instilling confidence in yourself and your ability to carry it off... any- and every-where!

keep uke'in',

The Ukelites
06-29-2012, 05:28 AM
I always tried to:
Start with songs that are not to complicated - lot of folk songs are great for this.
Use easy strumming patterns in the beginning.
Never look at the fretboard!
Practice half of the time standing!
Sing loud, but soft!
Use youtube Playalongs!
Laugh about your mistakes!
Play with someone else! Sing duet!
Hope you have success!

06-30-2012, 12:07 AM
Some great advice there. Thanks very much. I have downloaded Uncle Rod's stuff and it is really helpful as is the advice from Ukulites. Thanks again. This is a great place to get help.

His Sinfulness
06-30-2012, 08:52 AM
I have the same problem. I sing fairly well, and I play well enough to not be an embarassment to myself. When I do both, both suffer. The only solution I have found is to practice the playing until it is literally on autopilot - I have to develop the muscle memory to the point where the song almost plays itself. It has gotten easier over time; it takes less practice each time to make it work. :)

06-30-2012, 10:33 AM
Great advice above. Don't worry, it'll come with time. Took me about a month when I first started playing to be able to sing when I strum at the same time. It was frustrating at the start but give it time. Once the strumming and fretting start getting more natural where you don't have to really think about it, the singing will fall into place. Just give it some time.

Welcome to the UU, Biff. :)

07-28-2012, 08:03 AM
As everyone has said above, when you try to put the two together, your attention is split and both suffer. You have to get one or the other pretty much on autopilot, and even then it takes some practice to get things synced up.

One thing I find helps me is when I am first trying to put playing and singing together, I play and hum or use a neutral syllable (like "do" or "la") to go through the song a couple of times. That way I'm starting to vocalize the melody while playing, but I don't have to worry about words yet. After I can do that, adding words usually isn't that hard (as long as I have the song lyrics memorized... if i'm trying to read song lyrics that I'm not familiar with, sing, and play... bad news bears...)