- Dec 17, 2008
Ditto what One Man said. At my guitar circles I am always puzzled by good guitarist trying to sing in what is obviously not their key (almost always too high). They are good musicians, so I'm not sure why this is not apparent to them. I have noticed though that they almost always play songs in their original key (regardless of the fact that the singer has a way higher voice). I'm guessing this is a "guitar thing". Taking time to find the right key for each song you perform is really crucial. I know it makes the best of my less than mediocre voice.
I have seen this, too. I've played ukulele and guitar since the 1960s and played professionally for many years. The most likely people to switch keys when they sing are country guitar pickers. Most other people learn a song's chords in the key that was most popular and they try to sing in that key because they learned it in that key... but that happens far more with finger-picking style players than with flat-pickers.
For the original poster, once you get used to playing the chords in a song, try singing along while you play. If you are having problems, tempo might be the issue, but more times than not, if you are flat it is because you cannot hear yourself as well over the guitar or ukulele. Play a bit softer. You can also play facing a clothes closet with the door open... believe it or not, it will absorb a lot of that sound and you will hear yourself better. I know one guitarist who always records in a walk-in closet for that reason.