Being able to play guitar and sing at the same time may seem like quantum physics to most people. But, with practice, patience, and time, it can be achieved.
Once you learn, you can get up on stage and show off your newfound talent at open mic nights and gigs for all to see. Or, you can keep it to bedroom jams and campfire sing-alongs with your friends.
If you have learned the guitar but find it incredibly difficult to coordinate your hands and vocals at the same time, you’re not alone.
All the top artists have to learn this skill at one time. From Bob Dylan to Taylor Swift, there was once a time when playing the guitar and singing at the same time seemed impossible. But, they managed it and you will too!
We understand how frustrating it can be when you know how to play a song and how to sing it. But, when you put these two skills together, it all goes a bit awry.
Yes, singing and playing the guitar simultaneously is a daunting task for any beginner but with some help, you can achieve your goals. You will need a few basics, however, such as a good sense of timing and rhythm as well as the ability to perform two different actions at the same time.
Sounds hard? Don’t worry, we are here to help.
Just like everything you have learned on the guitar, mastering these two skills at the same time can be mastered. To help you in your journey, we have included some of the most important tips and tricks below. Start slowly and you will soon be surprising yourself as your singing perfectly matches the song you’re playing on the guitar.
Learn How To Sing And Play Guitar At The Same Time
Firstly, you need to start with a simple song. At this point, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an advanced guitarist or not. To put your singing skills and guitar playing skills together, a simple song is the best place to start.
The main goal here is to learn how to multitask and build on this ability. Believe it or not, but this can be a lot harder than just playing a tough song on guitar without singing along with it.
We encourage you to find a song with just three to four chords in total. Trust us, there are a lot to choose from, and some of the most popular songs ever written only contain this small number of chords.
Simply search online for “easy guitar songs” and you will be inundated with a seemingly endless list to choose from. Find songs with official chords and tabs along with the lyrics to play and sing along with.
The next step is to work on the guitar part and remember it. Play the chords over and over again without singing. Play from start to finish and repeat again and again until it is ingrained into your muscle memory.
Once you can remember the song and play the chords without any problems, it will make it easier to sing along with. To find out whether you truly know it off by heart, play the song while watching TV or talking. If you do this easily, you’re ready for the next step.
While this step isn’t totally necessary, we highly recommend it.
Use a metronome to help keep a constant beat. This will help you keep in time with the song as you play it. Most beginners struggle with finding the right beat when they start to play and sing at the same time.
A metronome allows you to identify when you may be out of time. Therefore, you can quickly rectify this and get back into the rhythm of the track.
You can also tap your foot along to the beat of the song as you play it. With practice, your foot will act as a natural metronome and help you stay in time. Even the top singer-songwriters do this so keep an eye out next time you see one perform live.
Next, you should try and count the beat out loud while playing the guitar. You still won’t be following any vocal melody but it allows your brain to get used to saying words at the same time as you strum the guitar.
Ask a friend or family member to listen as you practice so they can let you know when you’re in time or have slipped out. If you’re too shy at this moment, simply record yourself and listen back.
Now for the tentative steps on the vocals. Start by humming the vocal melody as you play the guitar. At this point, just focus on the vocal melody and not so much on your guitar playing. Try humming the song from start to finish and repeat but without any actual singing.
While you can read the lyrics as you sing, this just makes it all the more complicated for beginners. Therefore, make sure you have memorized the lyrics of the song. This way, you can clearly focus on the melody and keep in time with the beat.
Now, it’s time to stop humming and try singing!
If this is a struggle at first, try strumming one chord and then sing the lyrics that fit over this chord. Continue this with each chord and set of lyrics. Repeat this process until you feel comfortable enough to strum the chords without any pauses.
This is how you master any new skill. Practice, practice, practice! Practice as often as you can until you feel confident with playing the guitar and singing naturally at the same time.
Building up enough muscle memory in your fingers will mean you’re thinking about one less thing. Therefore, you can focus more on the vocal melody, and who knows? You could start writing your own songs before you know it!