8 Tips to Sing and Play Guitar at the Same Time
by Rodrigo Sanchez, Jun 13, 2022 . 6 min read
These 8 tips to sing and play guitar at the same time will help you turn two things into one.
Much like a drummer plays with several drums, here we will give you some basic steps to coordinate voice and guitar. Playing and singing at the same time can be quite fun and entertaining, and it is also a great exercise for your brain. From a professional standpoint, a guitar player that can sing harmonies is more employable than one that can’t. Conversely, a singer that can strum along with some chords is also a greater asset for a band than one that can’t. Without further ado, here are the 8 tips to sing and play guitar at the same time.
Pick an easy song to start working on singing and playing at the same time. What is an easy song? Glad you asked! Typically, an easy song will have easy and few chords, a simple structure, and simple and easy-to-remember lyrics. Ideally, you should start with a song that you like and are familiar with. Perhaps a song that you can already sing the lyrics to.
The song One by U2 is a relatively simple song to play and sing at the same time. It features easy chords, a typical verse-chorus structure, and is also a known classic for many.
Know the song beforehand
You’d be surprised how many people try to learn a song that they can’t even hum. Knowing beforehand how the song goes makes a massive difference in how long it will take you to be able to play it and sing it.
Being familiar with a song means that you will know where the verses and choruses are, etc.
You should also be able to hum to the song and know at least part of the lyrics. This makes a big difference and helps you avoid unnecessary frustration.
Separate the parts before putting them together
Oftentimes, a good strategy is to learn the guitar part separately before attempting to sing along with it. By separating the parts, you will be able to work out any potential challenges or trouble spots in advance.
Learn all the chords, practice how to change from one to the other on time, and know what the form is (where the chorus starts, etc). If the guitar part requires challenging fingerpicking, work on that separately as well.
Do the same with the voice in case you need to. For instance, if you still don’t know the lyrics to the song, learn them first, before attempting to incorporate the guitar. Once both parts are sounding good separately, it’s time to put them together.
Get Roadie Coach
Roadie Coach can greatly help you with many aspects of your musicianship, including playing and singing songs at the same time. Coach features a vast library of songs, and you can slow them down if necessary.
Additionally, this fantastic tool attaches to your instrument of choice and works in conjunction with an app to give you personalized feedback on your progress. This goes not only for your guitar or uke playing but also your singing. This is done via the two microphones included in coach, that accurately capture what you are playing and singing in order to give pointers on what to work on.
Humming can be a great strategy to try, especially for songs that feature challenging guitar parts. This allows you to focus mostly on the guitar part, but already coordinate it with the melody when you hum it.
Naturally, it is still best to learn the guitar part before attempting to hum. This strategy can also come in handy for songs that feature a lot of words or lyrics that change constantly. Once you can play the guitar and hum the melody at the same time, it is just a matter of learning the lyrics.
Play with a friend
Do you have a friend that can play the bass? What about guitar or the uke? Playing with a friend is a fantastic way to bring accountability to your process of learning how to play and sing at the same time.
Think of it as having a friend to go to the gym with. You set up a time to meet and go through with it, even if you don’t feel like it at the time.
Having a friend add another instrument is also quite fun. Better yet, get a bass player and drummer to form a band. You can play your guitar and sing while being accompanied by a full rhythm section. Just pick a good list of songs to start with and let loose. Trust me, few things are more fun and stimulating than making music with some good friends.
Join your church or community band
This shares the same principle as playing with friends, but with a lot more responsibility. Many communities have choirs (wish musicians) or bands and are often looking for new talent to join.
The same applies to churches. As a matter of fact, some of the best-known musicians have started in bands at their church.
Perform in front of people
There’s nothing like performing in front of people. I know this may be intimidating for some, but it is a great way to improve as a musician. Naturally, I’m talking about performing for your family and friends, or perhaps an open mic. Make sure you know the song and can play and sing it well beforehand. Also, try to record your performance. This way you will know exactly what you sound like once the pressure is on. With time, this will help you greatly and can also be a lot of fun.
These 8 tips to sing and play guitar at the same time are simple yet effective. They work whether you just want to have fun with some friends or if you are aiming to join the local cover band. Keep in mind that this, just like any other musical endeavor, requires practice. With some dedication and effort, you will be rewarded with the joy music brings, especially when shared with your loved ones. Have fun!