View Full Version : Singing while playing Guitar / "Bands"

02-03-2005, 12:36 AM
Hiya there!

I recently started a band, I got a bassist, a drummer, a vocalist and of course a guitarist (me). Our instrument skills aren’t that good but it’s okay. We had our first session last Saturday and it was hilarious. Since we all know each other for a long time and the atmosphere was well tempered I didn’t feel ashamed for my bad singing ;). I really suck at singing, but I can (if I try hard) hit the right notes but it still sounds horrible. Now the bad part comes in… I told the bassist to play a simple bass line (It’s a simple standard line from “Roadhouse Blues” I think but I am not sure… is it called bass line?!). After about 30 seconds the whole band (excluding vocalist) was playing and I started to sing (just sang what came to my mind… well it was more like a growling… I sounded like an old blues vocalist ;)) and stopped playing guitar… although I still think it sucked (my singing) all the other ones liked it.
Now my problem:
I hate to sing, but since it is our first “song” … well it’s more like a joke but it’s the first piece of music we ever produced (and it was all improvised)… I try my best even if I don’t really want to ;).
If I sing I just CANT PLAY THE GUITAR… no way even (E: 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-1) is impossible to play for me … I loose my complete feel for the guitar rhythm.

Well I wanted to share my experience of our first session, ask you how to manage singing while playing guitar and how to deal with the fact that I have to sing (and believe me – my singing really sucks – maybe they just liked it because the atmosphere was so good). Thanks for reading! And please excuse any grammar, logical or construction mistakes … its 1:30 am here and I am tiered.

I also wanted to ask you if you guys know any songs that aren’t to hard to play for a new band… (like Sunshine of your Love etc…). Any experiences on new bands etc. are very welcome =)

Greetings from Vienna, cma

02-03-2005, 01:55 AM
If I sing I just CANT PLAY THE GUITAR… no way even (E: 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-1) is impossible to play for me … I loose my complete feel for the guitar rhythm.

When you sing it's OK to back your self up with chord progressions -- not tab melody. If you are trying to continue playing scale melody, try reverting to chords ----- or what the heck, just put your arms around the guitar and sign.

As for songs for the band, I check out the fake chord sheet music sites and "submit" my choices to the band. The vocalist pick the songs they want to sing. Now that you are the vocalist --- you get to pick the songs you want to sing. Talk about POWER!

02-03-2005, 02:41 AM
It takes practice and it must be learned just like anything else. Practice, practice, practice...

Los Boleros
02-03-2005, 04:41 AM
Spend your money on song books. They are cheap. out of an entire book, find the two easiest songs to learn and start singing. Keep buying books and learning one or two songs out of each. It's alot cheaper than any lessons. Right now you need to sing and play all the time. I recently started brushing my teeth left handed. I know, only a freak would do such a thing. It was very difficult at first. but after a few weeks, I got the hang of it. Same goes for singing and playing the guitar.

02-03-2005, 11:57 AM
Well, I can tell you how I overcome this problem

First of all I don't start immediately by singing and playing simultaneously, just by learning the guitar part. Only the guitar. I practice it till I know the notes/chords and till I can play that without making a mistake.

Then I learn the singing part, and ONLY THEN do I start synchronizing the two. I then start taking my time to synchronize, and I do this till I don't make a mistake neither in the singing nor in the guitar part.

THEN, I start practicing ONLY the guitar part again, working out all the least nuances, and I practice it till I could play it any time, anyhow.

And I do this till I feel I am ready. Sometimes it takes much time, but otherwise I can't achieve this.

That's all, try that!

Los Boleros
02-03-2005, 10:54 PM
Never end a word with an "R". It just sounds bad. The word "Lover" sounds really bad. Instead, sing it with an "Ah" Sound. "Lovah". People will percieve the "R", and it will sound great.

I think the word "Fun" should never be sung. It just sounds childish. But that is just IMHO.:D

02-04-2005, 02:07 AM
Songs like Nirvana's Polly or Bush's Glycerine are great for starting out.

I'm actually trying to sing Freebird and play all the slide parts. My brain hurts! :) It's a big relief to get to the end solos so I can "shut up and play my guitar" :)

02-04-2005, 02:43 AM
What I do is to master the guitar part first. After I could *feels* and remember the rhythm in my head, I will start to sing. It's like practicing guitar too. The more you practice, you'll get better at it. The hardest part would be to get your voice in tune with the key or else it will sound ugly,lol..

When I was a 17 - 18 teenager, I used to jam and sing Nirvana and some hardcore punk songs. It was really throat abusing. After every session, my voice would sounds like an old-near-death guy! :eek: I guess I didn't sing correctly.

Anyway, I would recommend 'Hotel California' from Eagles, some Ramones and Weezer songs for you to jam with your band. ;)

04-02-2005, 11:38 AM
Wow this is an old thread...To the AUSTRIAN Borshe_mandl_
Singing and playing.....is a bit like juggling, it can be triky...Relaxation is the key, and don't rush in to it lets say you write a song with a basic chord set or melody I just make sounds which resemble the notes_Phrase them to match the Chords.....

.Look out for a theme on which you want to base the song and slowly replace the sounds you are emulating to the chords ...Replace them with well chosen words...and bingo It's natural not forced and when you get bored stick the odd difficult note to get in it......Reaching for harder stuff as it feels more natural......

Crikes is that O.K. ..Disciplin is also good as in stick to the original Jist of those sounds you were making when you first put it together and added the first verse.....As a rule once you have the first verse or chourus...the rest kind of sort themself out on their own with a bit of taste and experimentation:confused: