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Author Topic: My suggestion for playing and singing at the same time  (Read 2564 times)

5F6-A

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My suggestion for playing and singing at the same time
« on: November 16, 2009, 06:35:14 PM »
My suggestion for playing and singing at the same time.

I'm a teacher ( NOT a guitar teacher ) so I've devised a method or useful tips that should help you with this fairly complex proccess. Remember that you are trying to communicate using two different paths that intertwine with each other in kind of awkward yet beautiful way.

This is how I'd do it.

1.- Learn about rhythm. I'd suggest borrowing a basic drumming method from the libary or buying one. There are some fairly cheap ones that work great.
Learning about rhythm, accents, pauses and stamina is arguably the most important aspect of guitar playing. It'll affect your rhythm playing but also your solo work and how solid you sound. A player with a weak sense of timing and rhythm will NOT sound convincing ever in his/her playing life. Take it from me. I've been there for ages...

2.- Apply that knowledge to your rhythm playing; trying to play the simplest of tunes, enjoying and feeling every chord. Keep it as simple as possible and as mistake free as possible. Play for looooong periods, ideally with a metronome, listening to your rhythmic playing and be brutally honest with yourself. Is it groovy or is it dead?
Example of something very simple played really badly;

YouTube - Bill Murray and Eric Clapton - Crossroads

Awful isn't it? The vintage guitar, the good amp and the sympathetic crowd could not help a really foul performance. To be fair Bill is not a guitar player but still....

3.- Next step; Put your guitar down. Stand in front of mike. Get some vocal tuition material and practice some singing technique like breathing exercises &  mouth position. Sing clearly. Try to sing as if you were trying to speak to somebody across the street. People want ot be able to tell what you are singing/saying. Do it carefully. Be aware of timing and try to be in tune. Relax and practice over a good length of time, in the sense of a good few months. With singing is more important little and often practice rather than long sessions.

4.- When comfortable carrying a tune with your voice pick your guitar again. Play rhythm as you practised before. Your guitar playing should be steady and characterful.
Start singing a simple melody over the guitar playing. At first it’ll feel weird as you have learnt both disciplines separately. Don’t give up. Keep it simple and slow and build up your speed and confidence.

5.- Listening to the greats might not be advisable at first though. If you listen to the few great players /singers you might be discouraged as being fully competent in both disciplines at once is hard.

6.- Be honest and DO NOT RUSH. Don’t give up and keep it simple and steady. When you can do it fine without mistakes allow yourself some freedom and emotion. Then let yourself go and don’t look back.

7.- If  everything else fails take the BB King approach; sing while not playing and play when not singing. :lol:
Why waste your breath moaning at the crowds? Nothing can be done to stop the shouting; if every tongue was still, the stones and rocks themselves would start to sing.

38thBeatle

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Re: My suggestion for playing and singing at the same time
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2009, 06:47:03 PM »
Some very sound advice here.
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5F6-A

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Re: My suggestion for playing and singing at the same time
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2009, 07:26:48 PM »
cheers!
Why waste your breath moaning at the crowds? Nothing can be done to stop the shouting; if every tongue was still, the stones and rocks themselves would start to sing.

choucas09

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Re: My suggestion for playing and singing at the same time
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2009, 02:40:20 AM »
Or..., have a couple of Stella's and a toke and wing it.

AndyR

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Re: My suggestion for playing and singing at the same time
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2009, 12:23:44 PM »
Yeah, some good advice here...

And actually, this ain't bad either (except for me it was Special Brew and I wasn't into the toke bit :lol:)

Or..., have a couple of Stella's and a toke and wing it.

There's one thing I can add that my singing teacher said in my very first lesson (late 70s). I was demoing what I could do - some of the songs I'd written - by strumming an accoustic and singing.

Guitarists will NOT like this (I didn't!) but it turned out it was absolutely true -


He said - stop concentrating on the guitar so much, it'll play itself.

I went - but it's all I can do to get it right!!

He said - stop worrying about it, it sounds fine, even if you're making mistakes on what you're trying to play, I can't hear them... let the guitar play itself and concentrate on singing...

:D
Play or Download AndyR Music at http://www.alonetone.com/andyr

badgermark

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Re: My suggestion for playing and singing at the same time
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2009, 03:51:49 PM »
That Bill Murray video was fantastic. Yeah so he isn't the best player but he had charisma and charm to make the audience have a good time. That's all that matters really.
Mississippi Queens, Holydiver.

5F6-A

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Re: My suggestion for playing and singing at the same time
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2009, 08:23:52 AM »
That Bill Murray video was fantastic. Yeah so he isn't the best player but he had charisma and charm to make the audience have a good time. That's all that matters really.

that's why he is an actor and not a musician. Thank goodness...
Why waste your breath moaning at the crowds? Nothing can be done to stop the shouting; if every tongue was still, the stones and rocks themselves would start to sing.

Ian Price

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Re: My suggestion for playing and singing at the same time
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2009, 09:50:44 AM »
That Bill Murray video was fantastic. Yeah so he isn't the best player but he had charisma and charm to make the audience have a good time. That's all that matters really.

I agree with this. He's obviously having a good time doing it, probably aware that he could be better but does it anyway.

2.-Example of something very simple played really badly;

YouTube - Bill Murray and Eric Clapton - Crossroads

Awful isn't it? The vintage guitar, the good amp and the sympathetic crowd could not help a really foul performance. To be fair Bill is not a guitar player but still....

I'm sorry but I find that comment to be total snobbery. Purely by the fact that he has a guitar and is playing it 'qualifies' him as a guitar player. So what if it's not a wonderful rendition. As I noted above he's probably aware of that yet still plays. If I was a hugely paid actor (and I'm not  :o), had access to great guitars and amps, and was invited by Eric Clapton to do a rudimentary run through of a song on stage I would definitely be up for it. At least I think I would be anyway.
I think I hate being indecisive.

il˙ti

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Re: My suggestion for playing and singing at the same time
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2009, 12:38:24 AM »
Bill Murrey is still better than Eric Clapton.
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5F6-A

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Re: My suggestion for playing and singing at the same time
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2009, 03:28:10 PM »
That Bill Murray video was fantastic. Yeah so he isn't the best player but he had charisma and charm to make the audience have a good time. That's all that matters really.

I agree with this. He's obviously having a good time doing it, probably aware that he could be better but does it anyway.

2.-Example of something very simple played really badly;

YouTube - Bill Murray and Eric Clapton - Crossroads

Awful isn't it? The vintage guitar, the good amp and the sympathetic crowd could not help a really foul performance. To be fair Bill is not a guitar player but still....

I'm sorry but I find that comment to be total snobbery. Purely by the fact that he has a guitar and is playing it 'qualifies' him as a guitar player. So what if it's not a wonderful rendition. As I noted above he's probably aware of that yet still plays. If I was a hugely paid actor (and I'm not  :o), had access to great guitars and amps, and was invited by Eric Clapton to do a rudimentary run through of a song on stage I would definitely be up for it. At least I think I would be anyway.

it's not meant to be snobbish at all. I have nothing against mr Murray. Just showinfg it as an example for us really.  I was pointing out that good  rhythm playing is important. I think most people could not see anything else in my statement and I'm sorry if it got taken the wrong way.

Why waste your breath moaning at the crowds? Nothing can be done to stop the shouting; if every tongue was still, the stones and rocks themselves would start to sing.

Ian Price

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Re: My suggestion for playing and singing at the same time
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2009, 08:35:37 PM »
Fair enough. Perhaps I misinterpreted. It's difficult to ascertain tone when something is written rather than spoken.
I think I hate being indecisive.

5F6-A

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Re: My suggestion for playing and singing at the same time
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2009, 07:11:07 AM »
all is good!!  8)
Why waste your breath moaning at the crowds? Nothing can be done to stop the shouting; if every tongue was still, the stones and rocks themselves would start to sing.