Many beginners taking guitar lessons cannot wait for the opportunity to start playing and singing their favorite songs. However, learning to sing while simultaneously playing the guitar is harder than some expect. Here are some tips to help you out along the way.
Learn the Song on the Guitar
The first step to learning to sing and play a song on the guitar is to simply learn how to play the song on guitar. Playing and singing can be more challenging than expected as you will likely have two independent, though complementary, rhythms going on at once: one for the guitar and one for your voice. This is akin to each of a drummer’s four limbs having to work independently or trying to pat your head while rubbing your tummy. It takes time to learn how to do.
Pick a Song with a Simple Chord Progression
When starting out, it’s best to pick a song which uses only a few chords and has a simple structure. Here is a short list from which you might find a good song to pick.
Play that Song until You Have It down Cold
It might be helpful to use a metronome to make sure you can play the song in rhythm without slowing down during difficult chord changes.
Be Able to Play the Song while Counting the Beat Out Loud
The best way to start incorporating your voice once you can play the song well is to count the beat out loud while playing. If you can stay on beat while doing this, you are ready to start trying to sing while playing.
Learn to Sing the Song
Make sure you learn the melody, lyrics and what the words actually mean like the back of your hand. To practice, sing in the shower, sing in the car, sing wherever and whenever you can.
Bring It All Together!
You might find it helpful to start by simply humming the melody while playing. Playing slowly also helps. Practice makes perfect here, and patience is key. Don’t get frustrated and take it step by step. Your brain will slowly become accustomed to trying to do two things at once.
Don’t be alarmed! This is a very difficult thing to learn to do, and it can be tough to pick something up by reading a blog post. If you live in the Eugene, Oregon area, sign up for guitar lessons. I teach to guitar players of all levels and can help you take the next step in becoming a better guitar player no matter what it is.