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Question for you musicians out there.


tim_d7
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Same old answer...PRACTICE. I can sing easier playing drums than playing guitar but since I am used to drumming I can key on where the vocals fall on the beat, so that helps.

Just listen to the song and look at the sheet music and notice where the vocals fall in relation to the chord changes. Then strum the song in as simple a fashion as you can until you build up the coordination to go full out. Eventually it just comes without even thinking about it.

When I am learning a new song, I will go through it a LOT of times only playing the chord changes and singing. It's hard to explain but take a simple song, like Knockin On Heavens door. The Chords are in caps:

G D Am

Mama take this badge from me,

G D C

..I can't use it anymore.

G D Am

It's getting dark, too dark to see

G D C

I feel I'm knockin on heaven's door

Now this is in no way meant to be a lesson how to play the song and I am sure the lyrics aint right, but I am just explaining that I won't strum the whole song. I will just hit the G chord when I say "mama" and I won't hit another strum until I hit the D as I sing "badge" and A minor when I sing " me". It's almost like singing acapella , but it is idiot proof until you get up to speed.

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With PP, although I mostly sang backup vocals when I was in bands. Any songs I had lead on, still had to be a pretty straight forward 2/4 beat. If there was too much to think about w/what I was doing on the drums, then I usually couldn't pull of singing the lead.

In some ways, it's easier for me to do it playing the guitar, but really the same rule applies. If it's a lot of individual string picking, I have a harder time w/it. But if it's just strumming in rhythm w/a beat, and singing along, that comes a lot easier.

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Pick a SIMPLE song -- like 3 chords that you know REALLY well. Key of G is always good (everyone knows the I-IV-V in G). Then pick a song in that key (and pick a key you can sing in -- capo if you have to):

Straight to **** by Drivin' n' Cryin'

Knockin' on Heaven's Door by Dylan

Who Loves You Better by Lyle Lovett

Every Rose Has it's Thorn by Poison (Lord, forgive me.....)

etc.

Then practice singing along to the base chords. Don't get fancy. Don't throw in fills. Just strum the chords and sing. Preferably a pendulum strum (just straight up and down). Rhythm will come later -- just practice the simpler songs.

If that key doesn't work, use E (E, A, B). Again, capo if need be (ex: you can use F by capoing at the 1st fret and just playing the open E, A, B chords, which are now F, Bb, C, etc.).

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I'll echo everyone's advice here - pick a simple song and practice your butt off. It will be frustrating at first, just like learning the guitar in the first place, but with enough practice you'll be able to do it with ease. I've been practicing singing while playing the past several years and I've come leaps and bounds from where I was. I still want to improve playing while singing and my voice itself. It's fun and worth it to be able to pick up an acoustic and play songs that people want to hear. I affectionately refer to those songs as "drunk people music."

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Thanks guys. I know most of you were referring to a guitar, but I'm actually playing on a keyboard. I'm sure I can still apply the same principles. Good to know I'm not the only one that has struggled with it.

Good on you for learning that instrument. I wish I had started with it. If you ever decide to play anything else, it will come easier for you, having learned piano.

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Thanks guys. I know most of you were referring to a guitar, but I'm actually playing on a keyboard. I'm sure I can still apply the same principles. Good to know I'm not the only one that has struggled with it.

Exact same. Try "Let it Be" by the Beatles to start. There's more to it than this (hence "leave out the fills"), but you can play the basics of that song with C, G and F. They're all right there together, so it's easy.

And I can't play piano to save my life, so if I can do it, someone relatively accomplished can :lol:

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I would say master the song on whatever instrument you want to play on the song first. I mean to the point where you could play the song with your eyes closed, walking backwards and chewing bubble gum. Once you do that singing should be no problem. Just make sure you can add feel to the song, hit the notes and deliver a good tone.

I started as a drummer and was a 3rd lead in a show band but I didn't really get comfortable until our lead vocalist missed a show at UGA and me and the 2nd lead had to split up his songs. We made it through and got paid. That gave me all the confidence in the world. Confidence is everything on stage.

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Something you might try is after you get the keyboard part down, record it and play it back and practice the singing part with the recorded keyboard until you get the singing part down, that way you'll know better how it's supposed to sound when you sing and play at the same time. It helps sometimes, it's a little less intimidating when you try and practice the two together when you have a feel for how they are supposed to sound that way.

Good luck!

Edited by Major Falcon
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