Many people can sing at least decently. Many people can play guitar, or at least a few chords. However, when trying to combine the two, many people struggle and get frustrated. If you have ever had this experience or if you want to become better at singing and playing guitar, then you know that playing and singing together can be a challenge.
It is a fact that humans cannot think about two things at once. When you multi-task, your brain is flipping back and forth between two things. Music is no different. At first, when you try to play guitar and sing, you will most likely sacrifice your singing, your guitar playing, or both.
There is a solution. There is a way to play simple, intermediate, or advanced guitar parts while singing with confidence and precision. The secret to playing guitar and singing starts and ends with your mind and your focus.
Here are the top six steps to play guitar and sing like a pro!
- Break It Down – Just focus on one little section or phrase of a song at a time.
- Divide the song into sections (verse, chorus, bridge) and then divide into subsections
- Divide the song into as small of sections as possible and master one part at a time
- Isolate Your Focus – Practice the guitar and vocal part separately
- For example, until you are confident about the guitar part, it will be nearly impossible to add vocals while playing.
- Focus only on one element of the music. For example just focus on singing the notes while strumming the guitar. Don’t also try to focus on rhythm, breathing, dynamics, etc. while you are first learning to play and sing a song.
- Keep It Simple – Simplify both the guitar and vocal melody as much as possible while practicing
- For example instead of playing the guitar in rhythm, simply strum one chord, sing the line, then switch to the next chord and sing the next line
- Remove all vocal flourishes, runs, dynamics, etc. at the early stage of combining guitar and voice
- Automate – Memorize a small section of the guitar part. And memorize the same section of the vocal melody.
- If you do not know which part is next, this will trip you up and make it take much longer to play and sing. Memorize little passages so you know what is coming up and can isolate your focus
- The more you can do on autopilot (i.e. strum, incorporate dynamics, sing the lyrics, etc.), the more you can focus on higher level musical elements and perform the song with style, passion, and authenticity.
- Visualize – Visualize yourself playing and singing the song. The more detail the better.
- Rehearse playing and singing together in your mind. This may actually be more important than physically playing/practicing the song with the instrument in your hand.
- Integrate – Just do it! Play and sing together
- After you feel confident visualizing yourself playing and singing the song, just do it
- Simply doing it and allowing yourself to make mistakes will enable your subconscious mind to take over, correct mistakes, and empower you to make rapid improvements as you sing and play with confidence.
With the right mindset, you can learn to play guitar and sing like a professional or even just like a confident hobbyist. You can live on fire and achieve whatever you want in music. The secret to unlock your musical dreams begins in your mind.
To learn more about how to sing and play guitar (or piano), find a music teacher near you who specializes in teaching students to master this art. You will benefit greatly from guitar, piano, or voice lessons from a master instructor.
If you live near Troy, Michigan, go to www.jropro.com to receive a free assessment lesson at the J-RO School of Music. Make your musical dreams a reality!
About the author: Josh Ross is a professional musician and the founder of the J-RO School of Music in Troy, MI. For the past decade, he has empowered his students to reach their musical dreams and to experience incredible fulfillment through music. If you are interested in taking guitar lessons, piano lessons, or voice lessons in Troy, MI, then contact Josh at www.jropro.com for a FREE Assessment Lesson.
Josh Ross – Founder J-RO School of Music
Piano, Voice, & Guitar Lessons in Troy, MI