Can't sing and play!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by mrb327, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    Tried, but suck. Unless its all 1/8 notes.

    Band is planning on doing Cream's White Room. No one else knows the lyrics, plus they are learning the song.

    Other than woodshedding the crap out of this, any suggestions to play and sing?
  2. Marginal Tom

    Marginal Tom

    Apr 28, 2010
    O'Fallon, IL
    Practice singing it while playing the simplest bass line you can. Once you can do that, then work on improving the bass line.
  3. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    It was/is hard for me but gets easier the more you do it. I suggest getting the bass line down so you can do it in your sleep, then work on singing with it, piece by piece. Choose a line and work on that, and so on. Thats what I did.
  4. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    Used to be hard for me but I am the point where I can play and sing without thinking about it. All you can do is practice. One trick that a friend suggested was that when I am practicing at home, mouth the words without actually singing them loudly. That way I do not have to worry about trying to sing in key and can focusing on playing. It worked and I found that after a while, I could play and sing very easily. Also, sing along with songs while picturing yourself playing the bass.
  5. thunderbird66


    Sep 30, 2012
    west Texas
    Practice in the dark. It works.
  6. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Takes practice, just start singing under your breath as you play, when that is working increase the volume. Take heart, for some reason the drummer and the bass are not expected to sing. But one of you will have to step up and do the dead.
  7. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    So you're starting, the first easy-enough song that got me going on sing-playing was Primus' "to defy". Then a couple of little old country tunes like "whiskey river". "sweet wine" is another super easy one. I noticed that I get significantly better at singing while playing the more I force myself to hold a steady conversation while playing something. "bloodstains" by agent orange is still impossible to play and sing at a faster-than-slow-reggae pace.

    +1 for the dark.
  8. jj4001


    Dec 27, 2010
    Providence, RI
    You can do it but you have to put in the time. There's no substitute for practicing it over and over. Before you know it, you won't be able to play the bassline without singing it, too. :)
  9. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    All good suggestions everyone!
  10. :ninja: Creepy :ninja: What else do you do in dark :ninja:
  11. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    Muscle memory, like said before. Practice until you can play the bass line without thinking about it.
  12. wmheilma


    Jan 5, 2010
    Last weekend I got out in front of a big audience singing lead and playing fretless six string bass. Here is my $.02:
    Playing bass and singing gets easier the more you do it. I've gone as far as to write out the bass part and read it while singing for practice. You have got to hear both parts in the same way a piano player hears two hands as one expression. It is hard! So much attention is required to really groove on bass or vocals that it's easy for one or the other to get weak. Keep practicing the parts that trip you up. You'll get it. Hang in there.
  13. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    I don't know how McCartney does it. He makes it look effortless. Try playing and singing "Day Tripper".
  14. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    That's because Sir Paul is special.

    I'm special too, just in the wrong sort of way!
  15. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    The problem is executing 2 rhythms at once : a bass line and a vocal line.

    try this:
    Put down the bass.
    Try to clap the exact rhythm of the bass line.
    Once you can clap exactly the rhythm of the bass line, start singing the vocal line.
    When singing, worry less about pitch (for now)and more about the rhythmic phrase
    Learn where the rhythms are in sync and when they are countering each other.

    Once you can clap and sing the rhythms with confidence, then pick up the bass and play.
  16. ImNotJoel


    Jan 12, 2014
    +1 to everyone great suggestions all I can add that helps is relating the vocal notes to the progression of the's so much easier to sing and play guitar, I wonder how some drummers sing and play.
  17. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    You want an answer that doesn't involve any real effort. With that attitude, you are beaten before you start.

    Just give up and don't bother other people with your whining.
  18. just pick easy songs to play, then practice the singing.
    This is why simple blues is a good place to start.
    straight ahead bass line, straight ahead vocal part.
    start there, and take small steps to get where you want to be.
    took me about 3 years to be comfortable singing and playing.
    Then I found a much better singer!
  19. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Learn how the rhythms interact (bass and voice) together and learn to hear them as one rhythm. Counterpoint is why you're having problems.
  20. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    Not whining. Its a general instruction question intended to better our skills. Sorry you took it otherwise.

    I have tried some of these already, and will try some more this weekend while I practice. Thanks everyone