does playing an instrument (not counting drums) make you a better singer?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bon viesta, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    i’m 15, so naturally i find myself singing in the shower because i have nothing else to do with my time in there. but lately i find that my learned ability to find the root note in any given song (on bass) has lent itself well to being able to “”””””sing”””””” in tune with myself and not be totally tone deaf. i’m only like… 30% tone deaf :D hence why i’m not a singer. do you think musicians can naturally battle tone-deafness in singing more easily than someone who doesn’t always try to find what notes go where at what time and when to return to the same notes?

    and i mention “not drums” because drums aren’t melodic, hence no effort to find any notes and so the argument/question doesn’t really apply.
    Peter Torning likes this.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    BBQisgood, Real Soon, design and 8 others like this.
  3. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Sure, anything that improves your musical ear will help anything else that requires a musical ear. In my experience, however, I've found that being lead vocalist helped my musical ear, and thus my guitar and bass playing, much more than playing instruments helped my vocals. I think that's because with vocals, you have to generate the pitch yourself, while with guitar and bass, as long as it's in tune and you know where (and when) to fret, it works. Getting vocal pitch correct is especially challenging when you're on stage and can barely hear yourself amidst loud drums and guitars.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Absolutely. And the inverse is true as well. Singing will make you better at your instrument.

    Playing bass and singing is hard. I can strum a guitar, or play what little piano I play, and sing with zero difficulty. But singing while playing bass (which I've done for 35 years now) is still a challenge and times.

    I promise you will he more I'm demand as a bass player if you also sing (at least backups vocals). Start trying now.
    rafunk, design, Bassngtr and 7 others like this.
  5. Well, it certainly helps to drown out the screeching.
  6. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    just the other day i tried to play while singing and… oh my god haha. very embarrassing. my voice is low, and so i was just kind of sounding like someone trying to sound scary (think of someone singing really low like they’re in an opera or something) and it was totally off key and just a total mess. i could maybe play simple piano and sing a song if i practiced a couple dozen times, but bass is very difficult.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    So, when you're by yourself, try simply singing scales as you play them. Your vocal range is higher than you think. You just need to build up your confidence. Play tue scales slowly and make sure you are on pitch vocally before going to tue next note. Amd project! Don't yell. But sit or stand up straight and let it fly.

    Trust me, you will be ten times more valuable moving forward if you figure out how to contribute to bands vocally.
  8. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Guest

    Nov 22, 2017
    Ear/pitch training will make you a better singer. It just so happens that learning to recognize and hear intervals while you play the bass is also helping to train your ear. Many singers do exercises where they work to match pitches on a piano, so this is in the same ballpark.

    As pointed out, singing while playing bass is a bit more tricky.
  9. just keep on singing and when your sick of it sing some more :D singing is an art and you have the skills to present a masterpiece, just have to keep sculpting your vocal chords just like your doing now.
    and playing bass while trying to sing is a very humbling reality check,,but as time goes on and you get a little better at it,it becomes very addicting to beat the challenge....Cheers.:bassist:
  10. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    Not when I try to do it at the same time. Actually makes me worse on both counts.

    In general, though, yes.
  11. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    It might, but I definitely think singing will make you a better instrument player. With instruments, you can kind of get away from needing to listen to pitch if everything is in tune and setup correctly. You can actually get quite far just off of that and music notation or even theory. With singing, you have to have a good ear, and practicing that will definitely make you a stronger musician overall.
  12. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Since I was nine years old (60 years ago) I've played several instruments including accordion, piano, harmonica, guitar and bass. I can safely say playing them did not make me a better singer.

    My son took singing lessons and sang with a few chorales. That definitely made him a better singer.
  13. Yeah. Same here. I’m just more aware of how bad my singing is.
  14. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Drums is the only instrument that can ever improve your singing.
    garrett77 likes this.
  15. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile, ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀ Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    It's the other way around IMO
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  16. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    The myth is that singing is all about ear training, but there are at least two components to singing: pitch and technique. Playing an instrument will help with pitch, especially if you sing along with your notes and/or transcribe songs by ear. A teacher is probably the best bet for the technique. I pretty much ruined my voice when I was your age, screaming along with Black Flag records.
  17. I wouldn’t discount drums or drummers as singers. There’s been plenty of great voices sitting behind the kit.

    Rhythmic accuracy and note duration, phrasing, and dynamics. There’s more to great vocals than pitch.
  18. BobDeRosa

    BobDeRosa Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 16, 2012
    Finger Lakes area of New York State
    Owner, Tritone Jazz Fantasy Camps
    Any musical exercise done with patience, focus, and care will make you a better musician.
    AGCurry and instrumentalist like this.
  19. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    Yes and drums does as well. Part of being a good singer is not only pitch and intonation but also rhythm and time.
  20. WillyW

    WillyW l’art pour l’art, fonction de baise Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2019