1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Playing and singing

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by grassjunkie, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. grassjunkie


    Mar 1, 2006
    I am new here, this is such a cool website.

    I have a huge problem with playing and singing, I tend to let the bass follow my voice too much. Any practice techniques to correct this? :help:
  2. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    I can tell you what works for me: get the bass part together first, then the vocals. I think it's hardest to do both at once from scratch. I sing a lot of harmonies, and even after 35 years, I still have to play first, then sing.

    One piece of advice: don't give up. I've heard many many times how hard it is to find a singing bass player. Be one!
  3. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Practice is the key !
  5. Yup - practice. I find that when I'm trying to get vocals and bass down, I practice both together, exactly like I will be playing it. I find if I work on it together, the vocal line becomes part of the natural instinct to play.
  6. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    I find that if I can clearly imagine both the singing and bass part in my mind, and not focus on one or the other, I can play and sing the part. This allows me to practice somewhat inside my own head. Sounds wierd, I know, but it works for me. Other than that, practice, practice, practice. First one part, then the other. As has been said before, if you try playing both parts from scratch, you're probably hosed. Master one part, and then move to the other.
  7. grassjunkie


    Mar 1, 2006
    Thanks I needed the encouragement. I play bluegrass, I don't have a drummer to lead me. If I'm off we all fall on our faces.
  8. grassjunkie


    Mar 1, 2006
    Thanks I needed the encouragement. I play bluegrass, I don't have a drummer to fall back on. If I'm off, we all "hosed"
  9. JansenW


    Nov 14, 2005
    Cambridge, MA
    Practice with a singer.
  10. Everybody has trouble with this. I read a Geddy Lee interview last year and his approach is to take it real, real slow at first to coordinate the playing and singing in slow motion and then speed up as he gets more comfortable.
  11. CrazyArcher


    Aug 5, 2004
    Yeah, doing 2 things together is tricky!
    Well, I've never been into it seriously, but I plan to do some backing vocals with my band, so I'e made several attempts.
    Indeed, first of all you should know your line inside out. Then add vocals. They will sound weird at the beginning, since everyone's voice tends to follow the bassline. Well, as it has been said, practice is the key. The more you train, the more independence your voice gains. Good luck!
  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    repetition. The best practice technique for me was to be lead singer in my high school band. :) My developmental heroes were Paul McCartney, JJ Burnel, John Entwistle, Sting, and Graham Maby so singing (lead or backing) and playing was just part of playing.

    The best thing to start with is simplifying the bass line to the most basic elements while you're singing. You can do fancy stuff when you're silent.
  13. The easiest way I've found is to get a cheap 4-track or other such recording device, record the bass part (in time, preferably with drums), then record another track with just the vocals. Then play along to the recording, and listen to the vocals and exactly how they fit with the rhythm of the tune and the bass part. Once you've done this, then start singing along. Worked for me... doing it this way kinda allows you to isolate what you need to do and hear it in context before you actually have to do it live.

    The only thing I have problems with, when it comes to playing and singing at the same time, is that I find having a 9lb bass hanging around my neck and pushing into my stomach impedes my ability to breathe properly, so I find I have a more limited vocal range while playing. Anyone got any tips for this?