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Singing and playing at the same time

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by The Metal Guy, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. The Metal Guy

    The Metal Guy

    Nov 5, 2005
    Okay, so here's the chase, I'm in kind of a jam right now.

    Our lead singer left us and I'm the only one who can sing a note, but the problem is, I'm the only one in my 2,000 people school that can play bass. So, I need help with singing and playing bass at the same time.

    I can sing and play guitar at the same time, but just not bass.

    Can someone tell me what records they went along with or what training they used to be able to sing and play at the same time?
  2. Iron Maiden. Not that I have one 100000th of Bruce's pipes- or even pipes at all- but it really helped me to be coordinated.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Wow, talk about starting at the top! Let's take a guy who plays really hard basslines and combine it with a guy who has a really high and clear voice and let's start practicing with that! Geez, give the guy a chance!

    I suggest looking for some simple blues songs to start. Maybe some BB King or some Buddy Guy. It's really a matter of getting used to it. If you can play guitar and sing, you can play bass and sing with some practice.
  4. The Metal Guy

    The Metal Guy

    Nov 5, 2005
    What about Cream?
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Sure. Something like Sunshine Of Your Love or Spoonful is a pretty good one to start on.

  6. Ouch! :smug:

    Well in all fairness I should've also mentioned that learning the Maiden basslines first will get your agility wayyyyy up, and then learning to at least do a basic singalong helps coordination. Killing two birds with one stone, if you will. This was just a personal account and in no way applies to everybody.

    And yeah, Cream does seem like a good idea.
  7. Shearstown


    Oct 15, 2005
    chick magnet by mxpx,
    it's an easy yet bouncy line and he sings on it aswell.
  8. I recommend some U2......Adam Clayton is normally pumping out eigth notes. Good place to start :smug:
  9. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I actually find it harder to play straight eights (or insert straight any note here), than to play more syncopated lines that somewhat follow the melody.
  10. dls59

    dls59 Supporting Member

    I learned to sing and play at the same time to Beatles albums. Seems like a good place to start.
  11. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    Yup, I learned basic singing and stuff just from singing along to beatles records.

    Sunshine of Your Love was the first song I was able to sing and play with at the same time.
  12. Fat Mike from NOFX is probably a really good example of a bass player who sings lead vocals. If you study his basslines you'll see the way he does it is by playing roots and simple lines on the verses and then kicking it up with good fills between lines or doing something fancy at the chorus or the bridge. Each line in his verse is short and punchy so he can play things in between lines. Singing and playing riffs or things that are melodic and repetitive is also easy. But singing and playing grooves is much harder so you probably want to avoid that. For metal (I am guessing you play metal by your name) you probably want to play simple riffs with a lot of emphasys on the root. You definetly want to learn your lines so well that you can easily play without thinking about it.
  13. Commreman

    Commreman Faith, Family, Fitness, and Frets Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    New Jersey
  14. whitedk57


    May 5, 2005
    Franklin, NC
    I work the sound at my church, and there are some people in the band that try to play guitar or bass while singing - TRY being the correct term here. The leader of the worship team can and does pull it off.

    I guess some of the other's suggestions for playing simpler songs would help, but I think it is an intangible component that comes with practice and having good chops on your instrument.

    Maybe you should play guitar (did I say that?) and sing and search for somebody that you can teach bass. The bass doesn't have to be complicated for every song.

    Even a simple bassline would be better than what I've heard by players trying to sing. Do do know how somebody sounds when they are listening and singing while their headphones are on? That's how some of these guys sound!
  15. TomW


    Aug 28, 2005
    Leeds, UK
    I went to a bass clinic last year where one of the speakers was Yolanda Charles (great session bassist) and part of her talk was about singing and playing together.

    She suggested a couple of things:

    -Play bass lines on their own and try to count out loud while you're playing, then count just beat 1, then just 2 etc.

    -When you have a specific song, break down the bass line and find out where exactly the words have to come in, in which gaps or on which note, and practice those little bits before stringing them together.

    No idea if these work because i can barely sing a note, but that's how Yolanda learnt so probably worth trying!
  16. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    That is actually how I learn vox and lines, by breaking them up. It is very time consuming, and a lot of work, but it works. I got discouraged in the beginning by trying to run while running, so to speak.

    It is probably the best way to learn more complicated, syncopated lines, and carry a melody with vocals.
  17. When I learn to sing and play a song I'll do it a few times without worrying about keeping an even tempo. I'll just make sure that when a note and a word should begin at the same time they do, and when a word should be between two notes it's there. Once you get a feel for when your notes and words should happen in relation to each other it's a lot easier to adopt a strict tempo and then speed up.
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Boy, I read threads like this, and I'm so glad that it came naturally to me to sing and play at the same time. Now singing in tune...that was a whole different story. That took years and I still have trouble occasionally.
  19. Same here. I won't say I'm an excellent singer, but I don't have much extra trouble adding words.
  20. some Beatles? - we all know thats possible...