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Singing and playing at the same time?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by laboitenoire, Aug 22, 2007.


  1. Alright, so the second attempt to get a replacement lead singer for my band has fallen through. So, both the lead guitarist and I have pretty good voices (I'm a baritone with a very good falsetto for a 16 year-old). However, neither of us is particularly good at multi-tasking (i.e. singing and playing at the same time). So, I was wondering if anybody has any tips and or tricks as to how to go about putting the two together? My current plan is to just start trying with songs that I can play the bass line and sing the lyrics to comfortably from memory. I'm currently starting with the Marilyn Manson version of Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). I might try to do Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix next (as it's a slightly harder line). After that I'm not sure. Maybe Dream On.
     
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Practice. Start slowly. Start with something easy. Practice. Know each part completely before you put them together.


    I do a lot of this now, and it does get easier. If you practice.
     
  3. Spector_Ray

    Spector_Ray

    Aug 8, 2004
    Texas
    For me, it's always been easier to get the bass lines down first and to find the groove. Once I get locked in that way, I'll get the vocals. Depending on the song, it may take a while to nail it.
     
  4. Deacon_Blues

    Deacon_Blues

    Feb 11, 2007
    Finland
    Check out this thread: Bassists' guide to singing

    I guess you'll find all info you need there. :)

    EDIT: Practice too. A lot. The car is a good place to sing in as you don't disturb anyone then.
     
  5. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I do this on difficult songs. Sometimes I even have to slow the part way down and go beat by beat until I get it worked out but in the long run I find that I tried to rush the singing without having the bass part solid. Like Pacman said practice!
     
  6. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Similar situations had me singing lead vocals off and on with my high school band throughout all the years we were together. By senior year we had two bassist / singers switching out, and a great female singer. It was nice because we all got a break once in a while.

    Hints:

    Practice practice practice. Simplify your basslines as much as possible to make singing / concentration easier. If you can get good at singing and playing, and have any intention of being in bands through your twenties and beyond, even just as a hobbyist, being able to sing is a HUGE asset for you.

    Concentrate like crazy to divorce your bass playing from your singing, don't sing following the bass and don't play bass following the vocal line (too much). You'll need to know the bass guitar part INSIDE AND OUT.

    When you practice bass playing, deliberately stare at the wall or something other than your neck. Nobody wants to watch players staring at their necks. This is a more general tip for all bass players, but is particularly important if you're going to be singing leads. Look at the audience, not your neck.
     
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Similar situations had me singing lead vocals off and on with my high school band throughout all the years we were together. By senior year we had two bassist / singers switching out, and a great female singer. It was nice because we all got a break once in a while. Now in my adult hobbyist band I sing lead vocals for about 4-5 songs (including some really tough Neil Young ones), and backing vocals a lot.

    Hints:

    Practice practice practice. Simplify your basslines as much as possible to make singing / concentration easier. If you can get good at singing and playing, and have any intention of being in bands through your twenties and beyond, even just as a hobbyist, being able to sing is a HUGE asset for you.

    Concentrate like crazy to divorce your bass playing from your singing, don't sing following the bass and don't play bass following the vocal line (too much). You'll need to know the bass guitar part INSIDE AND OUT.

    When you practice bass playing, deliberately stare at the wall or something other than your neck. Nobody wants to watch players staring at their necks. This is a more general tip for all bass players, but is particularly important if you're going to be singing leads. Look at the audience, not your neck.
     

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