Singing and playing

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by zeh, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. zeh


    Jul 11, 2003
    Lisbon , Portugal
    Can anyone post some tips or exercices for my singing while playing improve? I can sing along simple riffs with simple patterns but with more complicated riffs It gets really hard for me to sing . What can I do? :cool: :bassist:
  2. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Now I'm no expert (but if you do a search, on this subject, you could find an 'expert' or two ;) ), but when I started out, I couldn't even play steady eight notes, now I can. But in my experience, it's a matter of having each part down individually so good you could do it in your sleep. Learn the melody/lyrics away from your bass w/metronome and learn the bassline without singing w/metronome and then together w/metronome. Things are a lot easier when you've got someone/something other than you keeping time.
  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    that's good advice matt, not much I can add to it.

    just want to emphasize the learning of BOTH PARTS FLUENTLY.

    you should have both parts down perfectly.

    the way I do it, I learn the bass first, then just layer the vocals on top.

    Edit: I also make it a goal to be able to sing the part out of rhythm while I'm playing the bass part. if it's a fast line, I'll play the bass at tempo but sing it at cut time.

    or I'll remove any harmonic content from the vocal line and just speak it, while playing the bassline flawlessly.

    That's just a goal of mine when I learn a song, so that I don't need to rely on hte structure of the song and the lyrics to get it right.
  4. Over time you will develope what we call "auto-pilot" for one or the other. Either playing will not be focused on or the singing part.

    When I play and sing, I concentrate more on my voice then I do my playing. The playing comes natural where the singing needs more practice>

    I've been doing both for 30 years. You'll get it, just practice.

    ;) Treena
  5. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Because of the nature of the instrument itself in terms of its relationship with the song's rhythm, a lot of bassists have said that, when writing songs to which they sing, the verse melodies will be written as "simply" as possible.

    Les Claypool comes to mind as someone who has said this. Of course, all things being relative, a "simple" line over which to sing may seem easy as hell for Claypool but near impossible for the bulk of us. ;)

    Anyway, I know that I write simpler lines for the verses when I have to sing.
  6. I do lead vocals + fretless bass, playing 60s and 70s rock numbers. (I was forced in to singing after the singer moved on and we couldn't get another: none of the others sing).

    I guess I learned the bass parts before I did the singing so, for me, that bit was already sorted. It's still difficult doing both, though.

    We sometimes do a version of Mustang Sally and that is really difficult on me as the bass is syncopated.

    But, at the end of the day, it really is all down to private rehersal. I'd spend hours playing unamplified, going slowly through both parts until I'd nailed them. Then it was a matter of building the speed.

    Best of luck. Singing bassists are quite a rare commodity.

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