Singing and playing

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by SpankBass, Oct 8, 2002.

  1. How do you people do it? I'm sitting here trying to sing Everlong and play it on my acoustic at the same time, and it is damn near imposible!

    Are they any useful tips anyone out there can give me? Or is this one of those "practise makes perfect" kind of skills. I hate those kind :D
  2. BassAxe


    Jul 22, 2002
    Culpeper, VA
    I'm struggling with this same topic.

    I focus on which syllable is being sung on which note and tryto get it out of my mouth at the same time as I play that note.

    Somehow, this really throws off my regular need to breathe (an old habit since childhood) and I get lightheaded a lot while practicing this. :rolleyes:
  3. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks!

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    I sing lead about half the time with my blues band, and I sing lead and harmony in my church group. It's not rocket science, you just break it down to the basic parts and practice. First take the bass part and play it while you "sing" the song to yourself in your head. Then sing the song while you "play" the line in your head. Eventually put the two together. Start with something easy and work your way up to the tough stuff. My stumbling blocks were Daytripper by the Beatles and Alive by Pearl Jam, but for different reasons. Daytripper has a complicated lick to play while trying to sound natural singing a fairly easy melody. Alive has a syncopated bass line that's not that complicated, but just sits awkwardly under an emotional vocal part. You never get total independence of the parts(you will always favor one part over the other, bass vs. vocal or vocal vs. bass), but you can get something close. Oh yeah, the Ocean by Led Zepplin was tough, too.

    Chris A.:rolleyes:
  4. Have any well known easy songs that I might be able to start off with? Not necessarily just for bass either, I've been taking a liking to my acoustic guitar lately.
  5. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks!

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    Rolling Stones tunes are always easy.

    Chris A.:rolleyes:
  6. sweetpea

    sweetpea Guest

    Jun 6, 2002
    S'port, LoUiSiAna
    There's a song called Lord I Lift Your Name on High... It's a christian worship song... (those are normally very simple) and It's one of the first songs I learned...

    Singing and playing together... takes practice... you almost have to disconnect your hands from your brain... kinda how drummers have to do two separate things at once.... have you tried the tapping exercise?

    It's quite difficult, and really hilarious to watch someone do...

    Tap you hand on your stomach in quarter notes... then add the other hand by tapping half notes...

    and then hop on whole notes...

    It's pretty fun... :D

    anyway.. it's that kind of thing... doing different things at once... It takes practice...

    Sing it separately... acapella... then play it with the guitar... then add them together...

    Using a metronome helps sometimes...

    start slow... then build to tempo

    Good Luck...

    P.S. If you want the chart to Lord I Lift your name on High, just ask... I can give you... sheet music... a chart...but not tabs :) I could probably even manage a soundfile... PM me if you're interested.
  7. I'm gonna try out that tapping exercise just because it sounds like fun...:D
  8. (First post here)

    But that tapping excersize is why I am not a drummer.. :p
  9. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    Well thanks to this thread I've just discovered something new I can't do! As a former guitar player, I never had a problem singing while dumbstrumming chords. Sang in a band, sang at weddings etc.. No problems at all. It's funny that I've never tried singing since converting to bass a few months ago. I just now gave it a shot and found it impossible. I can sing, or maneuver around the fret board on my bass, but not simultaneously. Total lockup! Talk about starting over. Sheesh!
  10. sweetpea

    sweetpea Guest

    Jun 6, 2002
    S'port, LoUiSiAna
    Welcome to TB Mr Airplane:) So, how long did it take you before you could "successfully" perform the tapping exercise?
  11. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    How you do it is you sing, while you are playing. Works every time.

    :D :D ;)

    You know I love ya, Spanky!
  12. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I'd say do it slowly, and work out exactly how what you're playing coincides with what you're singing - timing wise, i.e. where the notes you're singing fall in relation to the notes you're playing. I found a real tricky one for this was What A Fool Believes by the Doobie Brothers - playing the piano and singing at the same time. I found just doing it slowly, and also practicing the timing in my head when I wasn't actually playing helped.
  13. Eh.. longer than it should have to say the least :p:D
  14. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    don't let singing be harder than it needs to be.. yeah. singing and playing basslines isn't the easiest thing in the world.. but its not impossible.. you just need to be comfortable and relaxed with the song... I never thought I could do it.. until I had no choice and had to sing lead before my band got its now 2 lead singers... you may have to simplify your bass lines a bit or concentrate harder.. but it gets easier with practice
  15. Groovski


    Sep 20, 2002
    My happy place
    I sing lead on about 1/4 of our material and I sing harmony on just about everything we play. I started out just learning how to play a straight walk (12 bar blues) and talking to my friends or reading things outloud and playing in time (with a metronome) Thangs just kinda grew from there. I don't know that its the proper way to learn but it worked for me. Good luck my friend.:)
  16. Sonic

    Sonic Lord of the Grump

    My advice is to find a place where you can't be heard, i.e. bedroom. Then start playing and humming to the music. Then fill in real words now and then (like Axl Rose:D ). Then start singing more and more. Finally it's like second nature to you. But trust me it is a practise to get better thing. Sorry:p
  17. guys like geddy and sting make it look soooooo easy.....:mad:

    i have friends that sing lead and play all night, where i struggle just to do backups while playing bass. it is tough!!!!


    but, when i can concentrate on one (usually the bass part) and let the other go on 'autopilot' (usually the vocal part), it seems to work.

    i find the 'tapping' exercise easy. also, playing 'left hand bass, right hand chords' on keyboards, or 'left hand chords, right hand melody' on keys, that is easy. why is it so tough for me to sing and play bass...
    no clue.