Singing and playing

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by crossoutmyeyes, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. crossoutmyeyes


    Aug 19, 2003
    I am now the singer of my band, but Its really hard to play bass to. Anyone have any good tips?
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I'm by no means an expert at sining and playing, I can sing while playing some songs, but certainly not everything, but that doesn't mean I couldn't learn.

    The way that I do it, is, first I get the bassline solid, 100%, I get it to the point where I don't even need to think about it. Then I memorize the lyrics, I've found that if you have hte bassline totally internalized, it is possible to get by without having hte lyrics memorized, if you have them on a chart, I would imagine it would be the same if you had the lyrics memorized but not the music(but my reading isn't that good :p )

    at anyrate, the trick is to just play your bass part, with confidence, and then layer the vocals ontop, don't think about the bassline too much, because the rhythm might differ from what the rhythm of your vocals, and that can trip you up, focus on singing, leaving the bass part to your fingers.

    hope that helps.
  3. crossoutmyeyes


    Aug 19, 2003
    thanks man, I think thats gonna help alot, which I need alot of right now
  4. Stephen S

    Stephen S Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    San Bernardino, CA
    What I like to do is play the bassline slowly and sing along wiht it at the same speed. Once I get it at a slower tempo, I speed it up,I believe Sting did something similar.
  5. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    Wrong Robot and Steve had some good suggestions.
    I suggest that you learn some Primus stuff. I mean, 1. Les Sings while playing. And 2., You should work up to trying to play that crazy bass line on Tommy The Cat, while singing a song about f*#&ing Tommy The Cat (lol). I think if you can handle that song, you'll be able to handle some other stuff too...
  6. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002

    I performed tommy the cat, singing and playing, it's really much easier than it sounds.

    "american life" is a primus song I was never able to get down singing and playing.
  7. I'm just starting to practice singing and playing. I'm no expert, but it helps me to focus on singing, and playing bass lines that support the melody. So I would suggest getting the vocal part down first, then play a very simple bass part. Embellish the bass part as necessary from there.
  8. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    I find it depends on the tune. Somethinf like Superstition, with a repetive, grooving bassline, i learnt the line first till i could play it without thinking about it, then worked on the vocals.
    Other more complicated tunes require more work. I like to think of these tunes as right and left hand piano parts. The bass being the left, and vox the right. I learn these both at the same time, very slowly. It sometimes even helps to draw up a chart on a grid, with marks showing when to play or sing on each beat of a bar. Tedious, but it works for me.

    Also listen to famoud bass/vocalists live work, to see what they do when they are singing. Quite often they will simplify their playing when singing, and put the chops in when their not. Eg, jack bruce, Paul McCartney, Sting, Glenn Hughes, Mark King.