Last Updated on May 14, 2019 by Klaus Crow
Once you know how to play some chords and strum a few songs, the next step is to sing along with the rhythm you are playing.
It’s a great feeling being able to play and sing at the same time.
Developing this skill will open up a whole new world for you. You can entertain friends and family or learn to perform and play for an audience.
For me it’s also a feeling of freedom. Whenever I feel like it, I pick up my guitar and start playing and singing my favorite songs. It makes me feel good instantly.
Learning to play and sing at the same time is tough in the beginning, but if you follow the tips below and practice regularly you will get the hang of it.
Work hard, have fun and reap the benefits!
1 – Start off easy
First things first. Pick a song you like and something that is easy to play. A familiar song with easy chords and an easy strumming pattern.
2 – Listen first
Before you start trying to play and sing simultaneously you first need to listen to the song quite a few times. Listen to the song on your iPod, iPad or whatever device you prefer, until you know the song inside out. Listen to the melody, listen to the lyrics, listen to the guitar and listen to the beat of the song. Try to count the beats. You can do this by listening to the kick (bass drum) and snare of the drummer.
3 – Sing along
Search for the lyrics on the internet and practice singing along with the original song. Master the melody and the lyrics. The better you know the song the easier it will be to play and sing together later on. Memorize the lyrics of the song.
4 – Practice guitar
Now practice the guitar part thoroughly. Make sure you know how to play the chords of the song inside out without having to look at your fingers and be able to play your strumming pattern comfortably.
5 – Count the beat
Pick an easy strumming pattern. If it’s a 4/4 beat (meaning 4 beats in a bar) you can start off with just playing downstrokes on every beat and count along 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4. Try to tap your foot along with the beat. Once you’ve got this covered you can play a little more challenging 4/4 strumming pattern. Continue to count the beat 1-2-3-4 or tap your foot along.
If it’s a 3/4 beat you count 1-2-3, 1-2-3. Turn on the song, concentrate and listen carefully to the kick and snare drum and you’ll hear it.
5 – Play along
Turn on the song again and play it along with your guitar. Don’t sing yet, just play through the song a couple of times until it feels comfortable. Now play along with the song and just listen to kick and the snare of the song. And finally play along and listen to the lyrics. Try to hum or sing along in your head.
6 – Play it on your own
Turn off the music and start playing the song on your guitar. Start with playing the chords and the strumming pattern to the intro of the song so you hear what the song feels like and then try to sing along once the verse starts. You can also start with the chorus first if that sounds more familiar and comfortable.
In the beginning slow down a bit. Slowing down your strumming pattern makes it easier to concentrate and focus on putting it all together.
7 – Practice makes perfect
As with everything you need to practice it over and over. The more you practice the better it gets. Keep on listening to the song whenever and wherever you can. Keep listening to the beat, keep counting, keep singing the song, memorizing the lyrics and keep practicing your guitar.
You’ll get there!
Do you also want to improve your singing skills?
Check out the Top 4 Best Singing Lessons for Musicians