28 September, 2009

HOW TO play the guitar and sing at the same time

This has been a topic that I've been thinking of for some time. It's a very real and important question that people have been asking, and I've been thinking of how to write about this.

Honestly, how I learned to play the guitar and sing at the same time was just through sheer practice. I know that is an unsatisfying answer because as you probably know from all my previous posts, "practice" has always been part of my answers. So, I'll do something more by explaining how to practice it.

Start with a simple strumming pattern
I would suggest that when you play a song, use the most basic of strumming patterns. This means, for a 4/4 beat song, use 4 downstrokes. For a 3/4 beat song, use 3 downstrokes.

You might ask why we need to use such simple strumming patterns. The reason is, it's the simple strumming patterns that allow you to focus more on your singing, rather than the strumming. Imagine, if you were to use a complex strumming pattern, you would have to concentrate a whole lot on the strumming pattern. Adding the singing in would be very hard and challenging.

So, let's use a song for example. Since this is a christian blog, I'll be using the song "Jesus Loves Me". I'm quite sure most of you know this song. It's the one that goes "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so..."

This song is in 4/4. The chords for the verse: D, D7, G, D, D, Bm, GD,AD (chords that are separated by the commas are 4 beats, chords that are not separated are 2 beats).

Then comes the chorus: "Yes, Jesus loves me..." Chords are: D, G, D, A, D, G, DA, D

Step 1: Use the simple strumming pattern to play the song WITHOUT singing till you are comfortable the chords and able to change quickly

Step 2: With the same strumming pattern, add in the singing.

Step 3: After you've mastered playing and singing with the simple strumming pattern, move on to the next strumming pattern (D,D,UDU,DD,DU)

Step 4: Try out other strumming patterns that I have mentioned over my blog before (D,DU,UDU)

The video below should make things clearer:

And yes, I will end my post with something which every aspiring guitarist should do: "practice, practice, and practice".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Daniel! I am currently learning my 3rd song. I learned my first two this way (Lord I Lift Your Name on High & Pour Out My Heart) and am learning Beautiful Lord this way as well :) You are a blessing!