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Old Jan 09, 2004, 04:01 AM   #1
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Default Singing and Playing

Do you find it's difficult to sing and play your instrument at the same time? Do you think it depends on if you're singing lead or singing harmonies? Do you think it depends on what instrument you're playing? Do you think it depends on your proficiency with the instrument?

I've been playing the piano for over 30 years and I find it's VERY easy to sing and play at the same time. Doesn't matter if I'm singing lead or harmony...piece of cake.

I've only been playing bass for 10 months and I find that it's easy to sing lead while playing, but harder to sing harmonies. I think that's kind of due to the fact that I'm not proficient on my instrument yet, so I have to concentrate on my bass playing more than I would on my piano playing, but I also think it's something to do with the instrument itself. I mean, you see TONS of singing pianists, but you don't see too many singing bass players (besides the obvious ones, of course!), so I wonder. Maybe it's because the bass isn't playing the melody either and it's like doing two different harmonies at once? I don't know.

And well, of course, if I'm playing the flute, I'm not singing at all. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

I'd love to hear from other singer/instrumentalists on this one. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
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Old Jan 09, 2004, 12:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: Singing and Playing

the more i do it the easier it becomes. i could do it right away with guitar...even with songs like "4 + 20". but a friend of mine, who is waaaaay better at guitar than i am, couldnt sing while playing until he realized that singing while playing is just like talking while playing. haha
piano for me is a little harder. i have to concentrate at too many things at once. my puny brain just gets exhausted!!
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Old Jan 09, 2004, 12:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: Singing and Playing

Neat topic. I don't usually sing, unless I'm alone and a song I know comes on the radio. The only time I sing outloud in public, is if there's a Bealtes song, lol. Anyway, I like singing, I think it's kinda liberating. I play guitar also, which is my pride and joy. I find it extremely hard to play and sing at the same time, it's almost impossible for me. I try, but I just can't take my mind off the guitar. If it's something I know, and only has maybe a 3-chord progression, then it's not as hard, but overall, I probably wouldn't be able to sing and play guitar if my life depended on it, lol.
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Old Jan 09, 2004, 03:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Singing and Playing

I can play keyboards and sing lead easily. I have a bit of trouble singing harmony on its own because I've always focussed on the lead when listening to the songs. If I know the harmony vocal line then it's easy to play keyboards and sing along.

I can't sing and play bass yet though. If I try singing then my bass line becomes very simple and vice versa.
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Old Jan 09, 2004, 07:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Singing and Playing

If I've practiced the song enough times, either on piano or guitar, then singing just comes naturally. However, playing lead and singing is sometimes a little more confusing. Singing harmony isn't a problem, either, since I've always listened to "John's part" in a song. [img]graemlins/teeth1.gif[/img]

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Old Jan 10, 2004, 01:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Singing and Playing

[img]graemlins/eyebrows.gif[/img] * [img]graemlins/eyebrows.gif[/img] * [img]graemlins/eyebrows.gif[/img] * [img]graemlins/eyebrows.gif[/img] *
Great topic!
Playing and singing is like a magic trick you have to play on yourself.
For me, it came from learning songs and hitting
the chords while softly humming along and building up from there.Im always a guitarist first
and sing a very distant second.My one saving grace (or curse)is that Im a mimic.A frustrated Mel Blanc wannabe.I can sound like alot of singers
and consequently get stuck having to sing lead and play,notoriously forgetting lyrics and making them up*One I could never nail is Paul on Here,There and Everywhere.
This brings me to backups/harmony,I find after singing lead harmony vocals (particarly Beatles)are rough without lots of practice while playing:lookaround:*
O.K. I hope this helps or at least amused gotta go to work-"Feeling lowdown"
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Old Jan 10, 2004, 02:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: Singing and Playing

Originally Posted By Harbidge:
I have a bit of trouble singing harmony on its own .......
<font size="2" face="Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif">[img]graemlins/laugh2.gif[/img] yeah Harb, I also have that. So difficult to do Bohemian Rapsody..

Playing guitar and singing is no problem to me, however I still have that only when I play finger picking, as John Lennon would probably call "the Donovan way".

But that's probably the similar handicap I have with playing piano/keyboard, controlling the left hand from not doing what the right hand's doing. Like one half's going where the other half's just been.
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Old Jan 10, 2004, 01:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Singing and Playing

I find it very difficult to sing and play guitar at the same time. It's easier to just play some rythmic chords, but particular notes (like Day Tripper) are really hard for me. All the more reason why I respect muscians!
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Old Jan 10, 2004, 05:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Singing and Playing

i can play the piano and sing along, but tend only to do that when on my own, dont want to inflict that noise on any other poor souls. [img]graemlins/laugh5.gif[/img]
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Old Jan 10, 2004, 07:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Singing and Playing

singing and playing rhythem is not so hard, and singing playing lead is more difficult but not undoable once you practice it a few times.

My drummer sings a lot of leads and his drumming suffers from it 80% of the time.
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