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HarryJS

 I can't sing and play guitar at the same time.

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I'd love to be able to sing and play at the same time, but for some reason, I just can't do it and dI really would like some help. 

Whenever I try, there are a few things that happen.

I'll play the song fine, but my singing will get off-rhythm.

I'll sing the song fine, but my playing will get off-rhythm.

Both my singing and playing will be off-rhythm.

Or my my playing will be fine but my voice, instead of singing the correct pitches, will start to follow the pitches of the notes that my guitar is playing.

It's really just a mess but I'd love to learn to do it. Any tips?

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"Or my my playing will be fine but my voice, instead of singing the correct pitches, will start to follow the pitches of the notes that my guitar is playing."

 

 

Aren't you playing the melody line on your guitar?

 

 

You don't say how long you've been playing, or singing, so I have to assume at least one of these is relatively new to you.  Generally, if you wish to be a musician who sings, you must be enough of a musician to not have your concentration split between the two functions.

 

Without knowing anything about your level of playing or your genre of music, I'd say start by playing scales (Major, minor, pentatonic or blues) moving up the neck while you describe what you had for breakfast.  Just talk while you play but split your attention between playing and remembering.  When you can play without thinking about your playing and devote all of your attention to remembering, then you will have made progress.  That's when you stop playing scales and you begin to play the song while describing another daily event like your lunch or your trip to work.

 

Singing on pitch is a totally different matter. 

 

https://www.homespun.com/shop/product/lead-singing-and-rhythm-guitar/

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One thing you could try is starting off with a simple song you don't have to think about the words to. Try singing and playing Mary Had a Little Lamb or Happy Birthday. Once you can sing and play these songs you can move on to a song you are interested in playing, but start with an easier one.

 

Also, playing guitar while concentrating on something else like speaking, like JanVigne has suggested, or reading, is a great way to train your brain to do two separate things at the same time.

 

Hope this helps. 

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There are only two parts to music, tempo and timber. Singing and playing at the same time will improve tempo and timber. I would highly recommend singing and playing at the same time especially if you are a beginner. The frustration will go away the longer you do it .

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I'll agree with @Ray Bergeron.  When I first started playing, I did so with the idea of singing the songs I loved.  Because I knew how the songs were supposed to sound, I could focus on the guitar as an accompaniment.  As I got better, I started playing songs that were more advanced, paying attention to the guitar first, and then the words.

 

These days, and because I'm mostly a rhythm guitar player, getting the rhythm down first makes singing the words along with it easier.

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HarryJS,

 

Along with Ray Bergeron's suggestion, take a simple song and then use a "word-then-chord" approach beginning with larger-to-smaller intervals of time between the word and the chord. Begin with the first line of the song. I hope this makes sense?

 

For example, word - 2 seconds - chord, word - 2 seconds - chord. Repeat this pattern a few times. Then try, word - 1 second - chord, word - 1 second - chords.

 

Using a metronome to help you with the timing can be of help as you can begin with 60bpm then progress to 72bpm and so on.

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I tend to learn the guitar part so it can run on autopilot while I give attention to singing.

 

You can also try to learn in short segments or phrases.

 

 

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