Being able to sing and play the guitar at the same time is a fine art that many upcoming songwriters have struggled with. The good news is, as many popular musicians, such as Tracy Chapman and Eric Clapton have proven, it’s not impossible.
If you really want to learn how to become a pro at playing and singing the guitar simultaneously, here are a few steps to follow:
Learn the guitar
Become proficient at playing the guitar before trying to play it and sing a song at the same time. At the very least, you’ll be delaying your progress if you attempt both, so focus on learning to play the guitar first. Whether you hire a specialist or watch YouTube videos, you should start with learning basic chords and then increasing the difficulty as you progress. Once you have mastered playing the guitar, you will spend less time worrying about your playing skills when you make the next step to sing and play at the same time.
When starting out, choose very basic, catchy and uncomplicated songs that you know by heart and have very few strumming patterns. Nursery rhymes and kid songs are great, as well as the universal favorite “Happy Birthday” song. These will help to keep your mind off remembering the song while you focus on the guitar playing action. You can move on to more challenging songs gradually as you improve.
Use a metronome
A rather inexpensive device, you can improve your timing by investing in a metronome. This is something you can do for a few minutes per day, using a simple strumming pattern to the rate of the metronome and, before you know it, your timing will get better.
Hum the tune
Humming the song while playing the guitar will help you to get comfortable with the song’s arrangement in your head before you try to sing it. This is something you should do when you’re trying to improve your coordination and when you’re working with a new or complex song.
As long as you can sing and play the guitar separately, putting them together becomes just a matter of learning how to time the rhythm and then indulging in plenty of practice.