How To Sing And Play Guitar At The Same Time: 4 Clever Tricks

It can make you scream, shout and swear. And it can put you completely off singing. However, singing and playing guitar at the same time isn't so difficult, when you have a few tricks up your sleeve.

Here are 4 hacks to make the multitask feel a little bit more natural:

1) Give each strum a syllable

One trick which helps you to know when to strum is to match the words up with your chord changes.

Normally, on a chord sheet, the chords are put in the right place: just above the word they start on.

Try matching these up and strumming each chord just once to start with, on the syllables they start on as you sing all of the words. This will quickly get you playing and singing in time.

2) Play with your eyes closed

When you're ready to sing as you play your full strumming pattern, one preparatory trick is to practise doing the strumming pattern – and changing from chord to chord – with your eyes closed.

It might sound strange, but closing your eyes opens your ears, and doing this can help you to really hear, and feel the music.

It's a must for those who catch themselves overthinking and losing their rhythm.


3) Allow yourself to make 'mistakes'

When you're new to singing and playing guitar at the same time, you can become very frustrated as you catch yourself strumming along with what you're singing, rather than sticking to your strumming pattern.

The remedy? Accept it. Embrace those strums which waver from your pattern and join in with the rhythm of the words.

A pessimist's mistake can be an optimist's 'happy accident'. Your slip might just sound better than yet another bar of d du udu.

4) Sing songs you love

Well, obviously, you're not going to sing songs you hate. But the importance of singing songs that you really love, and really know, to start with, can't be overstated.

If you're trying to learn how a song goes, vocally, and how to strum it, all at the same time, of course it's going to be a little overwhelming.

However, if it's a song that you can't even resist singing along to as it is, you're going to find adding guitar to that a bit easier and a lot more fun. All you need to do to start with is take some of those words and add a strum!

In need of some songs to sing? Check out our campfire guitar songs for starters, or our list of easy guitar songs.

We hope that these tips have helped and will continue to help you. Now, go and grab your guitar. What are you waiting for?

Roz is a music teacher and our go-to person for anything music theory! When she’s not teaching or writing for Zing, Roz writes and plays in alternative/ psyche /art rock band The Roz Bruce Infusion.

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