posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 12:27 AM
Start with the voice, then add the guitar
When people listen to a song, it's the voice they listen to most. That's just natural; human beings are wired for maximal sensitivity to the human
So when you're singing and playing an instrument, the singing must come first. The instrument is there to support the voice, not the other way
Therefore, don't think about it as singing while playing your instrument. To begin with at least, think about it as accompanying your voice
with your instrument.
First of all, learn to sing the song as well as you can. Don't even pick up your guitar while doing this. Learn to sing the song a capella
Learn it properly. Not just the notes. Find your own relationship with the lyrics and find your own way of expresssing it. Turn your vocal into the
best performance you can.
By the time you're halfway through that process, you'll find yourself tapping your feet, clapping your hands, popping your fingers or whatever it is
you normally do to keep time while singing.
Pick up your guitar and use that to keep time instead. Keep the guitar part as easy as possible, so that it's more or less automatic as you sing --
just changing chords and strumming.
As you pick up the habit, you'll be able to manage more difficult things -- riffs or little embroidery figures -- aroung the basic chords of the
accompaniment. Till then, keep it simple and just play the chords in time to the rhythm.
Eventually, if you keep at it, you'll become like Jack White of the White Stripes -- someone whose singing and playing are integrated into a single
whole, so that the voice and guitar weave in and out of each other, passing the melody back and forth between them.
By then, you'll be a master.
But if it doesn't ever happen, console yourself that not all the masters are good at this either. Notoriously, the great BB King could never learn to
sing and play at the same time.