How do you play guitar and sing in a rock band at the same time?

You have to memorize the chords and lyrics.I could probably learn guitar but how to sing too?

Chosen Answer:

I asked this same question to some industry pros about 8 years ago. I couldnt get my hands to do what they had to do while concentrating on the lyrics and melody. I’ll tell you exactly what they told me: It just happens. The answer wasnt satisfactory to me at the time, it just sounded like he was saying “I’m just better than you,” but it’s true. Eventually you get comfortable enough with the guitar that it becomes almost an involuntary function of your body. To practice this, though, is rather annoying when you first start.

I would pick a song with a simple chord structure and one that has an easy and unchanging strumming pattern. Sublime was usually good for that. Boss DJ or Saw Red come to mind. Once you have a song that you are very familiar with that fits that criteria, attempt it first at a reduced tempo. Soon the contrast between the rhythm of the lyrics and guitar become a pattern that is comfortable to you and you will be able to do it in your sleep.

At a certain point in learning the guitar this technique will become moot. You will eventually be able to sing to the most complicated songs with no problem.
by:
on: 7th June 09

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10 Responses to How do you play guitar and sing in a rock band at the same time?

  1. Gay Pikachu says:

    You play the song and sing into the mic at the same time, but you have to be stationery while playing : (

  2. Toby says:

    practice!!!!

  3. Mega D and The Squad of Detheads says:

    Well if your a good singer just play guitar while talking then progress to humming the lyrics then try singing while playing its not easy and a lotta practice is required

  4. Peepaw says:

    These guys never seemed to have a problem doing it.

    Eric Clapton – Cream
    Stevie Ray Vaughan – Double Trouble
    Paul McCartney – Beatles
    John Lennon – Beatles
    George Harrison – Beatles
    Tom Petty – The Heartbreakers
    Jeff Lynn – ELO
    Buddy Holly – The Cricketts

  5. Cookie Cutter says:

    As long as you’re not playing the guitar with your mouth, then you should be able to sing too. ;P (sorry I couldn’t resists) lol

  6. Guitarchitect says:

    I asked this same question to some industry pros about 8 years ago. I couldnt get my hands to do what they had to do while concentrating on the lyrics and melody. I’ll tell you exactly what they told me: It just happens. The answer wasnt satisfactory to me at the time, it just sounded like he was saying “I’m just better than you,” but it’s true. Eventually you get comfortable enough with the guitar that it becomes almost an involuntary function of your body. To practice this, though, is rather annoying when you first start.

    I would pick a song with a simple chord structure and one that has an easy and unchanging strumming pattern. Sublime was usually good for that. Boss DJ or Saw Red come to mind. Once you have a song that you are very familiar with that fits that criteria, attempt it first at a reduced tempo. Soon the contrast between the rhythm of the lyrics and guitar become a pattern that is comfortable to you and you will be able to do it in your sleep.

    At a certain point in learning the guitar this technique will become moot. You will eventually be able to sing to the most complicated songs with no problem.

  7. Alyson says:

    it takes actual talent, and practice.

    that’s why so many bands out there suck, they don’t have talent.

  8. souperman says:

    practice makes perfect

  9. briscola9 says:

    A Ton of practice

  10. BCJI says:

    you need to learn a guitar part to the point where you can do it on autopilot then start singing don’t think too hard about the guitar and focus mostly on singing. practice talking while playing the sweet child o mine riff to get an idea of i’m talking about

    basically you still realize your playing but the majority of your attention is on the singing once you do the sweet child o mine thing you will realize what I’m talking about

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