Playing and singing at the same time.. Anybody else has this issue?

3 years ago
2 posts

Hi everybody,

I have been playing guitar for a number of years both electric and acoustic. I feel quite comfortable with it in my hands and playing with or around other people. The problem I always face, especially when it's acoustic is the request "Play a song" and while I would say yes my new audience would question why I am not singing. While I have never been a strong singer this has always been a source of difficulty for me. The problem I face is that I lose my rhythm on the guitar or miss the words I'm supposed to sing when I try and do the two together. I have try to overcome this by practicing the same song but with not much success. 

Has anybody else faced this issue before? 

How did you overcome it? 

Can anybody make suggestions or offer some advice on different techniques to strengthen this area of my playing? 

It would definitely help me either jamming with others, playing in a bar type session or joining a band to be able to provide backing vocals until my voice has the ability to carry a full song. 

I hope to hear from you guys soon



3 years ago
42 posts

Hi Christopher! Welcome to the forum and to the site. 

I'm not a professional guitar player or singer, but what works for me is playing the song very slow, until you can play and sing it without making any mistakes (this is important). This requires a big effort in the beginning, but as you practice you'll be getting better and you'll be able to speed up things. I also had some improvements listening to binaural beats frequently, which are said to coordinate both brain hemispheres.

I think it won't be difficult to find some exercises to improve this skill.

EDIT: I just found this one which can be useful, please check it out:


updated by @fl3k: 11 Nov 2017 15:16:39
3 years ago
14 posts

Hello Christopher,

Everything has to do with focus, practice and tenacity(not giving up easily). Usually we like to stick to the things that we are most comfortable with in music and to avoid the things that we do not like. This causes us to quickly get used to doing the things that we like and more exercised in being weaker in those areas that we might like to do but are too afraid to, because of impatience or time-constraints.

For some people rhythm comes more naturally than others. Here is one good technique that might help. As you play the guitar try dancing along with the beat! And then use your mouth to mark the beat. Gradually, use words to mark the beat as you strum and move to the beat. 

If you are used to playing and standing in one spot for example maybe this is the time to move to the beat and express the beat with your voice...

You will be surprised how quickly you learn to sing along...

Hope this helps.


3 years ago
14 posts

I have some experience in playing ang singing on stage. It's difficult when you begin. First I tried to simplify both my vocal melodies and guiutar work. You must be confident in what you play and what you sing. I always think what and how I sing. I rehearse my guitar work until the moment when I'm not thinking about guitar))) My hands do their job without my mind.  When I study a new song I always use a metronom or beat on my DAW. 

2 years ago
5 posts

Hi Christopher, believe me you are not in a minority with this problem! The problem is especially bad when rhythms in the guitar part don't have any corresponding points in the vocal. The main thing to know , as has been previously mentioned, is that this is something you will have to spend a significant amount of time practising - and by that I mean for every specific song you want to play and sing that doesn't have simple matching rhythms. SO unfortunately I don't believe you'll ever magically be able to play and sing guitar for any new song you want to learn. In my case I sing backing vocals mainly and this is while playing guitar with my function band. When we work on a new song I tend to learn the guitar part first and then look at what backing vocals I can try and perform. In most cases this then identifies some problem points where concentrating on vocal throws the guitar out or vice versa. I then start practising over and over to try and get used to the diffcult section (much like muscle memory eventually helps massively when you are learning a guitar part). The method I use is to identify accent points in the guitar part and remember how they relate in time to the nearest vocal phrase or syllabul I'm trying to sing. If after 30 mins I still can't improve the end result I will decide to rearrange either the vocal or the guitar at that problem point - maybe allowing the guitar timing to move on to the corresponding vocal phrase, maybe dropping the guitar at that point - or maybe just deciding to drop the backing vocal.

As it happens I'm currently trying to do this with the backing vocals of 24K Magic (mainly shouts in between the main vocal lines, but they have varied timings) and I'm having to practice for 30 mins every day (been at it a fortnight so far and it's just about there now!).

Hope this helped



Dave Carter
LeFunk! Wedding and Function Band
2 years ago
26 posts

@fl3k  Do binaural beats really help? I listened to them once but it was just noise. Which ones did you listen to? And in which ways they helped you improve?

2 years ago
11 posts

For me Better man from Pearl Jam has always been an easy and fun to play song. But when it comes to singing along while playing it is always difficult for me. Especially the first part.

updated by @spoonman: 04 May 2018 08:45:28
2 years ago
42 posts


@fl3k  Do binaural beats really help? I listened to them once but it was just noise. Which ones did you listen to? And in which ways they helped you improve?


Hi Paul, sorry for the late answer. I used a mobile app for it some years ago, its name was "Eden Beats" and allowed to chose the target frequency. I used the solfeggio scale, as they are related to some energy centers. I checked some days ago and the app has been discontinued (it wasn't compatible with actual Android versions). I found these in Google Play store. haven't tried them but please let me know if you do:


Brain Wave Therapy (Looks like you can configure the target frequency in this one, maybe you can use 528hz ;))


Binaural Beats Therapy

Binaural beats can cause a particular feeling when using them at first, please proceed with caution and never listen to them while driving. I think they are a good help to balance both brain hemispheres and to leave one's "left-brainer" tendencies. ;-)