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Playing guitar and sing - struggle with coordination/focus

Hey friends

I'm a guitarist and songwriter who was strongly encouraged/persuaded to sing. So, I don't have looots of background with sining.

I have never regretted that step and I've learnt to accept/love my voice. But I have a hard time to coordinate playing and sing in front of a crowd. Whether I focus on playing with soul or singing with my whole heart.

Either my playing sounds "clean"/ steril and flat or my singing seems to lose soul. It's not really about coordination I guess. I play/sing in tune but I struggle with my concentration and my focus. This obviously can be noticed in the studio.

Do you have same experiences? Any help or ideas?

PS: stop playing guitar is out of question :P (among other things `cause there is no other guitarist who shares our interests/goals and we attach great weight to our guitar work)


  • WigsWigs Moderator, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 5,039
    I'd love to hear a demo! You can post it in the student area first if you like under student demos if your not keen on everyone hearing an unpolished song. I'm not a musician by any means so I can't help with technique or anything like that unfortunately. My only thoughts would be alot of practice ๐Ÿ™‚
  • sabrina_CHsabrina_CH 2.0 PRO Posts: 10
    Yeah, "practise" is one of our top ten words in the band :D

    Well, we have recently released our third album, so there are no demos/rough ideas right now - only polished songs :D But there will be soon. Thanks for the hint!
  • sabrina_CHsabrina_CH 2.0 PRO Posts: 10
    Ahhh, now I know what you mean with demo...silly me, I misunderstood (fate of a non-nativ speaker)
  • WigsWigs Moderator, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 5,039
    Ahh, now your first response makes sense ๐Ÿ˜ kudos to you and everyone that has English as a second language, because I've only got the one. I'd like to hear your studio stuff as well. Is it on any streaming sites?
  • sabrina_CHsabrina_CH 2.0 PRO Posts: 10
    It's never to late to learn a language ;)

    Here you go: http://gloriousmess.ch/album/guilty-as-charged/

    (have mercy :P)

    We're not entirely happy with the mix and mastering but it's better than the second album - at least. Our producer is a creative genius and a dear friend. He loves to intervene as few as possible (you know with all the melodyne stuff and overload of takes). We're of the same mind but it's not really radio-friendly. That's the reason why we're actually about to do two radio versions of that album that will be released in February. We'll see :)
  • WigsWigs Moderator, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 5,039
    2 songs in and I'm really enjoying it! I think I hear some Florence and the machine influences?
  • DonniDeVilleDonniDeVille 2.0 PRO Posts: 25
    @Sabrina Just been in to that link of yours! Very impressed! YOU ARE GOOD!!!
  • DonniDeVilleDonniDeVille 2.0 PRO Posts: 25
    Oh regarding your title for this thread..... I have always sung and played guitar, as singing helped me keep the rhythm and I progressed quicker in playing bar chords. I have taught other the 'basics' of mainly playing by ear, and I get them to sing the easy songs I choose for them, as they are learning the chords on guitar, and it has worked for each of them also!

    If you are asking about playing lead guitar and singing well, both at the same time.... I have always heard that is much harder to do.... So maybe you have the same problem other good players have? I love your voice, and perhaps what you are doing already is very much good enough, regarding the combination playing and singing???
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,363
    hi Sabrina, I was amazed by your voice, very cool! the music sounds good to me too. I agree with @DonniDeVille , maybe you don't need to improve? :) a lot of people would be happy with a 3rd of the package you got there.

    but i guess with playing music, you will always want to improve on things, even if other people think it is good enough. just keep doing what you are doing, and you will get better!

    the only input i could give you: practice the two things separately, play the song on guitar exactly how you want it to be, then sing it with full focus, and then bring the two together. i guess it is normal that if you do two things at the same time, you cannot give each tasks 100%. but the better you are at either, then the 50% you can give to each are gonna be more impressive.

  • sabrina_CHsabrina_CH 2.0 PRO Posts: 10
    Thanks guys for your ideas!

    As you said Klaus_T, doing both at the same time, I wont be able to give each fully 100% but maybe more than I do now? Hehehe, to get the best out of something and to exploit the maximum potential is very important to me. Oh my, I sound like a control freak :S

    Uhm yeah, let's practice :D

    PS: yep, we have been compared with Florence and the machine before. Quite an honor.
  • DonniDeVilleDonniDeVille 2.0 PRO Posts: 25
    @Klaus_T You said, QUOTE: "a lot of people would be happy with a 3rd of the package you got there."

    I heartily agree with that... Sabrina doesn't need to improve... Not sure if Ken would agree, but to my ears, she is perfect.... I've not heard Florence and the Machine (I nearly wrote, Florence and the Nightingales, LOL!) But surely, the lead singer doesn't sound as good as Sabrina.....? She has a unique sound.
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,363
    @DonniDeVille I totally agree, we should ban her from the course for being too good! ;)

    but really, imagine how good she will be WITH all of the additional training
  • sabrina_CHsabrina_CH 2.0 PRO Posts: 10
    Guys, guys - come on! Get a grip :D Thanks but I'm getting a little bit blushed now. I wasn't intending to go fishing for compliments ;)

    Besides, with Ken's training everybody can improve. Just keep on going no matter what and you'll see results. I mean I did - so others can easily do too ;)

  • DonniDeVilleDonniDeVille 2.0 PRO Posts: 25
    LOL! Credit where credit is due Sabrina!
  • MikeyParentMikeyParent 2.0 PRO Posts: 42
    This comes from a little experience playing keys and singing:

    Unless you are gifted with two brains - like people like Geddy Lee for example - i have found that either my singing or my playing has to be "on autopilot". For me usually its' been the playing but sometimes the part is so tricky that you need to focus on that more and the singing is more on autopilot. But if you have to navigate both the only thing that works is practice your guts out in those parts. I had to learn a goofy meandering keyboard part in Rebel yell and I had to do it over and over and over until I could play it and sing over top.
  • sabrina_CHsabrina_CH 2.0 PRO Posts: 10
    Thanks MikeyParent! Autopilot is a good word to describe it :)
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