Home GENERAL SINGING - Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy Forum

Drumming, and singing

I play quite a few instruments, and of all that I play, drumming is the only instrument where I have to be seated. Ken says you can lose up to 35% of your singing power when seated.
Also I am an aggressive drummer. I like to be a show off lol.
Are there any tips/tricks for drummers specifically when it comes to playing/singing?
I'm worried about breath support with all the moving around that Im doing in a seated position


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,335
    You'll figure it out. It may be a little harder or it may not. I struggled with getting the actual "feel" of support for a while until I really knew what I was doing. I'm a drummer, and I'm actually most at home singing when seated. I do a little bit of keyboard when I'm practicing a song or exercises, and again, I have plenty of abdominal support when I sit at a keyboard. If I stand and play a guitar, it feels easier for me to support, possibly because I learned support sitting down at a drum set.

    I would have off days where I just couldn't find support and then I would stumble upon it and have a great night. Next night I wouldn't be able to find it to save my life. Now it's no big deal, and sometimes I play harmonica on a rack while I sing and play drums. Other times I might chew gum, although I don't recommend that.

    Bottom line is that once you have support firmly planted in your muscle-memory, it will integrate into all of the other combinations of coordinations you have to have under control when drumming, including when getting aggressive with your playing. You'll be able to add showing off with your voice to showing off with your drumming.
  • I guess when I'm trying something new I get nervous/excited, and tend to tense up due to the fear of not knowing whats going to come out. Is it going to be there? Is it not? As with everything else I've worked on with the program, it's just a matter of doing it, and getting used to it.

    Thanks Bob

    Peace, Tony
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,335
    As a drummer, I'm sure you have occasionally used the method of starting out complicated coordinations very, super slowly, and gradually speeding them up until you are blazing through complicated combinations. Sometimes as a drummer that sings, you'll need to synchronize your support with the phrasing of the vocals, and integrate that with your drumming, while increasing the support and releasing as needed. The good news is that you get to sit down while all of this is going on, and everybody else has to stand up.
  • The reason I've been worried is that I'm mainly a guitarist, and with drums it takes most of my concentration just to do certain patterns. As with guitar, I have been compromising guitar quality for my singing, and vice versa at certain times. Do you ever compromise your drumming skills to pull off certain things vocally?
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,335
    It depends on which one takes the most concentration to get right. The more attention something needs just shows that I must need to practice to get it into more of an automatic state. As your skills grow, it becomes more instinctive. Instinct just requires a high state of awareness to do the right thing without requiring much, if any, thought.
  • singing_veteransinging_veteran Member Posts: 11
    Back in the day (80's hair band days) I played bass while doing most of the lead singing. Usually I could simplify the bass line a little to make it easier to play and sing. However there are songs like Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" with a very distinctive bass line. I found the trick is to just get the playing down cold so you hardly have to think about it, then you can concentrate on singing. As with anything it takes major practice. If it was easy everyone would do it right? Rock on!
  • bentkbentk Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,649
    I think, when either the singing or playing goes automatically, it's doable. If i have to think or count too much during my playing, my singing will suffer. If i don't have to think too much when playing, maybe a little, it goes fine.

    Having that said, i can still mess up now and then on simple things when i wander off with my mind too much. Gotta keep that focus!

    My guitar parts need to be pretty much instinctive, then they work the best.
    Especially complicated rhythm is very difficult during singing. However, practice enough and you will find yourself achieving new levels.

    Practice, practice, practice.
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,335
    I have recorded musicians sometimes that are unable to sing UNLESS they are playing their instruments. To just stand in front of a mic and sing without a bass or guitar or piano is so foreign to them. Then you hear the clack of their strings or piano hammers clunking in the soloed vocal track! These people are so locked into playing and singing that they find it unnerving to sing without their instruments.
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