#1
Been playing about 2 months now, I'm good with my major and minor chords, and a few scales (just don't ask me to change chords faster than about 2 seconds per Also have a few note-picking songs down (jingle bells, on top of old smoky, etc). But damned if I can play a song singing and strumming chords.

One of the first sites I hit was Horse with no name, learn it in 20 minutes". My ass, I've prolly spent 20 hours on the bloody thing. I can do the chords, I can do the strum, I can fill in the bottom. But 2 problems:

1) I don't sound anything like either the song, nor his mp3s
2) I have no idea how to sing to it. I mean, do I strum each syllable? 8 times a verse? Or what? He's got Em for the first line except for the word "journey". Do I strum 4 times for all but Journey, then 4 times on that 1 word? Or what?

Not just this song, there are other basic songs where I can do the chords, and know the songs well, but damned if I can translate that picture of words with chords over it, to an actual song.

So, am I stupid, or was I at a Radiohead concert the night my web-teachers taught this stuff?
#2
I think when it comes to singing while playing, you just need to take your time. Work on the music until you're comfortable and then add vocals. And don't stress about perfecting a song...if it's not working out don't waste your time. Move on to something different and challenge yourself!
#3
Quote by SeeEmilyPlay
I think when it comes to singing while playing, you just need to take your time. Work on the music until you're comfortable and then add vocals. And don't stress about perfecting a song...if it's not working out don't waste your time. Move on to something different and challenge yourself!

This. Practice, practice, practice. Very few people can say they are "good" when they've been playing for as little as two months. Give it some time, and don't worry about how fast you're improving, you'll get there with time. Man, when I was playing for two months I didn't even THINK about singing+playing. And now, two years later, I'm pretty much able to sing and play most rhythms togeter (although my intonation is still bad, but that's unrelated). The single most important virtue in learning guitar is patience.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#4
do u use powertab or guitarpro??
If not try them out..powertabs free, i know it helped me out. gave me something to play along with, slow it down etc...

singing and playing is hard dude...good luck
Last edited by epptron at Feb 15, 2009,
#5
Yeah, don't worry about singing while playing for a while...just get the guitar stuff down. Play the song you are doing for a while, and so you dont get discouraged, try some other ones that are semi-easy (Knockin' on Heavens Door is fun.) Just have patience and don't stress yourself out...have fun with it
#6
Start learning to play rhythm guitar. Get your chords down to the point that you make fast, fluid chord changes. Find a song that you really, really like, but yet is a simple chord song. Usually people will say something like Good Riddance by Green Day. Make it your goal to be able to play that song, singing along, in 4 weeks or less.

Now that you've set your goal, you start practicing technique. Find a simple chord progression. For example, G, C, Em, D. Now, add in a simple strum pattern. Again, for example, Down-Down-Up-Up-Down-Up. Play each chord 4 times through the strum pattern, and then switch. Once you get a little fluidity to this, start changing chords after 2 measures of your strum pattern, then 1, and then 1/2. When you strum, keep your arm moving in the strumming motion even if you aren't going to strike the chords. Use your elbow as a metronome, and strum with your arm, not your wrist.

Now, be warned: that practice will get rather boring after a while of doing it over and over and over again. So, get a chord sheet off of UG for the song you want to learn. A chord sheet will have the lyrics to the song written out, and will have the signs for the chords in the song written above the spots where you are supposed to switch chords. Sorry if you already know this, but I'm just making sure I cover all of the bases. Anyway, now that you have your chord sheet, listen to the song over and over and over until you have figured out the strum pattern (hint: if you do Good Riddance, I've already given you the strum pattern). Practice the chords of that song with the corresponding strum pattern, and practice it the same way you do your technique practice. What you're working on here is muscle memory. When your body knows instantly how to react to what you see on a chord sheet or in tablature, then your playing, and chording, will be smooth and flowing.

Once you've gotten down the playing of your song of choice, learn how to sing it from memory. Then combine guitar and singing, and modify your playing to fit the song. Once you've done that, then viola! you've just played your first cover!

After you've gotten a few open chord songs down, it's time to start learning barre chords. But that's a different show.

And, one last thing: PRACTICE WITH A METRONOME! It will really help your rhythm.

EDIT: Don't expect to be able to play and sing at the same time overnight though, ok? Learning guitar is a slow, irritating, and at times discouraging process. But once it all starts coming together it's something you will never stop doing.
Quote by necrosis1193
As usual Natrone's mouth spouts general win.

Quote by Silverstein14
man, Natrone you're some kind of ninja I swear


Quote by gregs1020
plexi


i realize the longshot that is. little giant to humongous one.


Rest In Peace Stevie Ray
Last edited by Natrone at Feb 16, 2009,
#7
First off, when I say "good with chords" I really mean "name a chord, I can play it in 2 seconds or so".

Second, when I can't figure something out I can't "forget it and move on". No, if I don't get something I fricken work on it. Ask my ex-wife, used to drive her nuts

Third, dunno about guitartab or powerpro. I'll look into them tomorrow. I'm broke right now, living on savings until Obama's stimulus package kicks in (read: until my parents die and I get their money). If I gotta pay to play, I ain't playing right now.

Finally, I practice from 20 minutes to 2 hours a day. I'd say a good 3/4 of that is just strumming and changing chords. I use a metronome set to 60 bpm, that's how I know I can change chords in 2 seconds or so. I try to mix them up, I just choose 3-4 chords at the beginning and just loop between them for 5 minutes or so. What I concentrate on is keeping my right hand strumming in time with the metronome, and trying to get the chord changes in time with my hand.

Which is another post, how do I practice and how do I measure my progress. Reading things like "after 2 years I'm just learning to play and sing" really warms the cockles of my heart. Too bad I don't know what a cockle is, and my ex-wife took my heart with her
#8
Well, you don't seem bitter at all

Kidding dude. Anyways, Power Tab is a free tab-reading software. You can hear how it will sound in a digital kind of representation. Like old cell phone ringtones.

Guitar is definately a slow-learning process, but not ususally 2 years later kind of thing. So, it seems as though you've got changing chords down pretty well.

The whole secret to playing and singing is having the playing part down to muscle memory so that you can concentrate on your singing and not your playing. One thing that I find helps a lot is trying to sing and play at the same time once through, then going back and working specific parts where I struggle. I'm a bit of a freak though. I've always been good at combining playing and singing.
Quote by necrosis1193
As usual Natrone's mouth spouts general win.

Quote by Silverstein14
man, Natrone you're some kind of ninja I swear


Quote by gregs1020
plexi


i realize the longshot that is. little giant to humongous one.


Rest In Peace Stevie Ray
#9
Not bitter at all, just a sardonic sense of humor. Thanks for the advice Natrone, I'll work on it.

It just seems to me, I want to play songs. Most lesson plans have me playing songs ASAP. Horse With No Name is advertised as the Easiest Song In The Known Universe You Can Learn (tm), and from what I've seen I believe it. And I can't play it Nor can I play Leaving on a Jet Plane, Take it Easy, Mr Tambourine Man, Brain Damage, Wish you Were Here, nor any of the other simple songs listed as being for beginners.

Just sayin

And just noticing,I'm starting to sound like a whiner. Don't blame me, blame Captain Morgan. I won't be saying another word until tomorrow.
#10
If you can't afford guitarpro, tuxguitar is an opensource replacement that opens just about any type of tab
If there is any lesson plan that states you can learn how to play a song in 20mins, that is pure bull****. Well it would certainly be possible to learn a song in 20mins if you have already been playing for a year, but with just two months of experience, you will hardly be able to play many songs.
It took me a good 6 months before i got comfortable enough with chord changes to be able to "sing" and play at the same time.
Simple songs usually mean they have simple chord changes, and a simple strumming/picking pattern to go with it. But trust me on this, it would still take most people a few months before they can switch between the chords fluidly and sing as they play.
So take your time and enjoy!
#12
Thanks for the replies. What I'm hearing is I shouldn't be trying to play songs you, just working on my chords and scales. I can do that.

Grabbed Powertab and a few tabs, I might give it a shot in the morning. Looked at TuxGuitar, might have to download that one as well.

Again, thanks for the replies.
#13
No problem dude!

Good luck!
Quote by necrosis1193
As usual Natrone's mouth spouts general win.

Quote by Silverstein14
man, Natrone you're some kind of ninja I swear


Quote by gregs1020
plexi


i realize the longshot that is. little giant to humongous one.


Rest In Peace Stevie Ray
#14
Quote by food1010
This. Practice, practice, practice. Very few people can say they are "good" when they've been playing for as little as two months. Give it some time, and don't worry about how fast you're improving, you'll get there with time. Man, when I was playing for two months I didn't even THINK about singing+playing. And now, two years later, I'm pretty much able to sing and play most rhythms togeter (although my intonation is still bad, but that's unrelated). The single most important virtue in learning guitar is patience.



ya i totally agree with this. it all takes practice. when i first got a guitar i taught myself how to play from the internet and ya it frustrating at first and like what Food1010 said i to wasnt even thinking about singing after 2 months of playing. but now 3 years later im getting pretty good at johnny cash's songs (playing and singing) and a couple of billy joel's songs. just keep at er'.

also check out some of johnny cash's songs, they pretty much have the same rhythm's to all his songs. like "hurt", "folsom prison blues", "ring of fire" etc.
-drive it like you stole it


-burn rubber not your soul
#15
Playing with others is a great way to build skill and confidence quickly. Check out area bluegrass jams if you got them in your town. You absolutely will not find the "lol, u sux" nonsense. Also, Freepower has some great lessons in the Advanced Techniques subforum of Music Theory. Advanced, but still great info to help. UG has more free lessons than just about any site on the web, so you are definitely in the right spot.
Bluegrass Rocks

CYNONYTE!

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