#1
So ive been trying to sing and play bass for a couple of songs when me and my band jam. Some are easy i.e. Iron man but some can be a real bitch-Crazy train by Ozzy, anyways is there anyone else who sings/bass' it up at the same time? If so, do you have any pointers that makes it easier to sing/play at the same time?
#2
it requires practice.
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#3
It helps to learn practicing/playing as you learn the song instead of learning how to play it and then trying to sing along. I've found that helps alot.
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#4
well i sing and bass in my band, and I find you have to almost play bass subconsciously, either that or it just comes naturally. Maybe if you're having trouble, try simpling the bassliens down?

Practice is also a must. Sometimes I will just play the song on bass, and then when you get the bass down, then try to sing and bass it up (:
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Last edited by telecastrmastr at Jul 7, 2009,
#6
Personal tips. I am a death metal (No easy bass parts here) bassist and vocalist. I always end up being the singer because my growl is deep and low (I haven't heard a simmiliar vocal from any of my buddies). My tip is this. Learn to sing the song first. Memorize every lyric. Learn it perfectly. Then learn the bass line. Also learn it flawlessly. Then try playing the bass line and concentrate on the singing. Make it so, as the playing was just a reflex, almost to the extent that your on autopilot, so you can concentrate on the lyrics (Since people are going to notice a wrong lyric or a pitch change a lot more than a screwed up bassline). Or which ever way works better for you. This is my way, and not by any means the best way.
#8
On a more serious note, try playing simple bass lines (just root) and singing along. I did this with a version of greensleeves, and it went rather well after a few minutes of practice. look up acoustic songs, and print out the chords with lyrics, maybe?
#9
Here's what works for me. Learn the bass line well so that muscle memory takes over. Then talk the lyrics over the bassline. That will lock the rhythm of the melody over the rhythm of the bassline. Then try singing it.
#10
Quote by anarkee
Here's what works for me. Learn the bass line well so that muscle memory takes over. Then talk the lyrics over the bassline. That will lock the rhythm of the melody over the rhythm of the bassline. Then try singing it.


I do that exactly, though I only speak the lyrics if I don't know the rhythm too well. I works great. Start with a static bass line. Same pattern over, and over and over, As much as I don't enjoy Blink 182, they're a good place to start.
#11
this always works the best for me, too.

Quote by anarkee
Here's what works for me. Learn the bass line well so that muscle memory takes over. Then talk the lyrics over the bassline. That will lock the rhythm of the melody over the rhythm of the bassline. Then try singing it.
#13
I play bass and sing back up vocals in my band, I personally love singing like that. Haven't tried lead yet, but yeah...I don't know anyone who has done that, but I honestly don't know any other bass players in real life...
#14
I'm the bassist and singer for a couple of bands I'm in.

when I first started out I did easy songs, like Electric Funeral and Iron Man, because the vocal melody kind of goes with the bassline. and songs that have a stop for the vocals, like Greenday's American Idiot, built it up slowly from there.

and as everyone says to learn everything so its muscle memory then sing, well, a couple points

1) You should do that anyway
2) do the same with the vocal line.

also confidence in the part is a must, I find that even if I don't know each part like the back of my hand, if I just up and play/sing it and not overly care if I get it wrong... because I can always correct it. it comes out better if I worry about getting the part right or wrong.

after a while you'll be able to isolate your vocals form your playing, like drummers with each hand/foot and whatnot, and be able to think of the parts your playing together as a whole. Or something.

thats how I do it, I listen to how the melody works with the bassline... But I write alot of the things we play so I have it easy in the playing/singing department.
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#15
thanks for all the support i think all this advice will really help, the talking thing sounds really good though and yeah i know practice is required but sometimes the bassline is different from the vocal melody.
#16
i do the singing and bassing in a primus cover band and i thought it whas gonna be way hard to balls but playing the songs enough and listening to the songs allot and i meen allot helped allot for me now its going prety smooth and sounds good so i've heard ;D
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#17
I'm still having problems with it now. learning the bassline till you can play it in your sleep is one solution, and it does work, but it means you can't do any embelishing, your totally locked into playing the part note-for-note the same way every time. you can't show off or get groovy, it reduces playing to, like a mechanical thing; spontenuity is lost. though I suppose every well rehearsed band/musicain has the same probelm.
and doing originals at a band practice is ...a nightmare!


also, I've found singing, it takes concious effort to sing full-pelt. I was saying to a pal a few days ago about it, singing... I'd feel like a twat practicing it properly at home, and probably totaly irritate the neigbours too. I mean if you're at home, you might sing along to a CD or while your playing, but it's not the same voice you use when singing properly - it's like, whisper-y, more subdued. I think music teachers call it singing "with your throat" rather than "with your lungs"...or something.
next (acedemic) year I plan to mibbie do open mic nights and stuff to get better at playing while singing properly. my uni's got a paino you can use for free that might see some action
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Last edited by jimRH7 at Jul 8, 2009,
#19
Quote by telecastrmastr
well i sing and bass in my band, and I find you have to almost play bass subconsciously, either that or it just comes naturally. Maybe if you're having trouble, try simpling the bassliens down?

Practice is also a must. Sometimes I will just play the song on bass, and then when you get the bass down, then try to sing and bass it up (:


Thats pretty much it. You have to know your basslines so well that you can do them without thinking (apparently what Geddy Lee does), or, like me, learn to make your hands move independently of your mouth (though you still have to use the first method to some extant). Either way, it takes practice. It gets easier over time though.
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#20
Try focusing on the singing and getting those notes right, and just let your fingers play on the bass. It's hard, but after some practice, I'm sure you'll be better!
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#21
Treat them as 2 seperate units of the song. That's what I do. I'm currently trying to master I Want You Back. It's difficult. What songs are you trying to sing whilst playing? Obviously, some are easier than others.
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#22
I sing lead vocals and play bass in my band. We play punk/metal, so the bass can get tricky at times, too. My best advice is to learn to sing the song in your sleep, and learn to play the bassline subconsiously. Er... not literally, but you get my point. In other words, it's all about practice. There's really no shortcut to it. A good exercise, though is to play the bassline while watching TV, and then sing while watching TV. After a while, try both at the same time and you should find it dramatically... better, for lack of a better word.

Hope this helps!
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#23
Practice, practice practice.
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#24
I've always found it easier to play incredibly simple bass while I sing (by sing I mean death metal grunting) and then go for complex parts when I'm not.. Tom Araya seems to do that.
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#25
SIMPLIFY MAAAAAAAAAAN. Whenever i sing and play bass i simplify the hell out of the song making it as basic as possible but i've dabbled into playing more complex things whilst singing. I recommended to play the song through until it's seared into your brain then try to sing over the top of it.
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#26
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That's me playing bass and "singing". I agree with the autopilot thing, but if you listen closely, I mainly play root notes when singing, and don't sing when i'm riffing out.

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#27
I started out practicing along with Blink 182 cd's, though I don't care for the band at all, I find they're a great place to start. All you can really do is practice, practice, practice; everything will come naturally in time if you work on it enough.
#28
I've heard if you practice playing bass while having a conversation with someone (start with a light one), that can help.
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#29
Just like singing and playing guitar, it takes practice. That said, I don't know how certain bassists do it like Sting, Geddy Lee and Lemmy.
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#30
The thing that worked for me was listening to MYSELF sing and play. Record you playing a bass line/with the band, and then record you singing so you can hear yourself sing and play. When I did some recording 2 summers ago I couldn't sing and play at all before we recorded. We recorded, and I listened to the recordings heavily. Then, magically, I could sing and play everything we recorded with little effort.

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#31
Plain theory, no experience.

Try to play it trough flawlessly 21 times (21 is some kind of muscle memory lucky number)
Then try to sing over it when you got the bass running in some kind of autopilot as when your muscles remember it, you are able to focus on the singing.
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#34
like everyone else said, practice practice practice. You need to perfect the bass line and perfect the vocals individually. Then muscle memory will take over much of the burden.

Plus, think about this, its much easier to sing the same vocal patterns over a simple bass line than over a complex bass line right?

Now think about this, stuff that seamed hard on bass when you first started, seams a lot easier right? because you've had a lot of practice at it. So the more you practice these hard bass lines, the simpler they will become to you. Therefore, the more you practice at them the easier it will be to sing over them.
#35
it just comes with practice, i had to change the bass riff slightly in one of our bands songs though