#1
Ok so I've been playing for 2 years and over the last few months I feel I've turned a corner and now feel like a "guitarist" allbeit a sh1te one!

Anyway I've started to drift towards playing a lot of grungy 90's stuff which is the direction I always wanted to head with my music. Anyway I'm fine when singing and playing chords, the timing seems ok and it's no problem. However, the stuff I'm playing is riff based and I'm struggling to keep time with both the riffs and the vocals. Some of these riffs are pretty simple and I can litterally play them in my sleep. I've been playing them when wandering around the house with my little Marshall amp hooked on my belt trying to get used to "multi tasking" but as soon as I start to sing it like fook!

I practice on average 2 hours a day and can't think of anything else to help.

Any tips?
#2
I had this problem, but i just kind of got better over time at doing it, i'm sure you will too. Have you tried sort of slowing it way down, just to see where your words come together with the notes, and then kind of get a better picture of it

If I sing when I play, then my playing used to sort of stop on it's own, or, just become a "1, 2, 3, 4" kind of rhythm, but more often than not now I can keep switching my focus between the two, you should get better at it with practise
#3
Do you practise playing and singing at the song's original tempo? If so, you are currently going too fast. Trying slowing way (and I mean waay) down, tap your foot, play the riff and sing. You'll get there soon enough.
#4
As long as you are not thinking about one of the things you are doing, you should be ok. Persoanlly I'm good at remembering lyrics so I'm not thinking about whats coming next, instread concentrating on the guitar.
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#5
Thanks guys.

I've tried slowing down and even though it helps a little it doesn't help that much. I've tried writing down the lyrics and putting a mark where the riff starts/loops but thats no good either.

To give an example, Come As You Are, the intro is great but as soon as the first verse starts it just all goes pear shaped. When I'm playing the chorus and pre chorus with power chords is sorted, it's purely just a lick or riff thing. I can play the song near perfect all the way through without singing!

I guess it's like anything else, practice, practice, practice! I'm hoping it will just click?
#6
Yeah, it's really a clicking kind of thing for most people. Personally, I found it best to practice the riffs and lyrics separately. If the lyrics are memorized, and riffs are memorized to just coming out as soon as you think of them, you can focus on how well you sing instead of what's coming next, and thus time your singing. Listen to the riff, but make it where you're not really "thinking" about it. If you have to, inhibit your playing a bit and simplify the riff (or just find another guitarist).
#7
Generally if you're good at doing more than one thing at once, this would come naturally. If not then it's basically just practice, practice and more practice. It should come in the end though.
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#8
That's funny, I have trouble singing and playing the chorus of Come As You Are, too, even after all these years. It still definitely helps just slowing way down and tapping your foot. And I mean waaaaay down.
#9
it takes time to learn the riff so complete that u can sing along with it...the frist one will be the hardest...

theres some like come as you are by nirvana..ill never be able to sing and play that....so try some other songs..maybe u picked the wrong one...

i like sidewinder-avenged sevenfold..the 2 verse riffs are cool
cross eyed marry-jethro tull...that whole song is cool
#10
Quote by metalmetalhead
...theres some like come as you are by nirvana..ill never be able to sing and play that....so try some other songs..maybe u picked the wrong one...

Cheers, it's certainly harder than it seems, there's no shame tho, i know in very early days when they first started touring nirvana took a second guitarist on tour because cobain was struggling with the guitar and singing.
#11
I couldn't do it, kept practicing and going at it, woke up one day and could. It's just one of those things where your brain has to go HOLY SHIT I UNDERSTAND and then it's alot easier.

Just keep practicing them, try focusing on one or the other. Ex, divert 3/4 of your attention to the riff cause you know the vocal line so well or vice versa. You can focus looking at your guitar while looking out to the audience still.

Also make sure to rest, sleep is when your brain takes everything it learned for the day and stores it, which is why alot of times you can go at a riff for 3 hours and not get it but nail it perfectly the next day.
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Last edited by Ghast at Sep 12, 2010,
#12
make sure you can play it really well and can play it without thinking about it. then youll be able to sing at the same time
#13
Try some of what these folks said.

And if that doesn't work, don't feel bad... even Jimmy Page had to get someone else to sing the songs!
#14
i have the same problem. it messes up my rockband note streaks all the time
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#15
Quote by crevs1972

To give an example, Come As You Are, the intro is great but as soon as the first verse starts it just all goes pear shaped. When I'm playing the chorus and pre chorus with power chords is sorted, it's purely just a lick or riff thing. I can play the song near perfect all the way through without singing!


As others have mentioned, the song might be the problem. Everyone always bashes Cobain for his shoddy guitar skills, but not many people can sing AND play what he did at the same time. The guy had talent for being able to play guitar parts that didn't match up with the lyrics from a timing perspective.
#17
I am having difficulties doing this kind of stuff before but practice is the best remedy tpo achieve this. I have tried to cover songs written by Coheed and Cambria. The song "Faint Of Hearts" is a perfect song to practice 'coz it has multiple riffs especially on the verse part that runs along with vocals. John Mayer songs are also a good option for practice. Try listening to "Edge of Desire". It has a great riff that runs along with the vocals.