#1
Hello I am an amateur acoustic guitar player. I have all the main chords down until I start singing then all the barre chords fall apart. This is mainly because I have to look at a chord chart and sing lead into a mic and I just have no time to look at the neck.

Am I doomed to playing crap sounding cheater chords just so I can play at performance level? Even a slight misjudge in distance on the neck and the song is screwed so I can't really afford to not look at some of my barre chords.

Any suggestions/help/links are much appreciated. This is a very under discussed topic; whereas, I can find almost 0 useful info on it. Only those whom have experience playing lead while singing an entire song please.

Thank You
#2
you have to learn the song withouth having to look at anything first then sing

once youve got more practice it should become easier

also helps if you know your chords better
#3
So you're saying I should be looking at the neck when I need instead of a chord chart? I don't do the same 10 songs over and over I do an arrangement of more then 200 songs so some of the more complex ones I need something to look at or risk forgetting 1 crucial lyric/chord and screwing the rest of the band.

Is there anything I can do to practice sliding bar chords without looking, playing them over and over doesn't seem to net any progress nor does not looking and trying. For instance going from a C#m to B flat while singing quickly seems impossibly hard without looking at the neck.
#4
Boy! I'm with ya on this one. I've been playing [wrong] for waaay too many years ; and developed the crutch of using the charts rather than memorizing or "feeling" the tune flow.

I found that starting with a (reasonably) well know tune with easy chords; then instead of playing/watching, I simply sing the song and [force myself to ] play along. Seems to be working, so far Expand repertoir as you can by reaching and learning some new works.
Better to sing and play accompaniment than play and drone along vocally ! LOL Now, to work on my vocal skilz


HTH
#5
"Better to sing and play accompaniment than play and drone along vocally ! LOL Now, to work on my vocal skilz."

Makes sense my memory is pretty crappy though haha. And the more barre chords in a song I don't convert the more I "drone along."

The other lead guitarists I've talked to say they don't even use barre chords when they are lead vocals because it makes things too difficult. So far it seems accurate especially since leading with your voice is alot more important then the guitar but I just hate how some of the 3 finger crapfest C#m/F/B chords sound. The barre sounds better 80% of the time =(
#6
Quote by JimmyYO
So you're saying I should be looking at the neck when I need instead of a chord chart? I don't do the same 10 songs over and over I do an arrangement of more then 200 songs so some of the more complex ones I need something to look at or risk forgetting 1 crucial lyric/chord and screwing the rest of the band.

Is there anything I can do to practice sliding bar chords without looking, playing them over and over doesn't seem to net any progress nor does not looking and trying. For instance going from a C#m to B flat while singing quickly seems impossibly hard without looking at the neck.


Is there a reason you need to be able to do 200 songs right now? Why can't you just get good at playing and singing some of them. Then, once you have those down, move onto learning some more and then just do maintenance work on the ones you had already learned in order to keep them up. If you're performing a song, you should probably have it memorized unless you're playing in a setting where sheet music would be appropriate.

As for the shifting between chords. It's fine to glance down and keep your mouth near the mic. That way you can see where to go for that second or less where you change chords without the vocals just falling apart.
#7
I am playing where sheet music is appropriate, sometimes I don't know I'm playing a song until 10minutes beforehand. And if I'm going crazy with vocals in a fast song I can't even look at the neck with a stationary mic even if positioned perfectly to do so.

Right now I don't look at the neck at all and just use a capo to convert songs with many barre chords. This thread is for the purpose of weening myself off that.
#8
Well, then I would start by memorizing or practicing a lot, the songs that you have on your list that you have the most trouble with the chords on. From there, there's not much that I think anyone can really tell you aside from getting more confident with your chords and shifts and memorizing more and more songs.
#9
Quote by JimmyYO
I am playing where sheet music is appropriate, sometimes I don't know I'm playing a song until 10minutes beforehand. And if I'm going crazy with vocals in a fast song I can't even look at the neck with a stationary mic even if positioned perfectly to do so.

Right now I don't look at the neck at all and just use a capo to convert songs with many barre chords. This thread is for the purpose of weening myself off that.



My advice would be, practice as many barre chords as possible and memorize them, that way once you get that down, playing any song, as long as you know the chords, should be pretty simple.
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#10
That's the frustrating thing about it. I practice barre chords 2 hours a day, 6 days a week and I know them I just have to glance at the neck to get sliding chords accurate.

Do you sing lead while sliding barre chords such as G#m to B and so on without looking at the neck at all? Is there some technique to consistently hitting the 4th fret with accuracy while switching finger position without looking at all?
#11
Try looking ahead in the sheet music. You should spot the chords in advance. Then you can quickly glance at the guitar neck right at the moment before you need it.

There are three time spans going on here:
1) read far ahead in time, put that into short term memory
2) look at the guitar neck just before you need to play the chord
3) play the chord exactly on time

As you are playing the chord in step three, your reading should be grabbing the next collection of music to store into short term memory.

You may be attempting to read the music at the precise time you need to play it. You should grab the music into your mind before you need it. You would be amazed at how much sheet music some professional site readers can grab into their mind before they actually play it.
Last edited by joesix at Jun 17, 2011,
#12
Quote by JimmyYO
That's the frustrating thing about it. I practice barre chords 2 hours a day, 6 days a week and I know them I just have to glance at the neck to get sliding chords accurate.

Do you sing lead while sliding barre chords such as G#m to B and so on without looking at the neck at all? Is there some technique to consistently hitting the 4th fret with accuracy while switching finger position without looking at all?


Try to start practicing them without looking. It may seem weird, but believe me, it's more than possible. Most string players don't look at their fingers while playing. Guitarists do since they normally memorize music and there are less reference points, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. You just have to get used to how far your hand moves.
#14

oh girl all it takes is practice practice practice, first practice with learning the chords, then practice with playing without looking at the music. and of course practice standing up and switching chords if you happen to do most of your practicing sitting down. but dont worry, your not doomed forever...just for a wek or two. Good Luck !!
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#15
Pretty much just keep practicing tell you can "feel" the song. Yeah it seems weird but once you can feel a tune your chances of screwing up severely reduce.
#16
Crap sounding cheater chords. What are they? 200 songs.

Try learning your frett board. Your top string E as you move up the frett board. F F# G G# A A#

B C C# D D# E now if you have to play Barre chords and you memorise these you will know where your Barre goes. Or you could go learn CAGED system at justinguitar.com much better
idea. cheers
#17
Thank you for all the responses on a very under discussed topic. I'm sure many more will appreciate any wisdom on the subject