#1
Hey guys,

In my current band I do BGV and play bass, which is cool but I want to start a project where I sing lead and play bass at the same time (Based on songs i've got it'll be something like soundgarden mixed with van hagar - think big harmonies and sludgey riffs).

Usually I can sing and play fairly easily but with this stuff hitting the high notes singing and keeping the low end going is getting really tough.

Any tips on singing high, playing low and keeping it all in weird time?

Thanks in advance!
#2
Same as with most things, unfortunately - practise. There's no secret key to it. You need to play the bass parts over and over again until your muscle memory is capable of playing them on autopilot without you having to consciously think about what you're doing at all. That leaves you free to think about the vocals.
#4
Quote by Ziphoblat
Same as with most things, unfortunately - practise. There's no secret key to it. You need to play the bass parts over and over again until your muscle memory is capable of playing them on autopilot without you having to consciously think about what you're doing at all. That leaves you free to think about the vocals.


Some people have a lot of luck with this, but personally I find that it helps to not think of yourself as singing and playing bass separately. That is, your not singing AND playing bass, your just singing and playing bass. If that makes any kind of sense
#5
I struggle with this as well. I can sing and I can play bass, but I can't for the life of me do the two things together so now I just stick with bass for now.
#6
One thing I notice is that many people who play bass and sing don't really play outstanding bass lines while singing. Unless you're Claypool, but even his lines are fairly repetitive, due to the muscle memory thing Ziphoblat mentioned. You can't, say, improvise lines easily or play complex rhythms while singing, it's too much work for your brain.
Professional lurker since 2009.
#7
Quote by technoguyx
One thing I notice is that many people who play bass and sing don't really play outstanding bass lines while singing. Unless you're Claypool, but even his lines are fairly repetitive, due to the muscle memory thing Ziphoblat mentioned. You can't, say, improvise lines easily or play complex rhythms while singing, it's too much work for your brain.


Geddy Lee. ;P
#8
Virtuosos and mad skills aside, it really is practice and small sacrifices, but at the same time it only makes you a better player. you have to work hard to make baselines that are easy enough to "forget" yet memorable and catchy. If you just droned on and chugged 8th notes blah, but if you could make basslines that are rhythmic yet lend themselves to the vocals and hook at the same time and are simple yet brilliant you're golden
#9
Quote by Ziphoblat
Geddy Lee. ;P

Well, there must be exceptions. But generally, thinking in both playing outstanding lines and singing at the same time is hard.
Professional lurker since 2009.
#10
Someone told me that playing bass and singing uses two different sides of your brain,thus making it harder? Not sure how true that is
But I guess if your one of those bassists who plays more a rhythm than a melody,it is perhaps more difficult to sing a melody over the top
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Everyone just jumps on the bandwagon and gives the same advice in these situations. You know what? I'm going to be different. Call the firemen.
#11
I do both, but for now only with simpler bass lines. I'm working on it. But yeah it really is just practice.
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Quote by Ziphoblat
I'd rather go at my hands with a hacksaw than play lead guitar, and I'm only slightly exaggerating.
#12
I'm in the same boat as GA. I can do it. But there's parts of some songs that I don't even bother.
Learning your bassline in and out. Learn it so you could do it in your sleep, so you can do it while you're tackling a life saving gastric bypass operation, while you're getting ran over by a horde of scooter kids or while your invading the middle east because you're country's running low on oil. Then sing.
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#13
Quote by Ziphoblat
Geddy Lee. ;P


If you listen closely, even Geddy Lee plays less impressive lines when singing.
#14
I started out singing when my first band needed a singer.

A real easy exercise that helped me was, when you play your line, have a look around the room and take in what you see, really pay attention, read something, but you gotta also still know what your playing and keep time. Start out slow, by maybe moving something out of your way with your feet or something. Once you can do meaningless tasks while playing you'll be able to get your mind on to singing with words and what not.

THEN I'll just suggest this anyway. try tapping out a kick drum rhythm with your foot while playing, tap so you can hear your foot as well. Start slow on just 1 and 3, then 2 and 4, you can do this on all the songs your working on. Then try a simple kick pattern most of which are variations of 1 and 3 with a quaver leading into or out of one or both of the taps.

once you can get your mind around making your body musically independent you'll have absolutely no trouble with singing.
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"... Jazz"
#15
learn to do the parts so well you can play them without much effort seperately.
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#16
Quote by anarkee
If you listen closely, even Geddy Lee plays less impressive lines when singing.


Very true. He has said so himself, many times in interviews.

I'd recommend trying to play a simple 4/4 rhythm and sing the song. Start out slowly, and get it to the point where you can do this with no difficulties. Then move on to adding a few different notes. Again, start slowly. It takes a hell of a lot of practice and I envy the living shit out of people like Geddy who make it look so easy. It is something I need to start working on myself, although I can't sing well under any circumstances. I just don't have the voice or the vocal range. I've always believed that singing well is like playing any other instrument: you have to know how to do it. There are a few DVDs that teach vocal skills. I imagine some of them are worthwhile. It is a skill, and you need someone to teach you at least the basics.

Stick with it, work hard and I wish you the best of luck. If you put your mind to it, you'll nail it.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley