#1
So, I hope this goes in this category - I'm going by the philosophy that singing while playing is a technique. Long story short, after several years playing guitar I realize that I never taught myself to really sing well when I play, so I am working on it now. I have to get it down because there is a songwriter's circle nearby and I want to attend, but I can't really play and sing at the same time so great. I've been working on some easier songs to start with, such as some of the Nirvana unplugged tracks and such to get used to playing, because the guitar parts are pretty simple for the most part and it gives me more attention I can focus on the vocal aspect of everything. I'm making progress, but suddenly coming up on a wall.

I need more songs that are not very challenging on guitar, but maybe are challenging for vocals because of the rhythm of the music. I don't need songs where the vocals are complex melodically because I don't have very much of a vocal range, and I'm just now teaching myself to sing while I play - I just need some songs that aren't so opposite my taste in music that I can stand them, that are fairly easy/straightforward on guitar.

The type of music I like is blues, grunge, post-grunge and thrash metal to just name a few for starters. I'm already working on some of the unplugged Nirvana tracks and some of the older Bob Dylan stuff.

Thanks for any suggestions!
#5
I've found that alot of Green Days songs are pretty easy to play and sing, so that might be a good start. Then if you want a bit more of a challenge try some Offspring songs, I always have trouble singing and playing those.
#6
It's definitely a skill in it's own right. I've always been able to do it as until recently I'd always learned things acoustically, then switched to my electric guitar if necessary. As a result, I could always sing and play the songs I've was learning.

It was only a few years ago when I was earning some extra pocket money as a karaoke DJ that I realised singing and playing together was a separate skill. I suddenly realised that a lot of the songs I could sing flawlessly whilst playing I couldn't sing at all without the guitar in my hand. I also realised that the songs I could sing well at karaoke sounded terrible when I tried playing them on guitar at the same time.

I tried practicing the songs I could sing at karaoke with my guitar, but once I'd practiced this enough to get them right I got worse at doing them in the karaoke!

I ended up with a load of songs I could sing well at karaoke and a load of songs I could sing well when playing and virtually no crossover between the two lists which led me to the conclusion that:
1 - Playing guitar is one skill
2 - Singing is a second skill
3 - Playing guitar and singing at the same time is a thrid completely separate skill.

For all three of these skills, practice is always the answer.

Fortunately I don't do the karaoke anymore so I can focus on just playing guitar. It was fun as a short term way of making a bit of extra cash (and I was good at it), but I wouldn't want it to get in the way of things I actually want to do, like playing guitar & writing songs.
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Last edited by GaryBillington at Oct 27, 2011,
#7
This is something I was kinda forced into learning in college last year because the singer kept not showing up for practice, I can't play and sing complex stuff at the same time but the ones we were playing came out ok and were a little tricky. Johnny B. Goode (fairly easy), Sweet Child O' Mine (verse is easy but the chorus can trip you up) and Whiskey in the Jar (you gotta keep the rhythm in your right hand pretty solid to not **** it up and the singing in it can get a bit tricky)
As stated already it's just practice, specifically what I did to practice was play/sing really slowly to get used to the chord changes/key changes etc, basically anywhere I was messing up, and just see it as a sequence of events rather than 1 whole thing.
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#8
The beatles

Muse

maybe iron maiden, rhythms are quite easy, vocals maybe too hard though
#9
You didn't list folk rock, but playing some Mountain Goats is always good practice, I think

I'm sort of trying to learn to sing and play, too, and that's what i'm playing along to.
#10
I can only do it with simple chords. I tried singing over a finger-picking riff and my fingers were like "Dude, wtf? Concentrate on where you're putting us" (it sounded like ass).
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#11
if you really want to get crazy drop tune to drop c and scream, do like killswitch engage or bullet for my valentine, if you can do this send me a message and i'll like make you move to Pittsburgh to play with me lmao
#12
Quote by Scopic
I can only do it with simple chords. I tried singing over a finger-picking riff and my fingers were like "Dude, wtf? Concentrate on where you're putting us" (it sounded like ass).


this is EXACTLY what happened to me
#13
I ended up with a load of songs I could sing well at karaoke and a load of songs I could sing well when playing and virtually no crossover between the two lists which led me to the conclusion that:
1 - Playing guitar is one skill
2 - Singing is a second skill3 - Playing guitar and singing at the same time is a thrid completely separate skill.

For all three of these skills, practice is always the answer.

not to derail the thread(i actually started a separate one in songwriting and lyrics) but does that mean i can learn how to sing? any tips or advice?...its pretty terrible and almost monotone at the moment.


also, to OP, pink floyds wish you were here is pretty easy to sing and play. the chords are easy and the singing seems to go with the chords in my opinion...try it and you'll see
#14
I can barely sing and play guitars at the same time... i ok with ddudu struming at most speeds, i have hard times with standard rythmics (all downstrokes/alternation between down and up), and single notes riff, even easy ones, likes Three days grace's never too late, are freaking me out.
#15
I like the Little Black Songbooks, they break songs down to lyrics and chords. You can then just listen to the rhythm of the song.

I'm atrocious when it comes to remembering lyrics, so these come in handy.
Have a gander at Amazon.
There's metal, rock, pop, 80's, 90's etc. A good lot to chose from.
Also look up some manuals for buskers, that should get you onto some easy/popular songs.
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#16
Quote by davem27
not to derail the thread(i actually started a separate one in songwriting and lyrics) but does that mean i can learn how to sing? any tips or advice?...its pretty terrible and almost monotone at the moment.

The only advice I can give is practice - I'm no expert myself, but I know I'm not as good at the moment as I was when I used to sing a lot more.

Look at it this way - there are a lot of people out there who make a living as singing teachers. If singing isn't something you can learn, they would essentially be conning people out of their money and should be arrested.

I guess a tip to avoid being monotone all the time would be to play a scale on your guitar and sing along to it (doh ray me etc). If you've got a good enough ear to play guitar, you'll be able to tell if your voice is hitting the notes or not. Once you can do that, try learning the vocal melody of a song on the guitar and sing along to that. Then once you've got that right, play the chords to the song instead of the melody while you're singing it.

Like I said, I'm no expert, but to me that sounds like a logical way of teaching yourself to sing, and to sing and play at the same time.

Try it and let us know how you get on.
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#17
I cant sing anyway so Ive never really attempted it. Its frustrating for me because it takes much of the fun out of songwriting knowing that when I sing it will sound crap regardless. Anyway its definitely a skill.
#19
If you want to be able to sing and play at the same time you gotta take it slow. Playing some Nirvana unplugged stuff is a good start. Start out simple, like songs that use basic chords. For example; Jesus Don't Want Me for a Sunbeam, The Man Who Sold the World, About a Girl all by Nirvana are some good ones. When you;ve been able to nail songs like that step it up. Smells like Teen Spirit is a good one. Dear Prudence isn't that bad (it may seem like a bitch to play but all it is is some chords and travis picking). Then you can play songs that are pure riffs. Like Daytripper by The Beatles.
#20
Last kiss- pearl jam (to me the easiest by far)
the man who sold the world- nirvana
i am the highway- audioslave
doesn't remind me- audioslave
wish you were here- pink floyed
Disarm- smashing pumpkins
roulette- system of a down (easy finger picking)

I think these are a pretty good start