What's up guys I started playing again about 2 months ago and it's all been doing lately. I play reggae and I am trying to develop my voice while playing. I have the skanks/chops down for when I sing. My problem is that, for example, let's say I'm playing a 'normal' strumming pattern DUDUUD. I can't play and do vocals at the same time. it's very frustrating because I'll be playing the pattern and once I open my mouth and start singing it's like how your brain is when u pat your head and rub your stomach. I start strumming like a fool. there's a lot of obstacles I've went over learning guitar that seemed immposible to me but know I could do them in my sleep. but for whatever reason that's the toughest one I've yet to achieve. I put this into the acoustic section because it's not a singing problem, it's more of my mind trying to balance strumming with my guitar. anyone have any tips that would be helpful to use? Thank you.
You're not alone. It's like a switch goes off and turns my playing to crap as soon as I open my trap.
You could try using a metronome while you play to help keep the rhythm while singing. Another thing you could do that might help is to to place lyrics over certain parts of the strumming pattern so you always know where you are. Other than that the only other suggestion I can give you is to keep practicing! Eventually you will be able to do it with ease.
And everything that once was
infinitely far
and unsayable is now
and right here in the room.

- Franz Wright
learn to play the song till you know it very well - practice without singing. learn to sing the song till you know it perfectly, practicing by singing with the original recording if a cover. then put the singing and playing together after you know both.

btw, i've been singing while playing for decades at home, with friends and on stage. if i don't know either the lyrics or the guitar part well enough, and start to think about them, things go wrong. to do both together really well, it's best not to have to think about the lyrics or what you're playing while you're doing it.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
This is something that everyone struggles with. The best advice I can give you is to start small. Find songs with simple summing patterns and simple lyrics/melody. I think i started with Horse with No Name by America.

Ultimately you are trying to learn to add one more task to your guitar playing. There is a lot going on when you play the guitar and adding another task can be difficult. You nailed it on the head when you compared it to patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time.

Keep with it and you will develop this skill. Begin slowly and increase tempo as you get the song down. If you start learning hard songs and fast songs with difficult strumming patterns you will be setting yourself up for failure so find songs that are easy to learn. Many people start with children's songs when learning music and that may apply here as well.
This is so hard, i've been playing for 3 years and i still can't do it , i find it easier with finger picking though, for some reason strumming messes up with my brain when i sing , but not as much with picking, i have no clue why !