#1
Hello everyone first off I apologize if this is the wrong forum for this. I have been playing acoustic guitar on and off for 20 years. Never really got serious about it. All the songs I knew were just strictly chords very little picking or even technique.

However the last couple of years I have had more time to dedicate to it. I play the guitar almost everyday. For at least an hour and sometimes more. These are a couple of things I struggle with and I am interested in knowing how others have dealt with this.

First and biggest problem I have is a love to play but can't sing very well at all. I record myself and hate my voice. I don't know if that's natural and I am not as bad as I think I am. I'm to shy to sing in front of someone because I have this in my head that I am a bad singer. So when I play for friends (rarely) I just play guitar. Sometimes people sing along or sometimes they just listen. After a few songs I think people lose interest and I put the guitar away. I believe I ether need to become a "great" guitar player so hearing a song on guitar only with no vocals sounds amazing. Or learn to sing or at least enough to make it tolerable. I don't know maybe its not possible maybe some people just can't sing?

Second issue.. I am all over the place on learning new things. I don't want to play in a band and I don't want to be the next "great one". I just want to learn songs and spice them up a bit with some technique and enjoy the music. I really love playing but I am for sure not a natural. I start learning things like note recognition or learning all the notes up and down the guitar. Lead patterns etc etc.. there are so many things. I know some of you will say take lessons but where I live that is limited. And the teacher won't customize a lesson plan for me. I've tried. So I am wondering what everything thinks. Is there another approach? I just want to learn technique to spice things up in my playing. Currently I just download the chords listen to the song over and over and try to play along. Sounds okay but again without the singing something is missing.

I look forward to your comments suggestions.

Thanks
#2
Quote by zoldy


First and biggest problem I have is a love to play but can't sing very well at all. I record myself and hate my voice. I don't know if that's natural and I am not as bad as I think I am. I'm to shy to sing in front of someone because I have this in my head that I am a bad singer. So when I play for friends (rarely) I just play guitar. Sometimes people sing along or sometimes they just listen. After a few songs I think people lose interest and I put the guitar away. I believe I ether need to become a "great" guitar player so hearing a song on guitar only with no vocals sounds amazing. Or learn to sing or at least enough to make it tolerable. I don't know maybe its not possible maybe some people just can't sing?


Maybe ... but if you were one of those people, how would you know?

I put it like this. If I gave you a saxophone and said, "play some music" you wouldn't expect what came out of the sax to sound very good. You'd probably struggle to even hold a simple note consistently in a way that sounded good. You know this intuitively because you look at a sax and you say, "wow, that thing is complicated with all those buttons and levers and how are you supposed to hold your mouth and control your breath?" If you tried playing sax, and it sounded terrible, you wouldn't say, "Wow, I guess I wasn't born to play sax." You'd probably say, "If I want to play sax, I better learn how to play sax."

But for some reason, you feel like you should be able to open your mouth and sing. You feel this way despite the fact that your body is a MUCH more complicated instrument than a saxophone. It is capable of much more nuanced noises, and responds to much subtler things. (My singing teacher could tell how I was THINKING about notes based on how I sounded. My ex-girlfriend could tell if I was singing with my eyes open or closed without looking at me). Of course if you just open your mouth and try to sing, you're going to sound terrible - you don't know what the eff you're doing.

It's even more complicated because most of the technique of singing is not stuff that is easily explained. e.g., imagine learning to swim from youtube videos. Not going to happen, right? Sure, you might gain a little useful knowledge, but pretty soon you've got to jump in a pool and no matter how many youtube videos you watch you're going to flail and sputter for a while until you get used to it.

If you want to sing, you need to take lessons. There really isn't any other way around it. What you probably don't realize is that probably 99% of the singers you hear on the radio not only took lessons, but they actively work with singing coaches on an ongoing basis.

So if you haven't actually worked on your singing with a teacher, you have no idea if you can sing or not. I accept for the sake of argument that there are some people who "can't sing" but the truth is that I watch "American Idol" and I see the horrible singers that we all laugh at making basic, fundamental errors in technique, and I - not a singing teacher! - could probably make them sound completely not awful if I worked with them for a couple of weeks and they were willing to learn and put in the work and pick songs in their range.
Last edited by HotspurJr at Mar 25, 2015,
#3
Wow, guitar teacher(s) won't customize a lesson plan for you? That's lame.

The above advice on singing lessons is good, but it sounds like you aren't looking to become an amazing singer, just competent. I think that on your own you could improve your singing somewhat, just by playing a note on your guitar and matching it with your voice. Then moving on to doing that with intervals, for example do an exercise where you start with the first note of a scale and then play/sing the next one in this kind of pattern 1-2, 1-3, 1-4 and so on. At first you'll probably have to search around for the note but that's ok.

Also, it's not unusual at all for you to dislike your singing voice, especially recorded.

As far as learning things on the guitar, yeah there's a ton. You will have to choose things that you want to focus on and work on those specific things for a while. Maybe finding lessons on youtube could be a help. This guy's lessons are solid and cover many areas:
https://www.youtube.com/user/JustinSandercoe/playlists
#5
one question with practising singing. I get play a single note and replicating that with my voice to practive. Where I struggle is knowing where to sing when playing chords? How high or low. I assume it just has to fit the chord somehow?