Hey guys,
I'm a beginner guitarist who is desperately trying to play and sing at the same time. I find it very hard to focus on rhythm when I sing. It doesn't sound horrible because I strum to the lyrics I'm singing. However, it seems "technically" wrong because the tempo is not constant, and the strumming pattern varies a lot. I don't have these problems if I'm only strumming (i.e. not singing along) because then I can devote 100% of my brain to tempo and rhythm. Is this a common beginner problem, and does this get better with practice?

Also, is it wrong to sing without focusing on rhythm or tempo when you're completely unplugged (i.e. no percussion or beats, only acoustic guitar)? Or is rhythm always important, and should always be constant no matter what?
Hi bryanmcand, the only way I've found that works is to learn the vocal parts and guitar parts separately. Learn them until you never mess up. Then, at a really slow tempo, practice splaying and singing them together, then gradually increase the tempo as you improve. If you don't know both parts inside out, that's when you start strumming to the vocal rhythm, or singing the guitar rhythm. It's pretty much that simple and there's no easier solution. It's the same as patting your head whilst rubbing your belly. You have to learn interdependence of the parts.
EVH Wolfgang Special LH
Gibson Les Paul Studio 2013


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Rhythm is the most important part, actually. As above, work on them separately and then work slowly up to tempo together.
Glad to cross paths with you on this adventure called life
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you're acting like you have perfect pitch or something
How about this. Learn to play the song first ( on guitar). Once you've mastered it (That means being able to play it with eyes closed. Not having to thing about it) then start singing to it. This way it will feel like you are singing to a karaoke track since your hand will become independent from your thoughts. Thats how i go about it.