I don't know if this is normal or not but I can't seem to strum correctly while I'm singing. Here is what happen when I strum and sing:

1. Starts strumming the correct pattern for a song.
2. Then starts singing
3. My strumming pattern shifts to Down, Down, Up, Up, Down instead of the pattern I started with.
4. And if I try to go back to the original pattern, everything just become messy. I would forget the words or chords or both.

- Has anyone experience this problem when you first started playing Guitar?
- Am I gonna grow out of this?
- I am a lefty using a regular guitar, could that be my problem?
well i find my problem is i end up playing the syllables (sorry about spelling here) of the words i sing... but it gets better with time, just sing while doing slower chord patterns. you'll improve and you wont even notice for awhile. IMO in all has to do with how comfortable your are playing chords. once it's second nature you'll think about playing less and be able to sing better.
yeh agree with the above i could never sing whilst playing now i can pretty much sing over most things i do. its odd one day you will just start and it'll be fine. you have to be really familiar with the song also that helps.
That's nice to hear because I got so annoyed that I've stopped playing for 2 weeks now. I also tend to play the syllables too when I can't figure out the pattern for a song and it sounds horrific, but I got over that. Now I'm stuck with Down, Down, Up, Up, Down for every song I try to sing and play.
just take it slow and steady. I'm also basically stuck with the strumming pattern my teacher teaches me most of the time..so it comes natural to me to play it that way for any song. mostly it sounds ok because the beats are the same..just the strumming maybe if u wanna change it a little to suit the song more then go ahead. once u start getting used to singing while strumming tho, it becomes much easier for doing the same with any other song
i have the same problem, but i cant sing at all when i play. i start thinking about the words so much, that my hands get all jumpy and i cant play right. i started singing before when i was playing jefferson airplanes "white rabbit" cuz it was just chords, but now i cant even do that anymore. will i ever be able to sing!?!?!!?!?
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Just strum down on the beats and up on the offbeats (while singing) for a while until you feel comfortable with that whatever song you do, and then start working on making the rhythm more interesting. Also, try playing while thinking (not actually singing) the words, and try playing along to the track. Keep doing that sort of thing for a while and it will, like some other people said, sort itself out eventually.

Also, one last rule which is just this: PRACTICE!
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Take it easy... you can play a less demanding pattern if you're a beginner to singing and playing at the same time. The attention will be on your voice, so just keep the rhythm and relax. Tense guitarists cannot play... I've been there.

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yeah practise will definately help.
you may want to try using a left handed guitar since you are left handed. you could always go to a guitar shop and try out a few left handed guitars see if you find playing left handed easier. i know my friend prefers playing right handed although she actually right handed. It's all down to personal preference i suppose.
i know what you mean though, when i start strumming on green day's good riddance, i always end up with the wrong rhythm. although i think that my strumming sounds better. go figure :P
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I find that when I sing and play, i dont think about playing. As long as it sounds right, im doing something okay.

Just keep practicing...
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im going to sound like a dick, but its come so naturly for me. I guess I just pick up beats a little more. Maybe use a metronome? Or listen to the song a bunch. Or have a friend sing it while you play it the right way, then start singing with him or her?
Well I'm definite glad to hear that I'm not the only with this problem.

Out of curiousity, are there any lefty here? or know any one that is a lefty playing guitar?
yea it just takes time. i used to be the same but now i can sing and play almost anything. it really just comes down to how long youve been playing. if you can get to playing songs without ever thinking about it, then it becomes easier to sing. you should also be pretty comfortable with the words. then onve you are better, you can learn a new song and sing to it right away.

one guy that is amazing at doing both is raul midon. the stuff he plays and how well is vocals are is just awesome. its almost like hes not in control of his hands.
just start out with really easy songs and advance to harder ones thats basically all it really takes...its hard at first but youll get used to it...
Practise Practise Practise. End of Story.

An idea though that may or may not work, try listening to the song on your computer/CD player or whatever, and play guitar along with it, then sing along with it, and after a while try both.
I'm left handed, but i play guitar right handed.

Singing and playing at the same time is all about hand-to-mind coordination, as you are crossing over the left and right sides of your brain, and it's especially interesting for us lefties.

Some tips - just keep at it, it will crack eventually and you'll get there. Try playing along to the song so you have some point of reference. Keep practising the hand movements until you're not even concentrating on your hands anymore, it's muscle memory and they will do the strumming automatically leaving you free to sing.
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Well I'm definite glad to hear that I'm not the only with this problem.

Out of curiousity, are there any lefty here? or know any one that is a lefty playing guitar?

Yeah I'm a lefty and I play a left handed guitar. On one hand I wish I learned right handed because its so hard to find a good left handed guitar not to mention more expensive. on the other I gotta wonder if I would be as good as I am now if I learned right handed. not sayin that I'm very good now, but I did pick up pretty quickly. I've also been singing and playing for a few months now. start with songs that fall in time with the sylables. Heres what I got started with:
1. Needs by collective soul. really really easy picking and the words fall perfectly in time with it.
2. Collide by howie day. simple chord progression and comes without thinking about it after a while
3. acoustic #3 by the goo goo dolls and landslide by fleetwood mac. this is more picking and again with pretty simple patters. more complicated on needs but again once you have the patter down it doesn't take any thought.
4.Banana pancakes by jack johnson. for me this was the final step. After I got this I could pretty much sing anything.

I've been playing for a little under 8 months now and only started being able to sing and play just recently. It's hard and it takes patience. But I'll tell you what, it's definately worth it.
First time i tried playing and singing at the same time it came out fine.
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when i started singing and playing i couldnt sing in tune lol. id end up singing the same note as the chord and the song would sound messed up. BUt after a bit of practice i fixed it.
Hmmm Dont know if anyones said this earlier..
When you start the song, strum your pattern and just try talking while your strumming, so your brain gets used to concentrating on something else a little bit, and the strumming pattern becomes automatic. Then turn it up a level and hum the song while strumming, When your comfortable with that start ssiinngginng.
Good luck.
yeah i could never sing and play at the same time but afeter practising for a while it got real easy and just a natural thing.... its alot easier if you know the lyrics off by heart so as to limit your thinking
actually its mildly orange...