Singing comes naturally to some, but for others it's a learned skill. Guitar-playing is another skill that takes time to develop. If you'd like to learn how to sing and play guitar at the same time, get ready to devote a lot of time to practice.
Singing and playing guitar, also called "strumming and singing", looks easy when the pros do it. But if you've never tried it before, you might be daunted the first time you try to strum and sing.
It will take time, but you can learn how to sing and play guitar by following these simple rules:
Rule 1: Choose the Right Song
Watch video footage of singers who play the guitar while they sing. Chances are, they are performing songs specifically written to be sung and played at the same time. Even rock singers are probably strumming along to the rhythm while they play instead of trying to sing and play a complex melody.
Choose songs that lend themselves well to strumming and singing. If you just can't figure out how to sing and play guitar on a particular song, you might need to make an easier selection until you've advanced your skills.
Rule 2: Memorize the Song
You'll have an easier time learning how to sing and play if you have a natural sense of rhythm and timing. You'll have a much easier time if you don't need to think about the song's lyrics while you play the guitar.
Practice singing the song several times a day until you can easily sing it from memory. Then keep singing it until the words flow on their own, without too much thought from you. At this point, you'll have become so familiar with the song that you will be able to sing the words while you concentrate on playing the right chords on the guitar.
Rule 3: Take it Slow
When you're first learning how to sing and play guitar, don't try to master fast, difficult songs with lots of complex fingering and vocal acrobatics. Start off with a simpler tune that is easy to remember and fits your natural vocal range.
By starting slow and taking your time, you will learn proper techniques. If you rush things, you could pick up bad playing habits that keep you from realizing your full potential as an artist.
Rule 4: Master Your Basic Chords
By the time you learn how to sing and play at the same time, you should be so familiar with basic guitar chords that you can play them without a lot of concentration. Practice your chords and scales daily until you can play them largely from muscle memory.
Later, after you've mastered the basics, you can work your way up to more challenging riffs without sacrificing the quality of your strumming or your singing.
Rule 5: Give It Time
It takes a while to learn how to sing and play guitar simultaneously. How much time? Some experts estimate that it takes the average person six months or longer to be able to sing and play easy to moderately difficult songs. That's with a half hour of practice each day.
Don't get discouraged if it takes longer for your skill to develop. It might take a year or longer to get the hang of difficult songs. Practice makes all the difference, so make time for it every day.