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Singing and playing (at the same time)


markytbass
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[quote name='Viajero' post='37326' date='Jul 26 2007, 01:59 PM']I find it better to nail the bass part so I stop concentrating so much on it, and then gradually work in the singing.[/quote]

+1.. just keep doing it! Eventually it gets a little easier as you learn to detach part of your brain...

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Well I have been doing backing (like Bruce Foxton) but we are finding it difficult to find a guitarist who can sing (infact we are finding it difficult to get a guitarist full stop). I have decided to try the lead vox as well as bass until either someone turns up or until I fail miserably. I can sing and in key so thats not a problem its putting the two together. Thanks for the reply I'll put it into practice.

Cheers

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Guest baretas

[quote name='wateroftyne' post='37341' date='Jul 26 2007, 02:31 PM']+1.. just keep doing it! Eventually it gets a little easier as you learn to detach part of your brain...[/quote]

Yep, when I started doing BV in my band I noticed that the bass part was terrible. But since our lead singer is also the drummer, I really don't have any excuses about doing 2 things at the same time. :)
I also feel that if you play those parts where you sing without looking at the bass, and practice a lot, eventually you'll start to improve.

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[quote name='markytbass' post='37350' date='Jul 26 2007, 02:48 PM']Well I have been doing backing (like Bruce Foxton) but we are finding it difficult to find a guitarist who can sing (infact we are finding it difficult to get a guitarist full stop). I have decided to try the lead vox as well as bass until either someone turns up or until I fail miserably. I can sing and in key so thats not a problem its putting the two together. Thanks for the reply I'll put it into practice.

Cheers[/quote]
I hear you brother !!!!
We are going through the same thing at the moment, let down by singers so often that i'm learning t do it as well,because i'm sick to death of being at the mercy of singers !!!
I'm actually SUPRISED how easy it can be, just simplify the bassline if your really stuck.I'm pleased as hell that i can do "stuck in the middle with you " but try "shadows in the rain " by the police it's a hard one!
Good luck, let me know how your getting on we'll swop tips !! LOL !

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All the advice given is good. I sing and play on most gigs, either on guitar or bass. It's definitely harder to sing while playing bass or lead guitar than it is while simply strumming chords.

Simplifying the bassline really helps particularly to begin with. I had to simplify the bassline quite dramatically when I first started playing and singing "Living on a Prayer" for instance because the song is so technically difficult just to sing that I had to put all my concentration into nailing that. After a couple of months I realised I was able to play the full bassline while singing it. I still sometimes have to simplify it if I haven't done it for a while.

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I can sing and play at a reasonably good level, however putting two together at once obliterates me!

I am able to sing backing vocals if the bassline is simple - such as with the Natalie Band. I do a lot of harmonies with the Natalie Band and it is getting easier - put the practise and hard work in and it will get easier.

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I had similar problems on backing vocals. I slowed each song down to crawling pace then sang along to it. As you slowly speed up, your brain remembers the little cues to when you should be singing. Eventually, everything clicks and playing a song without singing feels strange.

I also commute a lot -- so I play the bass part before going to work, then sing the harmony in the car.

Cheers

Mark

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One word of warning. I used to do a lot of lead vocal at the same time as bass stuff. I found with practice I could sing over 90% of the basslines more or less wherever the bassline needed to go, BUT I could only do it by sticking exactly to where the syllables coincided with where I should be on the bass. Like McCartney doing Silly Love songs, which we used to cover, listen to how closely he follows the bass rhythm.

Result? I found the singing lacked spontaneity and life as did the bass playing, and neither as a separate skill really got better over time. Doing one or the other would be my recommendation if you can.
But that may be just my incompetence..

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  • 2 weeks later...

Loads of great advice above. Practice is the Daddy.

My method is to get the bassline nailed so that it's almost second nature. Then I'll try the vocal parts. No idea why but once I'm playing away and trying to get the lyrics right, my playing gets nice and polished, maybe a subliminal learning thing.

Ah! I've just realised that I should learn the lyrics for all the stuff I'm [b]not[/b] singing! :)

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Well this might be controversial, but I find it easier to learn the vox first, then learn the bassline. If you know the vox first you tend to have them in your head as you learn the bassline, and when you've learned the bassline the vox come a bit more second nature. If I learn the vox after, I find I have to re-learn how to play the bassline again *with* the vox.

Subtle difference, but for me, it makes *all* the difference.

I love it when you nail a vocal line that is counter intuitive to the bassline. It's very rewarding.
I did lead vocals for a while, but because my voice is good-average, rather than great, I'd rather use my voice as a great backing vocalist. It's a real strength for a bassist to have great backing vox.
I've never been short of work when I wanted it anyway.

Andy

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