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Singing and playing

Happy Jack

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It's becoming more and more obvious that I need to be able to sing while playing bass.


Any tips on how to get started?

Every time I try, the second I start singing my bass-playing suffers from discolexia and the rhythm goes completely to pieces.


Edited by Happy Jack
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It's a tricky one and takes a bit of practice. Start with singing backing vox against a really simple bass line - chugging 8ths or something rocky and build up. It pays to know the bass line before you start trying to sing on top of it, so it's only the vocals that are new to your brain. I'm still working on it. I can sing backing vox to most stuff but singing lead, the bassline still has to be fairly simple. It's great when you don't have to sing anything though, then you can kick back, relax and enjoy playing!

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when i was learning piano i had real trouble when my hands were playing 2 different parts/rhythms, and the tip my teacher gave me was to learn the left hand part till it's instinctive. just play it over and over until it's drummed into the fingers and it's all done on instinct, so you could read a book, or have a conversation with someone and your hand will be doing it's thing on it's own.

this is what i did when trying to sing and play for the first time. and it worked very well. just go over the bassline (something simple to start) with a drum machine or metronome and just keep running over it again and again (for more that one session if necesarry), until you can let your mind wonder without effecting the bassline. then singing over the top of it will be a lot easier.

and as others have said, it gets easier with practice. it took a very long time before i could sing backing vocal without messing up the bass. now i'd be more than capable of singing lead vocals on our entire set (if only i had the voice :) )

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