Singing and Playing the Guitar

Most people who take up the guitar usually only want to learn to play the guitar, it is the playing of the instrument they are mainly interested in. Once people have made a start with their guitarplaying, can play a few chords, play the odd riff they start to realise that those chords will come alive when somebody sings along with them.
When I ask people if they sing they often laugh and say something like: “Yep in the shower” I know, most people are not happy telling anyone they like to sing, especially when they never thought of themselves as singers.
As time goes on most people actually will make a start with their singing but most of them are not aware that their guitarpractising can also give them ideas how to work on their singing:


If you have not done much singing this may be a problem for you. Pitch is basically the abiltiy to sing a note back which is being played. You can use your guitar to practise this skill. It does help to know what kind of voice you have: Try singing low notes, is this comfortable or would you like to prefer to sing a bit higher?. Sing in the range which is comfortable for you, especially when you are starting out. Once you get more experienced you can work on the range: Your voice works like a muscle which means you can expand the range to sing lower or higher notes.
For now you can just grab a single note anywhere on the fretboard and try to sing this note back comfortably.
Once you can do this, imagine a note, sing it and then use your guitar to check if you are actually singing that note or maybe another one.

                    Melody and Chords:

The downfall of the guitar is, you can only play one idea at once, not like on a keyboard where you can hold chords and play a melody (tune) at the same time. You can use the guitar to play chords and use your voice to sing melodies. You can start singing something very simple, like only a few notes and then play one chord and sing these notes over this chord.

You may first like to play a melody on the guitar, then sing this melody back with your voice. Being able to sing melodies back will help you remember songs, it also makes working out songs by ear much easier.


Once you get comfortable with singing the main melodies of your favourite songs you may want to try singing some harmonies ( notes which embelish the main melody or backing of the song) To practise singing harmonies you can play a chord, and try to sing back one of the notes of the chord. When you try this for the first time you may want to sing back the rootnote of the chord as the root is the most noticable note in the chord. Singing the rootnote at first may be good practise. Once you can do this comfortably try singing different notes of the chord. After a while you may start to enjoy the experience, as it can be quite pleasing to sing back harmonies with your own guitar playing.


Do you play scales on the guitar? What about singing scales with your voice, or actually sing along with your guitar playing. It is a good habit to sing along with whatever you play on the guitar, after a while it will become second nature which will only help you with your overal musicianship.
A voice does not have frets, which means you can sing notes in between the frets: You can grab a note and sing this note while going up (or down) with your voice, you can go all the way up(or down) an octave –or maybe even up two octaves–

Keep working on your singing as it will get better and you will enjoy the sound you are making.

Hope to catch you soon again,