Singing and Playing
Singing "invites" music into
It's very important.
When I was
playing my best I
was a very good singer. I could hear the guitar part I
before I played it (or as I played it).
horn, "you have
to breathe the
note out. That gives horn players a
certain focus that other musicians sometimes don't have."
The same is
true for singing.
Sing loud and sing
Sing until your throat hurts,
then stop. Don't
push it, you could damage your vocal chords.
Stay hydrated and keep your vocal cords safe.
Sing with a piano or guitar
as you play scales and chords.
Sing the solfege
Do, Re, Mi, (see ear training
Sing over a
to hear how the notes
interact with the key. Do this for every note.
Sing over chord progressions
to hear how the notes interact in the key.
Jam with people.
Focus on the rhythm. Make rhythmic sounds and don't worry
about the words.
Sing along with CD's
and metal growls and screams.
toughen up your
vocal chords and help you make different tones.
you get the right notes. Even if you hate metal, practice it.
It helps you project and sing from the diaphragm.
sing good, you need lung capacity.
Exercise builds up your
lungs and helps you focus.
Jogging can destroy your knees.
roller blading is safer and you can sing while you do it.
Sing as loud as
Go for a walk in the forest so it's
not embarrassing. Take
Inhale as much air as you
can, then "gulp" down 5-10 more mouthfuls of air.
Be careful. You're
stretching your lungs.
hurts your ability to sing.
makes your throat "scratchy". It affects your tone.
It makes you more likely to get sick after hard singing.
Listening leads to Singing
follow the chord progression and bass (harmony).
They might be singing
different notes, but they're blending and interacting with the harmony. Before you can sing different
notes, you have to sing
(not the melody). This helps you hear the
Add rhythm to your singing,
try to match the
rhythm of the song. Sing
nonsense syllables to the beat.
Add 'feeling' by changing your tone and dynamics.
Sing louder or softer. Add warbles, or bends. Sing with a clear voice, sinister, bouncy and
happy, gravelly, death metal growl, boy band, blues, etc. Have fun with it.
Singing in Key
When you sing without a
mic, you might be sharp or flat.
The music sounds
different as it comes "through your head", instead of "into your ears".
This is why your talking voice sounds different when it's recorded.
Sing into your cupped hands and
redirect your voice into your
This is a great "natural mic". I used to
sing in the bar like this. (Needs picture)
Sing into the corner of
a room. You'll hear the sound bouncing
off the wall and back into your ears. Sing
in the shower.
Buy open air headphones
You can easily hear yourself singing while wearing them. Get a cheap mic and small amp
and sing while music is
playing. If it makes feedback put a pillow in front of it.
a karaoke machine.
Sing into a guitar
to check your Intonation.
It's so loud you'll have to listen
to the amp. You can't hear
anything else. This
is the best way. Listen
everyone and interact. Protect
your ears with loose fitting earplugs.
Sing scales and chords.
a chord progression that defines a key* and sing over top of it.
*Play the same
chord over and over, or play a 1, 4, 5 (or five 7) chord progression.
Sing with the singer
on songs you know.
singing the melody (over the chord progression).
that might sound good. For fast
your tongue to the rhythm
and sing "nonsense
syllables" that fit.
rhythm pattern with your mouth.
makes your tongue faster,
and makes it move to the rhythm.
*simulate drum or rhythmic noises
Clear your throat
It makes your tone
"Ha" using your diaphragm muscle (lower stomach).
Make it an "air" sound. Force it out fast, several
times, then cough.
Say "Ha" and turn it into
a wheezing sound (like an old man with
emphysema.) Then cough.
Scream as loud as you can,
and work it through several different tones, then cough.
There's also a spray product that opens your vocal chords. I
haven't tried it.
Find a singer
who sings high or low. Practice
Low singing requires more air movement and open vocal
chords. It will probably be quieter. High singing requires tighter vocal chords and can
"break" or waver easier.
Use a mic, amp and tuner.
It can be high or low. It sounds
amplified, if you do it
right it's hard to tell the
can change your sound by
The way you open and close your
The tension in
your jaw and throat.
The way you breathe.
The way you change your syllables.
Sing bass tones like
a bass guitar.
Sing like a
Use spoken words
instead of singing.
Try to make your voice
appropriate** and sexy. Men are attracted to higher
women are attracted to lower.
Try accenting certain words to the
metal is scratchy, distorted, deep and scary. Country pop music is sexy and charismatic.
Singing while Jamming
is one of the keys to inspired music.
Close your eyes and
sway to the
Get your body
moving, head bang, jump up and down. Dance to
the rhythm. Focus on the music as it moves past
moment is a moment waiting for you to express yourself.
worry about words or thoughts or what people think.
about keys, chords or scales. Clear your mind and sing along
with rhythmic tones
Sing any sounds and words that pop into your head.
Sing with feeling. Use your tones and dynamics
(loud and soft). Try to feel
the music as it's
Let your subconciouse react.
Different tones come out at different volumes. Get closer (or farther) from the mic to
your volume, while keeping the right tone.
Cup your hands
behind the mic to make
the sound fuller.
should all be
done with the microphones."
voice and sing as loud as you
is very loud.
with the other instruments.
Blend with them.
Ask the band to play quieter at times.
Sing until you're sick
with a sore throat.
I used to do this once or twice a week. I got very good. When
your throat starts to hurt from growling and screaming, ask the band to
play quieter and work on gentle singing. When
that starts to hurt, work on spoken word parts. When
that starts to hurt, STOP. Be carefull. Damage can
be permanent. If in doubt, stop.
All the singing sites say that's a bad idea, but it works for me.
Use your own
in the ear training
section for a lot more exercises. Use the ear
. Practice these with your guitar or
piano to get the intonation right.
Sing a note, then sing the octave
(higher or lower) Sing a note.
'Glissando' or bend to the next octave
a trombone sliding)
Sing a note
. Sing the octave.
Sing any notes in
Pick a different note,
sing the octave. Try to sing
the same intervals
for the middle notes.
C2 Ionian scale (C2 faster) (C2 faster) (Fastest)
C3 Ionian scale (C3 faster) (C3 faster) (fastest)
C4 Ionian scale (C4 faster) (C4 faster) (fastest)
C5 Ionian scale (C5 faster) (C5 faster) (fastest)
Sing the scale notes
This reminds you
of all the possibilities.
also reminds you of possibilities.
Sing any lyric as
many ways as
Use your mouth, throat and diaphragm. Extend certain
words, then shorten them. Change
the pitch for different words. Change
the tone. Change
Words are the least important part of singing.
If you use the same words, you don't have to
think about words. Many people avoid singing because they don't know
what to say.
Pretend your singing a foreign language.
Create a rhythmic lyric line and
sing it to the beat.
This gets your tongue
and mouth moving.
Some lines are very
fast because your mouth doesn't trip over itself. This is how some people rap at 200 mph.
You'll find many fast flowing
lines if you sing to yourself all day.
Rhythmic syllables are "ka
ta fa la sa ma cha ra pa"
them up into different patterns.
Each one requires
different tongue and mouth movement.
Tone sounds are ay
Sing tongue twisters as fast as you
Make drum sounds.
sound like a synth drum
set. Pretend you're
playing the drums with your
phrase to the beat of the metronome (or drum machine), then sing a phrase against the beat.
Repeat and make variations.
Visualize a "pattern" in your mind.
Sing any note that's higher or lower.
Each can be sung a LOT of ways.
Try to hit four right
Try to hit
four wrong notes.
Try three right
notes, and one wrong note.
Sing a note, sing a different note.
Sing the first note, sing any different note. Continue
Sing a note, then sing any different note
note, then sing a note "1 note
higher or lower" than the last one.
Singing and Playing
takes time. You have to be able to play something.
You need to go on "autopilot" and let your fingers do it.
There are ways to simplify this.
one chord with a simple rhythm
1/4 notes). Repeat it over and over.
Sing along with any notes.
you create melodies. If you only play the
root chord (tonic) you get a good sense of the melody right from
the start. This is a great
way to start writing songs.
"The point of music is to
tell stories with the melody… You don’t care what chords are underneath,
the basic feeling of the song that gets you immediately.”
them in the same
whatever you like.
find something that works, sing it over and over.
a cycling riff without a rhythm
(an 8 note
pattern of 1/8th notes. etc.)
Try to keep the riff
simple. Sing notes
and listen to how
they interact. If you can't
do that, sing one long note that sounds good to you. Try to make your vocal
Listen to how your voice interacts with the riff.
a rhythmic riff.
Sing "La" to the rhythm while you play.
This gets your tongue moving rhythmically. When you can sing the
rhythm, try singing a few notes that work.
Sing the notes you're playing on the guitar.
This helps you find
notes on your guitar. It also helps you imagine
and remember possibilities.
Sing a note before
you play it.
wrong, sing the wrong note OR
and try to find it.
you watch Jimi
Hendrix, he's pretending to sing the whole
time. Steve Vai does it. So does Joe Satriani and
thousands of other guitar players.
With a little practice you'll
be able to improvise a guitar and vocal part at the
It's fun and it helps you get in the
zone. It forces
you to simplify your guitar part so the vocals can fit better.
"My guitar and voice are
interchangeable. I'm in
state when I really know the song and can sing it well, and I know the
chords perfectly and where I am on the guitar at all times.
a thing of feeling very continuous
between the guitar player and the singer. It's a neat feeling, almost magical."