Is Playing Guitar and Singing Hard? [Explained]

For solo musicians, playing an instrument while singing can prove to be essential. Although, there can be a slight learning curve to do so. So I set out on my own to determine if playing guitar while singing is difficult.

Is playing guitar and singing hard? Playing guitar and singing is a hard process. Once singing is incorporated, often the strumming hand is what falls off first and with it, the rhythm and timing. Through consistent practice, playing guitar and singing at the same time is attainable in 1 month.

Continue reading to learn if playing guitar can improve your singing, more on if playing guitar and singing is hard, how long it may take for you to become proficient, and simple exercises to help you get there faster.

Is Playing Guitar and Singing Hard

Does Playing Guitar Improve Singing?

Playing guitar improves singing capabilities because the singer can clearly hear the key properly from the guitar. The guitar can act as a reference note, to which your voice will automatically sync to.

With the guitar, you are much more likely to sing in key with the song. If you’re in a band, then this is especially essential. And honestly, it is much more fun. Guitar fills the space great than just singing alone. This makes singing more fun and increases your motivation to become better.

Is Playing Guitar and Singing Hard?

Yes, playing guitar and singing simultaneously is hard. The guitar itself takes years of practice to become proficient and singing is similar. Once proficient at both, combining the two becomes easier.

If not proficient at both, it can be difficult as now you need to become proficient with one instrument while simultaneously performing another act. Basically walking while chewing gum, but you don’t know how to chew gum fully yet.

Another aspect of playing guitar and singing is the mindset involved in it. Many musicians start out either as a singer or a guitarist. Because of this, that is how they think of themselves. Instead of thinking of yourself as just a guitarist or just a singer, start believing that you are a singer-songwriter or overall musician. Once you realize this, your confidence and motivation to practice singing and playing guitar will skyrocket.

Find Out Today If Guitar is Harder Than Piano

The hardest part of this combination is with the guitar. Specifically the strumming hand. Keeping rhythm on the guitar becomes difficult when singing at the same time. This is because your focus is now separated into two different avenues.

With all that being said, playing guitar and singing is like any other motor function. Simply keep practicing and remain consistent and you will get there. Follow the tips below for added help.

How Long Does it Take to Play and Sing Guitar?

If already proficient at both singing and guitar separately, it will take a month of consistent practice to feel comfortable doing both at the same time.

Follow the below steps to ensure you are approaching the new process correctly and I recommend watching some YouTube videos on it as well. It is important to nail down the proper technique so there are no bad habits to fix later on. The bad habits will progress you initially but will be a roadblock to further progress after a certain point. As a result, it will take longer to play and sing guitar together.

Forming good habits and techniques may take slightly longer and be more meticulous but will pay dividends in the long run. These dividends will allow you to progress much faster after the initial learning period.

Playing Guitar and Singing Exercises and Tips

Since this is can be a difficult task, let’s discuss some tips and exercises you can do to become proficient faster and the right way!

Tip #1: Chord Change and Lyric Association

Matching chord changes in a song to the lyric at that change is a great way to practice.

Pick a relatively easy song that you enjoy, print out the chord sheet/tabs with the lyrics, then listen to the song with the chord sheet in hand. Follow along with the song, without playing guitar or singing, and listen for when the chords change. Follow the lyrics on the sheet, notice the incoming chord change, then identify that chord change with a lyric in the song. This is all done without the guitar.

Now it is time to pick up the guitar for step 2. With the guitar, only play the chord changes. Sing along to the song and play the chord changes only when they change. The goal of this exercise is to get your fretting hand comfortable changing chords while you are singing.

Step 3 is to add a basic strumming pattern. A down strum is perfect for this. It may sound boring, but baby steps! This exercise allows you to keep a steady rhythm while changing chords and singing.

Tip #2: Practice Along With a Metronome

Sorry, but I had to throw this in here. The phrase “practice with a metronome” is like nails on a chalkboard for most, including myself many years ago.

Practicing with a metronome is the best way to learn how to keep time. Keeping time is essential, especially when you start playing with other musicians. When incorporating guitar and vocals together, keeping time helps the two aspects stay aligned.

Tip #3: Start With Simple Strumming Patterns

This tip is similar to tip #1 but I wanted to elaborate more. Playing guitar and singing is much like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time. If you try to jump in too fast, then you will only get frustrated with your lack of motor function. Baby steps are necessary to perfect this.

Start with simple strumming patterns. Simple strumming patterns like down strums only and slowly. Once you can sing and play down strums to perfection, start throwing in some upward strums as well. Nail each simple variation and then you can go to the strumming pattern that the song intends. Although, I recommend slowing down the tempo by at least 30-50% to not get overwhelmed with the speed of the strumming pattern, chord changes, and lyrics.

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