Singing And Playing The Guitar
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Singing and playing the guitar can be quite a challenge, especially if you have never worked on the skill before. You might get discouraged the first time you play and sing along one with one of your favorite songs to find that you lose control of your rhythm as you are playing.
It can be a challenge at first to keep the rhythm going on our right hand, but the best thing to do is GO SLOW.
As with anything and learning guitar, going slow will actually help you go faster in the long run. With rhythm playing, it is better to start off by going very slow and keeping things very simple. So if you are working on a song that has a very intricate and complicated strumming pattern, take the strumming pattern and simplify it.
Remember, speech and motor coordination are to very different parts of the brain. Our brains are not really made for multitasking. The brain can only concentrate on one thing at a time and usually the voice comes before the guitar.
YOU NEED YOU RIGHT (OR LEFT) HAND ON AUTOPILOT.
Essentially, we need to get our right hands (or left if you are a lefty) on autopilot where we do not even have to think about it anymore. The only way to do this is to first go in slow motion and get our brain used to doing both things at once. When you feel that you are getting the hang of it, you can try and go faster.
If that seems OK, then try making the strumming a little more complicated. If you do that and find yourself back at square one, remain on that strumming pattern and slow it way down again.
SLOW IS SLOWER THAN YOU THINK!
When is say slow, people usually think it's like 10% slower than what they are playing at. That would be like going from 120bpm to 108bpm on the metronome. Actually, when I say slow motion, I mean you are going to play at 50%-25% of full speed. So if you are playing a song at 120 bpm, you should slow it down to 60 or 30 bpm.
The slower you go, the more time your brain has to process what you are doing.