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Thread: Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

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    Question Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

    I've been trying something out in my practice sessions where I try to match my voice to the pitch of the tune I'm playing and 'sing' the notes over top of my picking.

    Anybody else ever try this out?

    I definitely have to slow down a lot when practicing this way but I'm hoping that with enough practice I will get to a point I can effortlessly play or sing what I hear in my head.

    If I haven't explained it well, my inspiration was Oteil Burbridge singing his bass solo in this Aquarium Rescue Unit video (apologies in advance if my first attempt at embedding video goes awry)

    I apparently can't include the start-time in embedded video - skip to 4:03 to see what I'm talking about.

    Last edited by WaxwellHaus; Jul-10-2019 at 9:54am. Reason: Problems Embedding Video

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    Default Re: Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

    Many years of playing and singing here. I always have to play simpler figures while singing, the better stuff comes in the spaces between phrases.

    As a result I prefer to not sing and play in a band.

    When playing by myself I do both, and it's a skill I keep up, so a good skill to learn.
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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

    The more body parts you can get involved the better. Sing, tap feet, move around, whatever.
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    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

    One of the guitarists in our group will occasionally sing the notes when she can't seem to find the tune for one reason or another. She's classically trained and is a trained singer, so it may just be her default.
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    Default Re: Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

    Who was it, Pablo Cassals? Often got carried away during a recording or performance and sang his cello part loudly enough to be heard over the cello itself.
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    Default Re: Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

    I find that I do this more on occasion playing accordions. I have no idea why?

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    Default Re: Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

    Keith Jarrett used to do a lot of humming over piano, and occasionally LOUD moaning and groaning.
    After one show in the early eighties, a woman in the audience complained to a radio show that his performance was pornographic!
    Of course after that EVERYONE wanted to go and hear him playing piano.

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    Default Re: Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

    George Benson.

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    Default Re: Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

    It's definitely a good idea at times. I like to do it when learning a song, not so much for singing since I have an awful time memorizing lyrics and playing and singing was never my strong suit. I think it makes it easier to learn a song for playing better than just focusing on basic melody and instrumentation. It develops muscle memory for the melody and harmonies, and I think "living" in a song or tune a bit aids in more sympathetic/creative interpretation.
    Last edited by Mainer73; Jul-10-2019 at 6:45pm. Reason: Adding a thought

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    Default Re: Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

    Quote Originally Posted by kurth83 View Post
    Many years of playing and singing here. I always have to play simpler figures while singing, the better stuff comes in the spaces between phrases.

    As a result I prefer to not sing and play in a band.

    When playing by myself I do both, and it's a skill I keep up, so a good skill to learn.
    A common misconception if you haven't played in the right band. Granted many have not. Check out Mandolin Orange in the expanded format. The number one criteria for a band backing vocals is listening, then checking one's ego at the door realizing less is more.
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    Default Re: Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

    For my two-cents - I prefer not to hear somebody sing over their instrument . . . on most occasions what you hear most is the voice, and the music gets lost.

    Dale hit the nail on the head when he said 'George Benson' - but personally, I like it much better when George plays away from his vocal microphone.

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    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

    Oscar Peterson
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    Default Re: Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

    Usually do that silently- thinking the notes after years of music classes, and other training. Out loud might work unless the surrounding (ambient) noise drowns it out before it reaches your ears.

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    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    The more body parts you can get involved the better. Sing, tap feet, move around, whatever.
    "Whatever." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lD7Ig4yAqc

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    Default Re: Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

    Yes. The master.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Ludewig View Post
    George Benson.
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    Default Re: Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    The more body parts you can get involved the better...
    When I finally got serious about learning the fretboard AND about being a tolerable (or at least predictable!) singer, I'd sing the names of the notes as I played the tune. Clunky at first, but it helped a LOT!
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    Default Re: Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

    Jimmy Page

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    Default Re: Do you ever sing the notes of a tune while you play it?

    Well … yes and no. I listen to the melody in my head as I play it on the strings. That helps me keep track of where I am in relation to the other players and the music. I add a scale or some flatted or pulled of or slid into tones and lead back to the chord where the singer picks up the melody and I start chording again. I occasionally get lost if I don't know the melody well ….. live and learn. R/
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