How To Sing and Play Guitar at the Same Time

Michelle Nipko gives you 10 tips on how to sing and play guitar at the same time.

Video Transcription

Hey everybody, this is Michelle Nipko, and today we are talking about tips to play guitar and sing at the same time. This is not easy, it can be a daunting challenge and even the most season performers take a few weeks to build up the performance of the new song. It is necessary to develop a good sense of timing and rhythm and the ability to synthesize two different actions at the same time. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right away. If you follow these basic guidelines, you will be rocking out in no time. So, here we go,

1. I have to tell this to myself daily, “Be Gentle On Yourself”. This is not easy. Almost no one gets it right away, you’ve got to enjoy the process.

2. “Think like a pianist”. Like a pianist who uses both hands to play two different rhythms concurrently, you need to meld your different strumming and singing rhythms, so, it sounds seamless. You’re not playing the guitar and singing separately, you’re performing one song.

3. I like to follow this generally in my life, Kiss methodology, Keep It Simple Stupid or “Keep it sweetly simple”. Do not overcomplicate the song, that would simply overwhelm you and frustrates you, I do tell my husband this daily, he likes complicated, it is good to keep it simple to start. You can learn songs with the simple chords structure and strong pattern that you know well, so it’s easy for you to sing as you become more familiar with the music and how are you going to perform it. “Slowly add more complexity” in elements that make it yours. This is exactly our philosophy in learning performance at

4. Just like any sport, anything you do, “You need to commit your guitar to muscle memory”. Work to commit your guitar to muscle memory, frees your brain up to focus on your singing, its just like walking. Once your brain has had the time and repetition to completely commit this guitar part to your memory, you won’t need to consciously think about it. The guitar will become this beautiful background to your amazing singing and way for you to rock out.

5. “Practice strumming with a metronome”. I know that sounds pretty much boring but it’s really going to help your timing. It might feel restricted at first but you really need that to become more consistent player and if you can spend 10 minutes a day practicing a simple strumming pattern with a metronome, you will notice significant improvement on your timing within just a few weeks.

6. “Hum While Strumming”. This is a gentle introduction for you to do two things at the same time. Once again, we’re keeping it simple to start and then we can add complexity as we become more and more comfortable with it.

7. “Memorize the Song”. This includes both melody and the lyrics. It’s best to start with the song that you already know, you sing in the car, in the shower. These are songs that you already know, your brain gets it and will be familiar with it when you start to sing.

8. “Slow Down”. A great way to train your muscle memory is to start slow. Then, as you become more comfortable with it then you can increase the tempo.

9. “Change the Key”. If you’re finding yourself straining to hit some notes, you can change the key. That’s what I love about acoustic guitar, it is very simple to change the key, just by moving your capo up and down the neck and if you look up here, there’s a link to exactly how to change your capo so you can learn how to do that.

10. Of course,” Practice, practice and more practice”, like your mama told you, Practice makes perfect and that’s the same here. You just got to put in the time, but you know what? It’s going to reap awesome rewards. So, there you go. This is Michelle Nipko with your 10 tips to sing and play the guitar and bring out YourInnerVibe. Have a great day! I hope you’ve enjoyed this lesson on how to sing and play guitar at the same time.

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