How To Sing And Play The Guitar At The Same Time

how to sing and play guitar at same time

Have you ever wondered why James Hetfield, Jimi Hendrix, or Eric Clapton were so successful in their careers?

Apart from being exceptional with their guitar skills, they were also great vocalists. Although they make it look easy, it is challenging to sing and play the guitar at the same time.

Some players even mess up the most basic harmonies and melodies when playing the guitar and singing simultaneously. But it’s not extremely difficult to achieve. It does take a lot of work, but with the right approach, you can do it too.

9-Step Approach to Singing and Playing the Guitar at The Same Time

Singing and playing the guitar simultaneously is reasonably straightforward in theory. The real challenge is to put it into practice doing it. So let’s see how to sing and play guitar at the same time.

1. Choose a Simple Song

Start with something easy. Songs that are slow and don’t have much instrumentation should be a good starting point. You can choose songs from genres like pop, metal songs, blues, and even rock. These songs tend to have a guitar as their main instrument.

Try choosing songs composed with a majority of the 8 basic chords or more open chords to make things easier.

Songs to sing and play on guitar at the same time

  • Patience” by Guns N’ Roses
  • “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan
  •  “More than Words” by Extreme
  • “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin
  • “Take me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver

Here are easy jazz guitar songs for you. Make sure you try this genre as well.

2. Map Out the Priorities of the Song

Once you’ve chosen your song, listen to it very carefully. Pay attention to the notes, the lyrics, the guitar strumming patterns, the chords, and the tempo.

Make sure to take note of all this and break it down into sections—Mark out the part of the song that is most important or needs more attention.

Pay attention to the strumming pattern throughout the entire song. These will be the parts that you need to pay more attention to.

For Example, The chorus in “Take me Home, Country Roads” is much more intricate than anything else in the song. So clearly, that should be your priority.

3. Understand and Master the Basics of Guitar


All the thought of singing and playing simultaneously relies on the fact that you have mastered guitar basics. Focus on understanding the guitar terminology.

4. Keep your Rhythm as Simple as Possible

As you start learning a new song on the guitar, try keeping the rhythm as simple as possible.

You just want to get the feel and tempo of the song at this point. Pay attention to the timing and placement of beats in the music.

When you go through this stage, your goal is to get the timing right.

5. Use a Metronome to Practice your Rhythm

Metronome is one of the best tools for any musician. The metronome produces beats at a steady pace. This pace can be manipulated to go as fast or as slow as you want. You can use the metronome to time your song’s chords with the lyrics.

Most musicians use the metronome to maintain a steady tempo throughout the song.

For example, the tempo to “Take me Home, Country Roads” is 82 BPM, whereas “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” is 140 BPM.

Then again, the same songs can have a different tempo; you can double it or cut it in half. You can choose what you are comfortable with.

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6. One Thing at a Time

The most common mistake beginners make is trying to learn both simultaneously.

Even if you are trying to play and sing simultaneously, you won’t achieve it by playing and singing simultaneously from the very beginning. You need to master both these things separately.

First, memorize the song’s lyrics, then learn the guitar part and put it in muscle memory. Once you are done with this process, only then start synchronizing.

7. Hum the Tune of the Song as you Play the Guitar

  • Assuming you’ve got the guitar part down in your muscle memory
  • Start strumming to the tempo of the song, with chords and everything
  • As you strum and play the chords, gradually start humming the song’s tune
  • Do this for the duration of the entire song

Are you missing these finger exercises?

Follow these finger exercises to get better at guitar.


When you hum to the song’s tune as you play the guitar, you cultivate a habit of overlapping notes from two different instruments. The instruments are your guitar and your voice.

8. Start Adding Words

If you have been humming to the song’s tune for a while, it’s time to start adding words.

  • Add words here and there throughout the song but don’t stop humming
  • Add words to the tune; sooner or later, you will start singing and playing simultaneously.

9. Keep Practicing

There’s no substitute to practice. Know about reading guitar chord charts and playing notes. Practice guitar chords as well. Because perfection does not exist. You can constantly improve if you keep practicing. You can continuously refine, change or learn to make the process easier.

A Bonus Tip to Sing and Play the Guitar at Same Time

There are some music channels that put on songs along with their subtitles. You can kill two birds with one stone here. You can practice the lyrics of the song and memorize the melody of the song at the same time. It’s a good way to start learning with almost no extra charges.


Why is it hard to sing and play the guitar simultaneously?

It is hard to sing and play simultaneously because you are interacting with two different instruments. The vocal cords and the guitar need to operate simultaneously but at a different capacity. Most people mess up the pitch of the song when playing an instrument. You can only learn that with practice.

How do you keep the rhythm while singing?

Most musicians count the beat in their heads. But a metronome is the best tool anybody can use. There are a lot of benefits to practicing with a metronome.

Why do some people sing offbeat when playing the guitar?

This is quite a common thing. People sing offbeat just because it sounds good. It gives the listener more time to interact with the music. It allows the singer to add some intricacies to the song’s melodies he is playing.

Which chords are used more often than others?

The progression of C major, G major, A minor, and F major is the most commonly used combination. It is used in almost every popular song.


So you see, the ability to play guitar and sing simultaneously is more related to multitasking than it is to the music aspect.

Yes, it is tough but not an impossible feat to achieve. With enough guitar practice and dedication, even you can sing and play the guitar simultaneously. And the cool thing is, you can learn to play and practice the guitar right from your home.

So what’s stopping you from entering the big leagues? Be the guitarist who can play and sing simultaneously, looking cool while you are doing it.

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