Singing while playing guitar may seem like the most natural thing in the world, until you try it yourself! Jaime Babbitt tells singers that it takes time to master the art of singing and accompany oneself on guitar. To help singers find success, she gives this checklist for your practice:
- Get a metronome or metronome app ready
- Practice your song standing up (this will require a guitar strap).
- Check your posture and ensure you are not slouching or reaching your head forward.
- Begin each practice session by rolling both shoulders back gently which relaxes and opens the chest area.
- Practice your vocals alone, without playing guitar.
- Practice the guitar on its own, without singing.
- Once both parts are strong separately, slowly try to put the guitar and singing together, allowing for plenty of time to master this new skill. Expect it to be slow and difficult, but don’t give up!
- Keep it simple. Change any rhythms in the guitar part that are too difficult or syncopated.
- Practice with a metronome. Try to match your playing and singing to the click.
- If your song involves finger picking, or if it is too difficult to sing while playing, try singing your vocal on a hum first, then try the lyrics.
Jaime was a Musical Director, coaching voice and performance for Disney and wrote “Working With Your Voice: The Career Guide to Becoming a Professional Singer” (Alfred Publishing). As a session singer, she ‘jingled’ for Coke, Pillsbury, Folgers, Chevrolet, and hundreds more. She’s sung on thousands of live gigs (covers and original music) and toured for years with Leon Russell and Sam Moore. Jaime sang BGVs live and digitally with George Strait, Barbra Streisand, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Webb, Miley & Billy Ray Cyrus, Johnny Mathis, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Willie Nelson and others. She performed off-Broadway in “Search: Paul Clayton”, toured nationally with “Old Jews Telling Jokes” and presently coaches students in voice, performance, beginner guitar/piano, studio singing, songwriting and auditioning in NY, CT, LA, Nashville and virtually. For bookings: www.workingwithyourvoice.com