Hello Y'all. Jay here from Ontario Canada

I picked up and started learning guitar when I was about 10yrs old, after about a month I was done. Didn’t touch the guitar again till around 20yrs old, I had a few friends who played and they where amazing at playing, this was awesome but discouraging at the same time. I grew up believing to be a good musician you had to have some gift or it was something that you where born with. So i only lasted a few months learning at that point of my life.
So here i am at the ripe old age of 49 and i’ve been at it for almost a year now. I truely believe Justin’s patience, descriptive lessons and encouragement has helped to keep me motivated to go on. I’ve put all those myths or excuses of having to be special to be a musician or my hands are to small to play, behind me. (Thanks to some really good self help books)
Im not playing as much as i should but its better than not playing at all. I have days where i play for 30minutes and days where i play for 4or5 hours “and Wow do my fingers get sore”. I have just completed the Grade 3 part of the lessons.
Im also trying to play and sing at the same time and have found this to be very very difficult for myself. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
My goal is to sometime in the next year or 2 to be playing on stage at some local pubs and around camp fires. I will eventually try and record myself and put it on the community, but thats a whole new lesson for me to learn. Have a great day Eh!

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Hello Jason and welcome to the community. :slight_smile:

I found when I first started singing and playing I would pick songs that I knew the lyrics to really well. So once I had the chords and strumming under my belt, they kind of just came together. I hope that helps.

Hey Jason, welcome

I can sort of see myself in your goals and your struggles. I, too, want to, at some undefined point in the future, have a go at performing some campfire songs for friends and family, singing and all.
I can also very much relate to the battle of singing and playing together and while I’m far from amazing at it, it has gotten quite a deal better over the past year.
My advice for it would be, what SgtColon said, to start with simple songs that you know fairly well and try to get the rhythmic structure of playing and singing down first. By that I mean strumming only on one ( or a down on every beat if you are feeling adventurous ) and making sure that the rhythm of the text is in line with the rhythm of the music ( i.e. you are at the correct word or syllable when the chord changes ). Depending on how confident you are in your singing it may be best to do this just in spoken word without much attention to pitch at first, just focusing on the rhythm.
And once you get the hang of the basic rhythm you can work your way upwards and slowly add the strumming and proper singing.
This is what has worked for me, but I’m by no means an expert on this topic.

Anyway, good to have you around and enjoy the great thing that is the JG community.

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Hi Jason, welcome. At the beginning you should try to sing a basic version of the song the same way you are playing a basic version of it in the guitar. You can first say the song. You do not have to attempt any vocal prowess. You can initially practice the singing separately from the guitar playing. You can initially sing or play the guitar listening to the original record while counting the beats (feel the rhythm) and later do it without the record. Your singing has to fit in the same bars than the guitar playing. Listen to the guitar, if you are not in tune, the guitar should be (if correctly tuned). Use the capo to be in tune with the record, if needed, and try to use it for finding a better match between the guitar tune and your voice when you are not playing with the record.

Welcome to the community Jay. We are glad to have you. I am about the same age with a similar story. To answer your question about singing and playing, Justin has a full video about steps to do it. Here is my “cliff’d notes” three step process. Obviously pick a fairly simple song without complex strumming or riffs or tone down a fancy song.

  1. pick a song relatively easy-print lyrics with chords above exact word. Listen to song and identify word when chord changes. (You don’t need your guitar yet)
  2. Grab guitar and play one strum on the changes only. Sing the song and only strum on word chord changes. Get your fretting hand comfortable with making chord changes while singing.
  3. Take what you know and add steady downstrum. (nothing fancy). It may sound boring but it is critical to keep steady rhythm while changing chords and singing

bonus-once this is working for you add a fancier strumming pattern. Diversify rhythm. Don’t rush it. This worked for me and will be a light bulb moment for you too and remember Justin’s lesson at the end of #2, play without looking. Let me know if this works:)

Thanks for all the advice. There are a few new ideas in here im going to use and im sure will help me along the way.
I was focusing to much on trying to sound like the original song right away. I really like the idea of strumming on the chord change only and not to worry to much about tone from my voice and try speaking the words. Im looking forward to talking to more of you with questions or anything i can add to help other. :guitar: Im liking the community hub this is my first one i’ve ever joined and im enjoying the reads. Thanks again.:metal: