Playing songs without singing ok?

So I’m doing ok, I’m really enjoying playing and can play around 9 chords. Not perfect but ok… I also have “0” interest in singing so I usually play with the song I’m learning or playing the ones I know in the background.

When I jam with friends I’m happy with just being included in the jam. Someday I may try to sing I just find it hard so I’m happy with what I’m doing now…

Doe’s anyone else do this?



That’s exactly what I did when I started playing. Everyone said it’s harder to play and sing at the same time so I just played.

I have no interest in singing too, which presented itself as a problem recently, when I tried to get some gigs. Venues seem not interested in a solo guitar, no singing, performance :man_shrugging:

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Absolutely :smiley:
This is a guitar site. Everything else is optional.
The main thing is you enjoy yourself. :sunglasses:

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Singing while you’re playing comes easy for some people … while for a lot, it’s a bugger to get right. What you’re effectively doing is asking your brain to coordinate your picking hand, your fretting hand, and your voice … all together and in time … all at once. It’s not easy for a lot of people, myself included.

What does make it easier, is if what you’re playing is thoroughly learnt and committed to muscle memory. Then the process becomes semi automated to a degree … and allows your brain to pay more attention to other processes … like singing along.

So absolutely … Learn your guitar pieces and don’t worry about not singing along … That will definitely come easier later :+1:


You are jamming with friends - well that’s great, the best thing, making music with people.
If you fancy having a go at singing too - go for it. It’s free - you don’t even need to buy any extra gear :v:

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Really? How much later? Eight years in, and it hasn’t happened. :smile:

I’ve heard “get the guitar part on autopilot, then the singing comes along.” Well, I’ve never had a song on autopilot, no matter how long I’ve been playing it. I always have to be thinking about what I’m doing, and if I try singing, everything on the guitar falls apart.

I enjoy trying to sing. It is fun. I am not skilled at all at it (I don’t want to say bad, because maybe it is a skill to learn?) I don’t think you need to be good at it to try and just enjoy the process.

I also find it quite hilarious how, as soon as I try to sing, I suddenly have no clue what my strumming hand is doing.


@markr31 … There’s always one that will never get it. Looks like it’s you, mate :laughing:

I have Asperger’s … (or ASD, or whatever they’ve reclassified it as since last Tuesday) … so while I can play guitar pieces I’ve committed to memory and are fresh with few problems, I can sympathise via other experiences. I play footie every weekend, and have done for almost 30 years, even though it’s 5- or 7-a-side these days; playing a full 90 on a full pitch would probably kill me off, now. I love it … keeps me fit and the games are friendly but competitive.

What I don’t have … is the natural, instinctive coordination that the rest of the lads have. Like you having to watch what you’re playing and concentrate on that every time, I have to coordinate in real time thought … literally processing where my feet are, where I’m running to, where the bloody ball is underneath me on the fly. Not easy when you have another player charging at you and you need to think first instead of just doing.

Some people are just like that, mate. I don’t have the natural instinct for fluid football play because I have to think first, then coordinate … maybe that’s just the way you are with your playing.

I get over most of the shortcomings of my game by remaining a defensive player with above average positional awareness … You can enjoy your playing by foregoing that which distracts you; the singing part. As long as you’re playing, that’s what counts.


Hi Richard, If you’re enjoying yourself then that’s all that really matters, loads of people avoid singing and that’s cool. I would encourage you to keep it on the agenda though as it does add a layer to a performance - I avoided it for countless years, mostly as I’m not very good at it, but I enjoy it now (although I still suck!)

Hey Mark, have you tried stripping back the strumming…Can you sing if you play a simple song with just one strum per bar? I’m pretty sure that’s how I started, simplifying everything as much as I could and slowly introduced more strumming and patterns once I’d lock in a basic single strum thing.


Hi Mark, I am with you 100%. I can understand why places do not want a solo guitar player. Unless you are an awesome lead guitarist, the general public get bored very easily. I have found that just playing rhythm guitar along to tracks or with a friend playing lead works well for me. Just play and enjoy it and let other who like to sing do all the singing :grinning: :guitar: :guitar:

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It’s definitely okay. It’s two different instruments. Just like learning guitar and drums. You can decide to learn both or specialize in one. Backing tracks are a lot of fun.

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huh. that seems really like the way we start everything, but never occurred to me. That just might work!

I haven’t bothered trying to sing because my voice is weak - 1 hour trying to talk in a noisy room, and I sound like a frog for the next 18 hours. And, I am told my ability to hit a note and hold it is painfully poor.

I think I may give this idea a try when I don’t expect to offend anyone’s ears. :slight_smile:


I like your football-to-guitar comparison @Wishbone71. I played in weekend leagues from age 19 to 54, when I could no longer keep up with the kids in the over 40 league. I never had the skill or speed to be a striker (lead guitar), nor the passion and ego to be the team captain (lead vocals). If I concentrated and hustled, I could be a steady defender and passer, standing out only from time to time (rhythm guitar). On the football pitch, the problem when you’re old is your mind has the “positional awareness” to know where you need to be, but your legs are two strides behind. I guess that applies to playing guitar in that I know I’m never going to be able to “shred.”


Unless we want to perform or have super critical family and friends, we don’t need to sing loud or even well. Whispering or speaking the words is fine.

The value to me is so I can better enjoy all the songs that really need the words to fill out the melody and not be boring.

For example, I am learning a song where the strumming in the original version is a straight forward 3/4 DDUDU at 180 bpm. The chord changes are nice, but there are three progressions, verse, chorus and bridge, all repeat as a group 6 times. It may be fun to play, but without the lyrics it gets quite dull for me and if I wanted to play with anyone else around…:roll_eyes:

There are a lot of great songs like that. Sure, many I will eventually want to play fingerstyle or chord melody such that the lyrics aren’t the only place for the melody, but I am not anywhere close to that.

So I guess what I am saying is that even my soft croaking along with my playing rounds out and enhances my experience in a positive way.


@mfeeney0110 … Absolutely get what you’re saying, Michael … But here’s the thing about rhythm guitarists. The lead gets the glory, cos he’s out front on stage, giving it the widdly widdly woo and making their axe howl. But everybody wants to be a striker / lead man … they want the rep, want the goals.

But … they’re ten a penny. Now … a good rhythm guitarist, who can lay down a solid groove on top of the drums and bass, for every track, for the whole set? … Worth their weight in gold. If you’re rhythm section can’t keep a steady foundation for the leads to build upon, then even the best shredder has got nothing.

So remember next time you think I’ll never be a shredder … without you, neither will the lead guy :wink:

YNWA, amigo :grin:


I’m getting decent at playing YNWA–letting Gerry Marsden handle the vocals and hog the glory.


song /sông, sŏng/


  1. A brief composition written or adapted for singing.
  2. The act or art of singing.

“broke into song.”

  1. A distinctive or characteristic sound made by an animal, such as a bird or an insect.

Guitar without singing is an instrumental, musical track, or progression. Playing music is something that almost all of us enjoy , but to be a song there needs to be singing. If you want to play a song someone has to sing --by definition.

No shame at all in being a guitar instrumentalist. It’s a good place to start as a person begins to understand chord progressions, timing, rhythm, and develops a feel and ear for the way that music works. Just know that singing while playing actually helps you become a better player. Singing can help with your timing, melody and other elements as well as making the whole musical piece make some sort of sense.

The case for remaining an instrumentalist: When the words are unsatisfactory or don’t match the music. The song Imagine is a moving and inspired chord progression, there’s a lot to like there, but the lyrics make it one of the worst songs ever for a lot of people, myself included (that can be discussed in another thread).

Cause you can’t sing.

Everyone can sing, unless you aren’t capable of making any vocal noise.

It may not sound like some who knows what they are doing and has what is regarded as a pleasing tone to their sounds.

So the real question is “do you care?”