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ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,395
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,395
04/11/2011 1:34 pm
Originally Posted by: goldy54Hendrix, Stevie and many more did this so well. Much easier to do while just playing chords. I find it nearly impossible for me to do. Any tricks out there or even comments on this subject?

I learned to do it fairly well by attacking the problem from two directions.

1. Sing exactly what you play.

Hendrix does this in Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) on the 1st verse. Led Zep does it in You Shook Me. When I started a blues bar band we didn't have a singer, so I decided to do it myself. That one song really helped me get my playing to mimic my vocal phrasing. Lots of old jazz & blues players do this sort of thing all the time in their solos. So I figured I should incorporate the "trick" into my tool kit.

Other neat examples include Dave & Ed on the intro to Fools by VH, Frampton's talkbox melody on Show Me The Way.

2. Trade licks & vocals with yourself.

In many blues songs there is the opportunity to sing a verse line, then immediately play a lick, then repeat throughout the tune. Going back & forth between these two really helps isolate these components, while at the same time getting great practice at organizing them into manageable, equal sized units.

This second approach to the problem wasn't an intentional way of learning to play lead & sing at the same time. But I noticed that the more I did it, the more comfortable I became at starting a lick while still doing the last bit of the vocal phrase. And conversely, I could hold the last note or play the last few notes of the lick while jumping in on the first bit of the next vocal phrase. Make sense? :)

By doing these 2 things over the course of a few years I gradually started to be able to play lots of standard licks while singing.

Finally, teaching guitar helped a lot, too. You get hours & days of practice at playing something over & again a zillion times while having to talk about it to your students!

Hope this helps. Have fun!
Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

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