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Two killer techniques to help you play piano and sing at the same time, better than ever.
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Being able to play the piano and sing at the same time is a fantastic skill to learn because it means you can get so much more work as a singer. It makes you more versatile because you can gig solo, you can add the keyboard to the stage when you’re singing with a band or you can just play keys and do some backing vocals and get extra gigs that way.
However it can be tricky for two reasons:
1. If you feel more comfortable singing than playing, you will find that you end up concentrating so hard on what your fingers are doing that your voice goes into autodrive and as a result you don’t sing quite as well and the whole performance suffers – and this is because people will listen to the voice over the instrument.
2. You need to get used to singing into a mic and not looking at your hands. and this is quite an unnatural position to hold yourself in. Because most people practice with their head looking down at their hands, and you cant keep that position and entertain at the same time.
I play both guitar and piano and I’d have to say that even though I’m better at piano than guitar, I still find that guitar is an easier instrument to play and sing with than piano mainly because to get a basic nice sound when you accompany yourself, you don’t need to do as much with the guitar as you do with the piano to fill out the sound. when I do the piano, I need to add a few more twiddly bits.
However – piano is still my preferred instrument and I’ve got a couple of tips for you today that will help you to sing and play piano more easily.
1. Practice them both separately first.
Most people are generally better at one than the other. So for a singer if youre stronger vocally then spend some time practicing the piano part by itself first. Then add your vocals.
And do this opposite way around as well – record a little backing track for yourself so play the song on the piano and record it onto your iphone and practice singing along to it to get the vocal part down pat.
Then when you put the two together, it should come a bit easier.
2. Do less.
I have a tendency to do too much to fill up the space but when I listen back it always sounds better if I leave more space and play less. So, just stick to just sounding out the main chords and quote the arpeggios a little bit and that should be more than enough.
If you’re only just starting, and you have a keyboard with a few sounds, add a pad sound layer to the keys and it fills up the space and sounds really nice. (Give example). So use what tools you have at your disposal to make your playing sound good without having to be a fantastic player.
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The more you do something the easier it will become, so just keep practicing you’ll get there.
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