Sing and Play!

Campfires, CoffeeShops, and Concerthalls

Is this your original inspiration to play guitar? The power of song and story? The immediacy and intimacy of songs shared, close-up and personal? Did you ever have a song save your life? Was it that combination of strumming and singing that called to you to learn the guitar?

This is an endlessly fascinating area to work in, as each song has its multiple layers of parts, pieces and process that we need coordinate to pull the whole thing off! In this pursuit, we spend ample time listening in detail (on our co-curated Spotify playlists) to songs we are covering. This usually starts with the original recording as our source, but we quickly range into the array of covers available, to deepen our appreciation of interpretation; genre; and creative choices.    

In the pursuit of sing-and-play we work on gaining reflexivity and part independence, within both our guitar and vocal roles. Sometimes we find both parts come together easily; and other times songs offer more complexity: whatever the case, we need have that strumming hand guiding us, like the drummer in the song, the conductor waving the baton.

…meanwhile, how are the chords going? We closely examine the shapes/voicings in use, to make sure we have the right ones to give our tune its expected sound. We work a lot on moving on time, often meaning slowing things down to properly learn our movement patterns; to connect the proper sparks from our brains linking to our fingers to really hit the mark, AND building the groundwork for part-independence.

Left Hand and Right Hands are set, and we layer vocals...depending on the ease (or challenge!), we may just rhythmically deliver the lyrics over "scratch" guitar, or sing with whole or half notes held on the guitar (both tactics allowing us to momentarily shift the focus more to the voice).  The reflexivity that you have gained in your practice will pay of here—when as you sing your lyrics, you find that you have to think less-and-less about your guitar parts!

Once we are layering in your vocals, one of our first tasks is finding the right key for you to sing in—connected closely with our “how to use a capo” lessons, fitting both your fingers and your vocals properly to the tune. At this stage we are also nailing vocal melodies and rhythmic phrasing, paying attention to our dynamics and the build of our song; most of all, making sure everything is accurate, and falling properly in to place. In to groove. And in to a feel.  

For more advanced players, we explore fingerpicking, single-person lead/solo sections, wider varied song interpretations, performance (including playing songs in larger combos) and more.

Click into the form below to deepen your musical journey, and harness The Power of Song today!