It may look deceptively simple when watching musicians such as John Legend or Elton John sing and play the piano at the same time. But playing an instrument and singing together can take time to practice. That’s because you are multitasking. It may be easy to lose concentration as you may mess up the timing with your fingers or sing too fast. You may find yourself mumbling to the song and so on. Knowing the difficulties a neophyte may face, we share tips for playing and singing with the keyboard.
1. Begin with a Good Posture
Having a good posture is one of the key tips when it comes to singing. Good posture does not mean you stand rigidly. Rather, it means learning to be in various positions with your spine aligned so you can breathe properly to produce better sounds. It doesn’t matter whether you are standing or sitting but what is important is your spine stays straight while you sing and play the keyboard.
2. Practice Separately
It would be good to learn to try and focus your attention on one thing at a time. You can practice singing along to a pre-recorded keyboard set. Then try playing a few simple chords and focus on your singing technique. Change the focus and play a song on your keyboard while singing quietly. Keep at both practices until you feel confident with the keys and adding your voice to the song.
3. Start By Playing Slowly
Difficulties may occur when you transition the chord while trying to concentrate on your singing at the same time. It is therefore better for you to familiarize yourself with the chords and transitions first. You can sing along while playing slowly. If you have a metronome, it will help with a consistent rhythm. Some teachers may discourage you to play slowly worried that you might develop a habit of playing at a reduced tempo. Having a metronome helps prevent that and gives you help to speed up to tempo when you are ready to sing and play the keyboard at the same time.
4. Gaining Power from Your Lower Body
While you are singing, check that you are not tightening your shoulders and neck to draw power from them. Instead, center your control and energy on your pelvic floor whether you are standing or sitting. This helps you with the proper breathing technique and to open your throat. If you prefer sitting, one tip is to sit on the edge of your seat and press yourself down. If you prefer to stand and sing, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart so as to draw power from your feet up.
5. Keep Practicing!
Although these tips will help you eventually play the keyboard and sing at the same time, just a couple of weeks of practice will not build up the natural confidence in you. It can be certain that we cannot do anything well without practice! Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers suggested a 10,000-hour practice to be good at something. Well, this may not be needed if you aren’t planning to be a professional. But we all know that having more practice always improves a skill.
We hope these 5 tips help you along your journey to singing and playing the keyboard at the same time! Ritmo Music Studio in Singapore provides a unique course teaching participants to learn to sing while playing a musical instrument.