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How to sing while playing the guitar without losing rhythm

Team Soundbrenner, in Music lessons
Apr 19, 2023 | 6 min read

We all know that rhythm is the foundation of music. It’s what makes you tap your foot or bob your head while listening to a good song, giving you an enjoyable and engaging experience. Nonetheless, many musicians find it challenging to keep a rhythm while singing and playing the guitar at the same time. You have to sing whilst playing the guitar without losing rhythm, maintain a steady beat, and so on.

So how do you do it? There are definitely some tips and tricks, like focusing on memorizing the lyrics first, using a metronome, taking things slowly at first until you feel comfortable enough to pick up the pace, etc. But how can you sing while playing the guitar without losing rhythm? Let’s get right into it.

Singing and Playing the Guitar Simultaneously

Being able to sing while playing the guitar without losing rhythm is an impressive talent that most people take for granted, and it requires a unique combination of skills to master. It’s a lot like juggling balls, where you must stay focused 100% of the time, and the slightest distraction can force you to drop everything and start again. You have to face many challenges and practice for countless hours to master this skill. Timing, breath control, concentration, and multitasking are only some of the difficulties you must overcome.

Things To Focus on While Singing and Playing Guitar Simultaneously

Focus on timing 

Timing is one of the hardest obstacles to face. If the guitar part is complex and demands a lot of focus, it can be challenging to keep the rhythm and melody in sync. One part may end up dominating the performance and detracting from the music as a whole, leading to a chaotic and -a not very lovely- performance. To overcome this difficulty, musicians must first hone their skills at playing each section independently before integrating them into a whole. So just rehearse the guitar and the vocals separately, then combine them once you feel more comfortable doing so.

Coordination and multitasking

Coordination and multitasking are other obstacles you must overcome. This is because the muscles used and the coordination required is different for each task. It’s obvious that focusing on the hands is second nature for guitarists, whereas the voice is front and centre for vocalists and to sing while playing the guitar without losing rhythm, you have to mix these two skill sets into one. The best way to practice this is to start slowly. Start singing and playing the guitar at a slower tempo, and once you’ve engraved the guitar part in your muscle memory, start gradually increasing the tempo until you get it right.

Keep your mind clear 

Another challenge you have to face is staying completely focused and keeping your mind clear while singing and playing the guitar. You have to practice in an environment that is 100% distraction-free as you do not want any interruptions to ruin your flow or your performance. So try not to practice with anyone in the room with you, and look for minimal background noise for your practice sessions.

Focus on breath control

Last but not least, you have to acknowledge how important it is to have decent breath control when you’re about to sing and play. Good breath control is essential for singing, as you’ll have to be able to time your breaths correctly and in sync with your guitar playing to sound beautiful and flawless. Before your performance, try to do some diaphragm breathing exercises like hissing or snatched breaths, and you’ll be good to go.

Choose the right song

Keep in mind that if you’re still getting the hang of singing while playing the guitar without losing rhythm, it’s best if you choose a song with a simple beat and progressively go with more complicated songs as you grow as a guitarist.

Additionally, it is necessary that you select a song that is within your vocal range since you don’t want to be facing two problems instead of one when you’re just starting out. You can identify your vocal range using this vocal range chart, then select a song that best showcases it.

How to Focus on Rhythm While Singing and Playing the Guitar

Tips for Focusing on Rhythm While Singing and Playing the Guitar

Tip 1: Listen to the rhythm of the song before you start playing

It could be extremely beneficial to listen to the song’s rhythm before starting to play, especially if it’s a new song you’re trying to learn. You can find it simpler to sing along if you can get a sense of what the exact chords and notes are that will come in and at what specific time. This way, you’ll get a good sense of the song’s tempo and overall groove, which will help you predict when your vocals should be coming in.

You can learn the song’s rhythm by listening to it several times. But don’t just blindly listen to the words; try to feel the rhythm and flow until they become second nature to you.

Tip 2: Focus on the rhythm of the guitar part

Isolating the guitar part and working on getting the beat down is a good way to zero in on its rhythm. Even if the vocals are crucial, the guitar part is what really drives the beat. So don’t worry about the lyrics for now, and just focus on mastering the guitar part. Singing in time with the music will be less of a challenge if you have a good grasp of the guitar part’s rhythm.

Once you’ve worked the guitar section into your muscle memory, you can start singing along.

Tip 3: Use visual/vibrational aids to help keep track of the rhythm

It could be difficult to keep track of the rhythm when singing and playing the guitar, but visual/vibrational aids might help you with that.

One way to do this is to place a mirror in front of you and practice until you can do it perfectly. By monitoring your body and hands in real time, you can make sure you’re not falling behind the beat.

Another way is to notate the song’s beat in standard musical notation or create your own counting method. Doing so can aid in visualizing the song’s tempo and identifying any particularly challenging rhythms you need to work on.

You can also use an app that gives you visual cues of the beat, such as a flashing light. This way can help you better visualize the rhythm and sing and play along with it.

Alternatively, you can also get yourself a Soundbrenner core. Designed for musicians by musicians, this vibrating metronome will help you revolutionize your practice sessions by making sure you stay on beat all the time!

The best bit, Soundbrenner core has an inbuilt vibrating metronome, contact tuner, dB meter and smartphone functions, making it any musician’s ultimate practice companion.

Tip 4: Practice slowly and gradually increasing the tempo using a metronome

How to Focus on Rhythm While Singing and Playing the Guitar

If you want to sing and play the guitar with a better rhythm, a great starting point is to practice at a slow tempo and progressively speed up using a metronome.

A metronome is designed to help you develop a sense of rhythm and tempo so you can perform your music with accuracy and precision. If you are just getting started and want to improve your sense of rhythm while singing and playing, a metronome will do a perfect job of slowing you down and playing at a more reasonable speed until you get the hang of it and gradually start increasing the tempo.

Learning the rhythm section by section at a slow speed helps you concentrate on the intricacies of the beat. The trick is to do things slowly and in baby steps. This way, you can keep the beat under your control and avoid making any mistakes.

Keep in mind that haste makes waste. Don’t rush through learning the rhythm; instead, spend some time perfecting it at each tempo level.

Tip 5: Count out loud while playing and singing

Counting out loud while you play or sing is another great way to work on your rhythm. It helps you absorb the beat and rhythm, which makes it less difficult to keep up with the song’s pace.

So, for example, if the song is in the 4/4 time signature, you can play and sing while counting “1, 2, 3, 4” loudly along with each beat. This method can help you develop a better feel for rhythm and beat, allowing you to play with greater assurance and precision.

If you’re having trouble keeping track of your counting, try practising with a metronome or a metronome app if you don’t have the physical tool.

Tip 6: Record yourself and listen back to identify areas for improvement

One of the most effective methods for improving your rhythm when singing and playing the guitar is to record yourself and listen back to find your weak spots. By playing back the recording, you can hear where your timing or rhythm is off and work on improving those areas.

You can be moving too quickly or too slowly without even noticing. So once you know where your rhythm is weakest, you can dedicate extra practice time to that specific part.


Rhythm is a vital part of any piece of music, and a challenging skill to master, especially when you’re trying to sing while playing the guitar without losing rhythm. You have to be able to multitask, stay completely focused on perfecting both parts and work them into your muscle memory to avoid making mistakes and ruining your performance. However, with the tips provided today, we can guarantee that you’ll be able to sing and play effortlessly and seamlessly, as long as you put in the necessary time and work to perfect your rhythm.

You can develop a stronger sense of rhythm and play with greater confidence and precision if you’re prepared to spend at least 30 minutes to an hour a day practising. But keep in mind that if your efforts don’t bear fruit right away, try not to be too harsh on yourself. Everything takes time. Just remember to have fun and enjoy the journey, as always.

Thanks for reading our article on how to sing while playing the guitar without losing rhythm! We at Soundbrenner are dedicated to helping musicians stay focused on what truly matters: their music. By creating innovative devices, such as Soundbrenner Pulse and Core, our goal is to deliver the best possible practice experience for musicians. Click here to find out more.

Got a question about Soundbrenner wearables? Reach out to us at [email protected], we’re happy to help!

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