Sing while playing, yes you!

For some of you this is a dreaded topic.  For others it’s no biggie.  This post is for everyone, but I’m mainly aiming it at those who are hesitant (or downright scared) to sing.  You may be making a face similar to this, hahaha!


Ok so now that it’s out there let’s talk about it.

  • Does everyone have the best singing voice in the world?  Nope, me either.
  • But, but, but I can’t sing.  Sure you can sing, you just haven’t really tried.
  • I’ve tried and I hate my voice.  Get over it, everyone hates their own voice.
  • My family only wants to hear me play.  They haven’t had a sing along yet!

Would you like to learn to play the banjo?  Check out my lessons HERE.

I’m telling you that you can do it and that your family and friends will enjoy it.  Boy talk about an ice breaker at a party or bbq, pull out a banjo and sing a silly song and that party will be the best one ever.  People will sing along and laugh and trust me even if you royally screw it up (which you will at least once) they will appreciate it and have fun.  There’s something about a banjo that really draws people.  It also makes people smile.  Since it’s usually an uncommon instrument you will have everyone talking.  Ok back to the singing part.

So here is what I recommend you try.

Pick an easy song.  This seems like common sense but seriously – pick a super easy song.  Think Old Macdonald and stuff that is simple and everyone knows.

  1. Learn every verse of that song (if you don’t already know it).  For a BONUS write a couple verses yourself that are totally silly!
  2. Play it very slowly on your banjo and sing along.  If this is a problem for you then practice.  A lot.
  3. Once you can play it very slow, just start to speed it up.  Oh and you don’t have to be speedy gonzalez here!  People want something they can sing along to, so it needs to be easy.
  4. Practice it fully all the way through the song.  If you only practice a few verses, then when the bbq happens you might have a hard time playing completely through the song.  Jitters do happen and it’s ok but be as prepared as possible.
  5. Practice it with your family beforehand.  If there’s not a party or a bbq happening or you are just too nervous yet, don’t worry about it.  Just play and sing and have fun with your family.
  6. If you just will not sing no matter what I say – go to plan B.  Plan B is get one of your kids to do the singing.  Kids enjoy it anyway and at least someone will be singing.  Don’t worry no one is asking you to go on America’s Got Talent or anything.  LOL

Well I hope that I’ve inspired you to at least attempt singing.  No one cares if every note is perfect.  It’s just for fun and it will make everyone around you laugh and have a great time.  If you sing just a little off-key you could even make a joke out of the whole thing and exaggerate it some.  That’s funny too.

Singing while playing will bring a whole new challenge as well.  I think of it as a switch.  At first you won’t be able to do both at the same time.  After practice, some more than others, you will flip that switch.  Then BAM!  You will suddenly just be able to sing while playing.  Once you flip that switch it’s on, meaning each time you pick up your banjo and play and sing you will be able to now.  Whereas before you just couldn’t (because the switch wasn’t flipped yet).

Singing will improve your playing also.  Wait what Mandy????  Yes, it’s true.  That switch will free up other things in your brain as well.  Like you could make a list in your head of what you need to do this weekend (while playing).  That example is an advanced one, but yes it frees up your mind.  How can this make me a better player you ask…  Well you will be able to improvise more.  WHAT?  Singing a silly little song while playing my banjo can do all this?  Yes I’m here to tell you that it will.

*Below is a devotional that I recommend.  Everyday is filled with getting closer with Jesus.  It’s quite inspirational and thought provoking as well.
Your mind will be able to process things differently and while you are playing you can sort of just do it naturally.  Improvising will get much easier and just happen.

If singing is something you haven’t tried yet or you haven’t tried it in a long time please give it another go.  If you just do 5 minutes on to your regular practicing you will get better at it and flip that switch.  Trust me here.

Have you ever tried to talk while you are playing?  If you ever have you know it’s difficult if you haven’t flipped the switch.  Want to experience this yourself?? Well get started now……….   go………. what are you still doing here? LOL




2 thoughts on “Sing while playing, yes you!

  1. Wow Mandy, sorry to comment again, but the timing for this could not have been more perfect. I have been trying to sing while playing. My daughter told me two years ago (when she was smaller) that my singing was horrible and made her ears bleed. I know. Harsh. And her cousin agreed and chimed in too suggesting I don’t ever sing. Well as a grown adult it has still scarred me to this day and I have arguments go through my head every time I open my mouth. My throat constricts, my tongue retracts and I have the hardest time singing. Sad part is, it is one of the reasons I gravitated to the banjo. To sing and have fun while I play!

    • Awww, sorry about your problems 2 years ago! But do please try again. The more relaxed you are the better you are also. Try humming also, or just singing the chorus over and over again. Good luck!

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