Artists like Billy Joel and Elton John may make it look effortless, but singing and playing the piano at the same time is a really tough skill to crack! Understandably, it’s difficult because you’re multitasking by “playing” two instruments simultaneously – your voice and the piano. It’s easy to lose concentration on one, while the other goes a little off; if you focus on your voice, you might mess up the timing with your fingers, and should you pay too much attention to the piano keys, you could find yourself mumbling along to the song. Getting this skill right will take plenty of practice, so we’ve put together a few singing tips to help you gain independence from your hands and sing excellently, too…
To sing and play well at the same time, you will need to focus on:
Singing at the correct pitch
Maintaining both key and singing rhythm
Assigning the correct word or syllable to a specific piano note
Keeping the song’s timing and synchronized rhythm
This may collectively sound like an impossible task, but with the right approach, this skill can be achieved.
Start with the Correct Posture
Having correct posture is one of the key singing tips note. Good posture translates to good breathing, and results in a better sound. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer sitting or standing – either is fine as long as you maintain flexibility in your spine. You may be tempted to bend forward as you play the piano, but straightening up not only looks better, it helps your voice and your breathing technique.
Position Your Mic Just Right
The way you position your mic will affect your posture and your breathing technique, so make sure that you don’t need to lean forward too far. Your mic should also be placed at the correct height to encourage you to straighten your spine.
Sing and Play Separately at First
During your preparation, try focusing your attention on one specific skill at a time. Start by singing a cappella and then work your way to singing along with a pre-recorded piano track. You can then try playing few simple chords while you focus on your singing technique. Then, switch the focus to the piano, while singing ever so lightly. Keep at it until you’re feeling confident with the keys, and then slowly start to combine the two.
Draw Power From Your Lower Body
Make sure that you’re not tightening your shoulders and neck to draw singing power from them. You should instead center your control and energy at your pelvic floor – this way, even if you’re sitting or standing, you’ll be able sing with proper breathing and open throat technique. If you prefer being seated, a quick singing tip is to sit on the edge of your seat and press yourself down against it. If you’re more comfortable standing, your legs should be shoulder-width apart as you draw power from your feet.
Play With Light Fingers
This sounds simple, but playing lightly with your fingers will help reduce tension and the chance of you throwing yourself off. Keep your touch light and wrists flexible. This will allow your entire body to be more open.
You’ll need to be consistent and hard-working in order to master this skill. It’s recommended that you practice at least half an hour every day, and if possible, record your sessions to track your improvements over time. You should notice a difference in your ability within a month or so.
Finally, one of the most important singing tips that you need to remember is that you should portray yourself as a singer who is playing the piano, not a piano player who’s trying to sing. This is more of a state of mind – you will need to prioritize both playing and singing, but if you’re still struggling to do this at the same time, your singing should be your main focus.
Photo by GBiB