Why should you be singing? It will help your career, plus it feels good.
If you want to be a working musician, your odds of employment go up exponentially if you sing.
Por ejemplo: When my buddy Chris Griffiths auditioned for Will Hoge, there was a room full of bass players that could probably nail the part, but Chris was the only one that sang, so the audition began and ended with him. Griffiths is an all-around great musician who could handle anything, but he wouldn't have gotten his foot in the door without being able to sing.
When I'm putting a band together for TV, an artist tour, or even a lowly bar gig, I'm way more likely to hire somebody who can sing. In truth, most of the actual music you play live is relatively easy, so you don't have to be a virtuoso to cover it. Most music directors/bandleaders are more likely to hire a player who sings over somebody who plays 20 percent better, because that 20 percent will not make much of a difference, but having vocal options is a huge contribution.
Most of us got into playing guitar just to play guitar. But the fact is, people booking music want singers. Jazz, classical, new age, or surf can get by without vocals, but those are small-niche gigs. When it comes to music for the masses, the masses want lyrics they can sing along with. Even the mighty Jeff Beck, who has made a career singing through his guitar, got his solo career started by singing his first single, the 1967 British hit “Hi Ho Silver Lining." The B-side was “Beck's Bolero," an instrumental that broke him into the U.S.
If you don't sing, it's probably because you're self-conscious about your voice. You're not alone: Many successful singers deal with that every time they open their mouths, but they work past it. Most of us cringe the first time we hear our recorded voice. In our head, our voice is fine, but when we hear it back, it's completely alien. In a New York Times article, “Why Do Our Recorded Voices Sound Weird to Us?," Michigan State University physics professor William Hartmann explained that we hear ourselves deeper than we actually sound. This is because our vocal cords vibrate when we speak, which excites our inner ears directly, emphasizing lower frequencies.
Because a recording doesn't have the same deep, rich tone we hear in our heads, it's typical to feel self-conscious about the tone of your voice. Get over it and start singing every chance you get. The best singers just seem to sing without thinking about it. That's where you want to be. Here are a few tricks to get you started.
Start by learning one of your favorite songs that's not vocally challenging. Get to the point where you can sing while playing it on guitar (i.e., “Hey Jude"). Check your pitch by playing the melody on guitar while you sing slowly, note for note. Focus on hitting each note on the note, not sliding into it.
When you're singing, notice if you're clenching your throat. Your stomach or abdominal muscles should be engaged. If you have trouble hitting a high note, try squeezing your butt cheeks, engaging your core and leaving your throat open.
Try singing harmony to the radio or your playlist while you drive, and think of the harmony line as the main line. Try playing a harmony part on your guitar, and then sing along with the single-note line.
Then when you play with other people, make the leap and try throwing in harmony lines. Watch the lead singer as you harmonize so you can see when their mouth moves to sync with the timing/phrasing of the lead. Blend your tone and volume, so it's not cutting over the lead but tucks right behind it.
Listen to the Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris version of “Love Hurts," and “Tiger by the Tail" by Buck Owens with Don Rich, or anything by the Everly Brothers, to hear a perfect blend. Then listen to “Wild Horses" by the Rolling Stones and appreciate the ragged beauty of these harmonies that Rolling Stone described as “teardrops on barbwire" when the album was first released. You see, it doesn't have to be perfect to be perfectly effective.
Singing is a skill anyone can develop. It's good for your musicianship, good for your career, and just feels good. I have a crap voice, but singing has definitely helped my career. (I even had two failed major-label deals, although record ordeals would be more accurate.) There are a few guitar greats who can get by without singing (Steve Vai, Derek Trucks, etc.) but history shows that most guitarists sing well. Why limit yourself? It's all music.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.
The new finish, according to Lava Music, is “inspired by the beauty of the golden hour,” a shining time just before sunset and after sunrise when photographers covet to capture stunning pictures.
With bright and warm golden hues, the new finish adds a brilliant metallic glow to the surface of Lava ME 3, complementing its AirSonic 2 carbon fiber unibody which features L3 Preamp with FreeBoost 2.0, delivers industry-leading sounds by breakthrough acoustic technologies, and houses a multi-touch display powered by Lava-developed HILAVA system.
Speaking of the HILAVA system, Lava Music also added four new effects: Nebula, Desert Rose, Cassette, and Edge of Breakup. As unique as their names sound, they are very much different from what we normally know about effects. Programmed into the HILAVA system, each of the four is powered by the company’s latest ArctanDrive algorithm and incorporates effects like Pitch Shift, Delay, and Reverb. And every one of those incorporated sub-effects comes with various parameters that players can adjust to design unique, overdriven sounds by just tapping on the multi-touch display. That said, those effects enable users to play with overdriven tone on an acoustic-electric guitar without even plugging in any external gear.
LAVA ME 3 | Now in Golden Hour | LAVA MUSIC
Lava Me 3 in Golden Hour is now available starting from $999 on LAVA MUSIC, Amazon, and local guitar dealerships near you.
For more information, please visit store.lavamusic.com.