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Being able to sing while I play the piano is honestly my favorite thing to do. It is what kept me motivated to practice and stick with learning the piano even during the moments that I wanted to give up. Yes, this desire to give up happens to even the most enthusiastic piano lovers from time to time!

Playing and singing can be harder than you think! I was totally blindsided the first time I tried to do this by how difficult it actually was! It is a lot like learning to ride a bike, or pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time. It takes some getting used to.

Here are some tricks to make this easier for you.

1) Know your song

Before you begin to sing and play you want to make sure that you really know your material. You want to be able to sing your song perfectly and play your song perfectly before you put them together. The best way to test this is to see if can you sing your song without the lyrics or accompaniment without making mistakes. If yes, you can begin to work on singing and playing at the same time. Same goes for the piano part. Can you play it without making any mistakes or having to think very hard about where to place your hands and what notes to play? Then move on to the next step.

2) Stick with very simple accompaniment

Keep it simple while you are learning this skill. Avoid things like fills and riffs. The fancy stuff can wait! Play basic chords with basic left-hand bass lines (no crazy arpeggios yet!) until you get comfortable with singing and playing. You can gradually add these things in as you get more proficient.

3) Hum along

For real. You might feel a little silly but not only is this an excellent way to warm up your voice it will give you the simplest template for singing and playing. It takes the burden of actually forming words off the table and brings things to their most basic form so you can begin to develop muscle memory and get used to how it feels to sing and play!

4)  Have a conversation

If you can carry on a conversation while playing the piano, you can sing while playing. Try it! I dare you!!

5) Create a track for yourself

Record yourself playing one hand only and then play this recording while you practice playing the hand that wasn’t recorded and sing along. This simplifies the process and once again allows you to get used to this new feeling slowly.

Accompanying yourself at the piano while you sing is a ton of fun and you don’t have to be a professional vocalist to enjoy it. Singing is for everyone, so bring a sense of playfulness and humor to this, throw caution to the wind and give it a try.

Have fun!


Lisa Witt

Lisa Witt has been teaching piano for 18 years and in that time has helped hundreds of students learn to play the songs they love. Lisa received classical piano training through the Royal Conservatory of Music, but she has since embraced popular music and playing by ear in order to accompany herself and others.

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