Voice and Guitar (Guitar Lesson)

Get Started
What are you waiting for? Get your membership now!
Mark Lincoln

Voice and Guitar

In this lesson, Mark delves into the concept of combining both your voice and guitar into one neat little package you can deliver to your listener.

Taught by Mark Lincoln in Guitar Performance seriesLength: 21:47Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (02:13) Voice and Guitar

1. Warm up the body
2. Single note hum
3. Three note hum
4. Hum "me-me-me-me" to "mah-mah-mah mah" to "me-ma-me-ma-me."

Wake up the breath with "sah-sah-sah" etc. long and sustained then five times stacatto.

5. "Sah" in five note descending scales, then five note ascending scales
6. Work these scales faster and faster, then louder and louder
Chapter 2: (03:26) Performance Practice singing along with rhythms that we’ve been working on in the last few lessons. Practice singing single note hums first. Then, sing/make up a melody line that you think might work with the chords you are playing.

*Note: Make sure that your voice feels smooth and "slippery" before moving on to the next section of the warm-up. "Slippery" meaning relaxed, not cracking, moving easily through the notes.

In last week's lesson, we talked extensively about all (or most) of the factors that contribute to being a good singer/performer. Poise, confidence, spontaneity and years of diligent practice, amongst other aspects, are all important. Let’s take a closer look at some of those other factors that may need closer inspection.
Chapter 3: (02:26) Emulation Emulation

The act of copying another performer's style, inflection (the voice's pitch or loudness), and timbre (quality of tone of someone's voice) is an excellent way to learn and acquire performance skills. Most singers, guitar players, as well as other types of performers usually have an idol that they've listened to, watched and copied for years. Who are your idols?

Exercise 1

Pick a song that you like and listen to it with no one else around. Make sure there are no other distractions that might interfere with the exercise. Pay close attention to how the singer uses his or her voice, how and when they sing in falsetto or if they do at all, what the timbre of their voice is like, what kind of style do they employ, etc. Literally tear apart every aspect of his/her performance. Pay attention to each and every detail of the song. Make sure that you have gone through the warm-up process (always available at the beginning of each lesson!) before singing to avoid any undue damage to your vocal chords. Then, once you are warmed up, try and sing the song like they do. I know this will not be the first time some of you (or maybe all of you) have done this, but I want you to get in the practice of active listening and emulation. Working through this process on a regular basis can help you build upon your skills.
Chapter 4: (03:02) Enunciation Enunciation

Simply stated, enunciation is the act of speaking clearly and articulately. The definition remains the same when applied to singing. Articulating the words of a song can make your performance sound more concise and subsequently, more powerful.

Exercise 2

This might be a great exercise to do when you're by yourself, since from an outsider's perspective, you may seem odd doing it! Stand in front of a mirror and sing the same song that you emulated in the first exercise. Now pay careful attention to how your lips form the sounds when you're singing. Over-form the vowels and consonants to get a super-clear perspective of how your mouth should feel when singing these words. Really form your words clearly as if your eighth grade grammar teacher were standing over your shoulder. Sing the entire song in this manner and don’t forget to laugh a little.
Chapter 5: (02:40) Decision Time Decisions, decisions, decisions!

As always, there are a multitude of decisions to make when singing, playing an instrument, or any other creative endeavor. Some of these include "should I sing clearly or mumble the words of the song." (Shania or Bob Dylan). Or "should I sing this next part in falsetto or my natural range?" Also, there are decisions within decisions - micro-decisions. One example of this is "should I sing an ascending scale over this next stanza that I just decided I would sing in falsetto?" These decisions contribute to what could be called your style and inevitably, all of the decisions will be up to you in the end. You will determine whose work you will emulate, whether you enunciate clearly or make your lyrics indiscernible and whether you decide to sing in falsetto or not.
Chapter 6: (03:55) Vocal Shaping Shaping

As we discussed briefly in the last lesson, shaping simply describes the manner in which you "shape" your mouth. Change the shape of your mouth, and you’ll change the sound coming out of your mouth. Different mouth shapes make different sounds and these different sounds can be used to your benefit when you perform.
Chapter 7: (04:05) Implementation Exercise 3

Once again when you find yourself alone and without any distractions (this may be tougher for those of you with children!), go to the mirror again. You can sing the same song that you've been working on or pick another for this exercise. Make sure your vocal chords are good and warm and then sing your song. But while you are singing, pay close attention to the shape of your mouth! Is it perfectly round, is it just barely open, is it oblong, or is it? What shape is it? Pay attention to how the note sounds that's coming out and then change the shape of your mouth. How did the sound change? Is the quality better or worse? Can you tell? How does the shape change as the song progresses and intensifies? Keep mental or journal notes as to your discoveries in this experiment.

Let's see if we can apply the techniques that we've discussed today to the context of a song. In this next part of the lesson, we're going to use the following chords: Am, Am7, D9/F#, F, G/B, D, and E






F major




D major


E major


We'll be playing these chords using the "down down down down" strum. You can also try this progression with the palm muting technique. Another option is to mute the third strum. Watch me in the video for hands-on instruction as to how to make these particular chord changes with the variations as well.

Exercise 4

Play through the chords while emulating the style that I've shown you today. Try to sing the song in the same manner that I do. Make sure your voice is good and warm before you do!

Exercise 5

Play the song again. Only this time, make sure you are enunciating every syllable clearly. Do this exercise in front of the mirror again if you think this will help you form every word clearly.

Exercise 6

You know what to do! Change the shape of your mouth as you sing and take note of the relative changes in sound as you do so.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

viajer1028viajer1028 replied

I meet you today in the cam, I came and check your lessons and I love the way you teach. You show commitment to your virtual students. Looking forward to see more of you lessons. Thank you!

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hi Viajer great to meet you in the chat and also to have you as a new member! Talk to you soon, Mark

obldaveobldave replied


Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Thanks Dave and good to hear from you as well! Mark

J.artmanJ.artman replied

Great lesson Mark!

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Thank you Mr. Snow and nice to hear from you! Mark

Guitar Performance

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Performing live or in a studio situation is a goal of many aspiring guitarists. Vocal training and the ability to sing and play at the same time are skills that will help in this endeavor.

Introduction to SingingLesson 1

Introduction to Singing

Mark introduces you to the wonderful world of singing.

Length: 15:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Vocal ExercisesLesson 2

Vocal Exercises

Mark Lincoln guides you through stretches and vocal exercises to warm up the voice.

Length: 23:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Vocal VibratoLesson 3

Vocal Vibrato

Mark continues to discuss vocal warm-ups and exercises. Then, he moves on to explain vibrato.

Length: 23:42 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Warming the BreathLesson 4

Warming the Breath

Mark covers some singing terms and teaches an exercise that is used to "warm the breath."

Length: 19:10 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Singing and GuitarLesson 5

Singing and Guitar

Mark Lincoln talks more about vocal exercise and warm-up. Then, he moves on to discuss singing and playing at the same time.

Length: 26:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Singing ExercisesLesson 6

Singing Exercises

Mark Lincoln provides more singing exercises to practice while playing your guitar.

Length: 26:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Singing and Playing RevisitedLesson 7

Singing and Playing Revisited

Mark returns to singing and playing. Mark teaches proper form while singing and playing, cognitive exercises, and chord progression basics.

Length: 17:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Anatomy and DynamicsLesson 8

Anatomy and Dynamics

Mark Lincoln discusses song dynamics and the anatomy of songs. He also explains more about singing and playing.

Length: 23:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Rhythm in MusicLesson 9

Rhythm in Music

Mark Lincoln explains how rhythm is used in music.

Length: 15:16 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Technique AppliedLesson 10

Technique Applied

Mark Lincoln applies singing and playing techniques to the Doors song "Riders on the Storm."

Length: 17:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Palm Muting and SeparationLesson 11

Palm Muting and Separation

In lesson 11 of his performance series, Mark discusses the palm muting technique and how to separate your singing from your playing.

Length: 23:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Picking Vs. StrummingLesson 12

Picking Vs. Strumming

Mark discusses how alternating between arpeggios and strummed chords can add contrast and flair to your music.

Length: 15:02 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Silence Is GoldenLesson 13

Silence Is Golden

Mark discusses silence in music and how it can transform a piece. Additionally, he explains how to use silence effectively in your playing.

Length: 16:40 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Warm-up and PracticeLesson 14

Warm-up and Practice

In this lesson, Mark Lincoln talks more about warming up your voice and walks you through a few exercises that will aid this process.

Length: 16:14 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Preparations for Playing LiveLesson 15

Preparations for Playing Live

Mark provides a lecture on items you should do and think about to become a proficient live player.

Length: 20:57 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Voice and GuitarLesson 16

Voice and Guitar

In this lesson, Mark delves into the concept of combining both your voice and guitar into one neat little package you can deliver to your listener.

Length: 21:47 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
A Day in the LifeLesson 17

A Day in the Life

Mark Brings us Lesson 17 today to explain the preparation that goes into a performance. Mark tracks back up to 36 hours in advance, and shows us some routines to prepare for a great show.

Length: 19:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Dynamics of a SongLesson 18

The Dynamics of a Song

In this lesson, Mark teaches all of the diverse parts to a song with regards to dynamics.

Length: 20:17 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Proper Breathing RoutinesLesson 19

Proper Breathing Routines

In this episode, Mark talks about proper breathing techniques and routines. He gives us eight points to work off of when singing and playing together.

Length: 23:34 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Play Along with Mark LincolnLesson 20

Play Along with Mark Lincoln

Mark Lincoln brings us a great play along opportunity. Mark provides lyrics as well as the chord progression for this play along. He also breaks down key elements such as palm muting, hammer-ons, bending,...

Length: 24:06 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Palm Muting TechniqueLesson 21

Palm Muting Technique

Lesson 21 is a repeat of lesson 20's content only with a whole new set of chords and techniques. The"chords de jour" will be a little simpler than lesson 20's and will also include a much more in depth...

Length: 20:05 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Mark Lincoln

About Mark Lincoln View Full Biography Mark Lincoln was born in S. California but was raised near Portland Oregon in a town called Beaverton. When he was twelve years old, he began his journey into the realm of the creative by composing poetry and was later published in a journal called "In Dappled Sunlight." He wrote for four years until his older sister blessed him with his first guitar, an old beat-up nylon stringed classical guitar. Mark played that guitar for five years, continuing to compose his own lyrics and starting the process of matching his own words with chords that he was learning on the guitar. He learned to play chords from his friends and from music books that he both bought and borrowed. Mark cited his four biggest influences, at that point at least, as The Who, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, The Rolling Stones.

Mark cites his most current influences as Radiohead, U2, older music by REM, and Peter Gabriel amongst others. He performs with two acoustic guitars, one being a six-string M-36 Martin with a three-pieced back for increased bass response, and a Guild Twelve-string which is his most recent acquisition. Mark is fond of saying that the twelve-string guitar is better because you get two guitars for the price of one, but he still plays his Martin equally as much and with the same passion.

Mark ended up in Fort Collins Colorado where he currently lives, works as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and continues to write, teach and perform music. He currently performs with a group called "Black Nelson" as well as with a number of other seasoned professional musicians including his cousin David, a virtuoso lead-guitar player. Mark has performed in many of the smaller venues in Denver and Boulder, as well as some of the larger ones including the Fox Theatre, The Boulder Theatre, Herman's Hideaway, and also at The Soiled Dove where he opened for Jefferson Starship as a soloist. Some of Mark's originals are also available for your listening pleasure on MySpace.

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

Our acoustic guitar lessons are taught by qualified instructors with various backgrounds with the instrument.

Hawkeye Herman Hawkeye Herman

Hawkeye teaches several Robert Johnson licks in this lesson. These licks are played with a slide in open G tuning.

Free LessonSeries Details
Trevor Gordon Hall Trevor Gordon Hall

Free LessonSeries Details
Erik Mongrain Erik Mongrain

Erik expounds on the many possibilities of open tunings and the new harmonics that you can use in them. He explains what...

Free LessonSeries Details
Rich Nibbe Rich Nibbe

Rich Nibbe takes a look at how you can apply the pentatonic scale in the style of John Mayer into your playing.

Free LessonSeries Details
Dave Yauk Dave Yauk

Learn a simple mini song that illustrates just how intertwined scales and chords really are. Dave uses a G chord paired...

Free LessonSeries Details
Danny Voris Danny Voris

Lesson 7 is all about arpeggios. Danny provides discussion and exercises designed to build your right hand skills.

Free LessonSeries Details
Greg Greenway Greg Greenway

Greg kicks off his series telling a little about himself and introduces the C9 tuning.

Free LessonSeries Details

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

Our electric guitar lessons are taught by instructors with an incredible amount of teaching experience.

Steve Smyth Steve Smyth

JamPlay sits down with veteran fret grinder Steve Smyth of Forbidden and The EssenEss Project. He talks about how he got...

Free LessonSeries Details
Steve Stevens Steve Stevens

Steve Stevens shows some of his go-to licks and ideas while improvising over a backing track he made.

Free LessonSeries Details
Monte Pittman Monte Pittman

The hungarian minor scale can be viewed as a modification of the harmonic minor scale. It has a very exotic sound, and is...

Free LessonSeries Details
Emil Werstler Emil Werstler

Emil takes you through some techniques that he uses frequently in his style of playing. Topics include neck bending, percussive...

Free LessonSeries Details
Bryan Beller Bryan Beller

Bryan Beller of the Aristocrats, Dethklok, and Steve Vai takes you inside his six step method to learning any song by ear....

Free LessonSeries Details
Matt Brown Matt Brown

Matt Brown shows off some ways to add some creativity and originality to your rock chord voicings.

Free LessonSeries Details
Joe Burcaw Joe Burcaw

Join Joe as he shows one of his favorite drills for strengthening his facility around the fretboard: The Spider Technique.

Free LessonSeries Details
Yvette Young Yvette Young

In this lesson, Yvette breaks down a staccato tapping riff from her song, Shibuya.

Free LessonSeries Details
Ariel Posen Ariel Posen

Vibrato is a technique that not only gives character to your guitar playing, it conveys your personality on the guitar, giving...

Free LessonSeries Details

Join over 517712 guitarists who have learned how to play in weeks... not years!

Signup today to enjoy access to our entire database of video lessons, along with our exclusive set of learning tools and features.

Unlimited Lesson Viewing

A JamPlay membership gives you access to every lesson, from every teacher on our staff. Additionally, there is no restriction on how many times you watch a lesson. Watch as many times as you need.

Live Lessons

Exclusive only to JamPlay, we currently broadcast 8-10 hours of steaming lesson services directly to you! Enjoy the benefits of in-person instructors and the conveniences of our community.

Interactive Community

Create your own profile, manage your friends list, and contact users with your own JamPlay Mailbox. JamPlay also features live chat with teachers and members, and an active Forum.

Chord Library

Each chord in our library contains a full chart, related tablature, and a photograph of how the chord is played. A comprehensive learning resource for any guitarist.

Scale Library

Our software allows you to document your progress for any lesson, including notes and percent of the lesson completed. This gives you the ability to document what you need to work on, and where you left off.

Custom Chord Sheets

At JamPlay, not only can you reference our Chord Library, but you can also select any variety of chords you need to work on, and generate your own printable chord sheet.

Backing Tracks

Jam-along backing tracks give the guitarist a platform for improvising and soloing. Our backing tracks provide a wide variety of tracks from different genres of music, and serves as a great learning tool.

Interactive Games

We have teachers covering beginner lessons, rock, classic rock, jazz, bluegrass, fingerstyle, slack key and more. Learn how to play the guitar from experienced players, in a casual environment.

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

Unlike a lot of guitar websites and DVDs, we start our Beginner Lessons at the VERY start of the learning process, as if you just picked up a guitar for the first time.Our teaching is structured for all players.

Take a minute to compare JamPlay to other traditional and new methods of learning guitar. Our estimates for "In-Person" lessons below are based on a weekly face-to-face lesson for $40 per hour.

Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 127 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00
Get Started

Mike H.

"I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar!"

I am 66 years young and I still got it! I would have never known this if it had not been for Jamplay! I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar! Ha! I cannot express enough how great you're website is! It is for beginners and advanced pickers! I am an advanced picker and thought I had lost it but thanks to you all, I found it again! Even though I only play by ear, I have been a member a whopping whole two weeks now and have already got Brent's country shuffle and country blues down and of course with embellishments. Thank you all for your wonderful program!

Greg J.

"With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace"

I'm a fifty eight year old newbie who owns a guitar which has been sitting untouched in a corner for about seven years now. Last weekend I got inspired to pick it up and finally learn how to play after watching an amazing Spanish guitarist on TV. So, here I am. I'm starting at the beginning with Steve Eulberg and I couldn't be happier (except for the sore fingers :) Some day I'm going to play like Steve! I'm self employed with a hectic schedule. With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace, rewinding and replaying the videos until I get it. This is a very enjoyable diversion from my work yet I still feel like I'm accomplishing something worthwhile. Thanks a lot, Greg


"I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students."

I am commenting here to tell you and everyone at JamPlay that I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students. I truly enjoy learning to play the guitar on JamPlay.com. Yes, I said the words, ""enjoy learning."" It is by far the best deal for the money.

Join thousands of others that LIKE JamPlay!