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Singing and Guitar (Guitar Lesson)


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Mark Lincoln

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.

Taught by Mark Lincoln in Guitar Performance seriesLength: 26:12Difficulty: 1.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (03:06) Introduction and Nasality Nose
In a balanced voice, there is some nose in the sound but the sound is not nasal. Too much nasality is not preferred whereas not enough can make the singer sound dull and monochromatic.

Nasal Test:
Sing while pinching the nose closed. If the sound doesn’t change at all then it’s likely that your voice has “cut-off” nasality. If it changes a lot, then your voice probably has a more nasal quality and may need to be adjusted. If the sound changes slightly, then your balance is probably right on!
Chapter 2: (1:07) Humming Remember that humming can be a valuable technique for warming up your voice! Humming is not as hard on the throat as regular singing.
Chapter 3: (02:04) New Humming Technique Humming Technique:
Use the humming technique that we’ve discussed previously, but then progress to exchanging between “m” sounds and “n” sounds. Notice the placement of the tongue behind the upper teeth when humming “n” sounds. Experiment with other tones in your midrange and expand outward as notes become more comfortable.
Chapter 4: (03:14) Warm Up Time Once you have stretched and relaxed the body, initiated relaxed and consistent breath flow, warmed up and connected breathing to sound, and located and adjusted nasal placement, it’s time to awaken the full range of the voice.
Chapter 5: (04:43) Arpeggio Exercise Full Major Scale Exercise
Ascending- Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do then descending, Do Ti La So Fa Mi Re Do. Sing these with “u” on the ascending scale and “a” on the descending scale.

Scalar Passages Exercise
Sing the fllowing: Do Re Mi Fa So, Do Re Mi Fa So, Do Re Mi Fa So then do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do. Sing these with “si” ascending and “o” descending
Chapter 6: () Singing and Playing Warm to Perform
Since we are not just learning to sing but to perform as well, we should begin to discuss the process of warming up the voice with the guitar as accompaniment. Hopefully you are familiar with my Introduction to Guitar Series, but if you are not, refer to Lesson #3 and the chord chart that accompanies it. Review the names of the strings, the names of the fingers (I know that sounds silly but we need to have a common language to refer to), and the major and minor open chords.

Now, refer to the chord chart for the A major chord. Play the A chord and strum in this pattern: down down up down or "down, down-up, down." This strum will be familiar to my guitar students but may not be to others who are not familiar with my guitar series. If you are not familiar with strum notation, refer to Lesson #4 in the Intro to Guitar Series. Play the A chord and hum in a comfortable range. Hum along with the "down, down-up, down rhythm" while you play the A chord. Hum until your voice feels slippery and smooth with the A chord. Then, sing a three note scale segment up from the A. Watch as I do this in the video for more insight into what I’m talking about. Those of you who are familiar with the first four lessons of my intro series will see that we are doing a standard warm-up, but now with the guitar as our guide and our accompaniment.

Chapter 7: (01:36) The Exercise Exercise 1
Play an A-chord and hum single notes followed by a three-note scale. Then, hum a five note scale. Do these exercises gradually with the guitar until you start feeling more comfortable with singing and playing together. Sing softly and slowly. Then, increase the volume when your voice starts feeling slippery. Once you begin to feel warm and slippery, increase the volume and speed of the scales.
Chapter 8: (01:04) Alternate Exercise Now you can take the arpeggio exercise you practiced earlier and sing it while strumming the A major chord. This is more difficult, so be sure you are warmed up properly with both your voice and the guitar.
Chapter 9: (04:37) A Minor Exercise Play an A minor chord and do the exact same vocal exercises listed above. Pay attention to the change in feel and of the sound of the guitar in relation to the A minor chord. Work your voice until its comfortable and slippery and until you begin to feel more comfortable singing along with the guitar.

*Note-Learning to sing along with an instrument can take years and years and requires patience and diligent practice. Don’t be discouraged if these exercises don’t come to you immediately. If you’re getting frustrated, relax, take a deep breath or two, and start again. It’s helpful if you are somewhat comfortable with the guitar before endeavoring to sing and play.

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.


lolabeanlolabean replied on January 20th, 2016

Great series Mark. have learned alot;)

dranak992dranak992 replied on December 5th, 2012

For scene 8/9 are you just singing individual notes from the chord your playing? And how do you do that without having to pick the note first to hear it? LIke how to you hear it within the whole chord?

topher orangetopher orange replied on July 27th, 2013

He is starting on an "A" while strumming an A chord, and simple going to the next note in the scale. It's not the individual note in the chord, just the next note in a scale.

mitkomitko replied on June 27th, 2012

The breathing is my biggest challenge so far. Every time I breathe in I lose the rhythm. I guess i should take it slow.

mitkomitko replied on June 28th, 2012

Yep, slow and steady won the race.

ciaran_123ciaran_123 replied on April 4th, 2012

If I get dizzy while doing these exercises does that mean I'm doing it wrong?

brandtjbrandtj replied on May 31st, 2011

Great lesson, Mark. I love how you take things very slow and gradually. It's very important to take your time with things like this.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on June 9th, 2011

I agree Brandt slow and steady wins the race right??? Mark

silly6stringsilly6string replied on September 16th, 2010

my biggest problem is breathing from my diaphragm.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on September 24th, 2010

Hey Silly how are you? This is a common problem and can be rectified with some practice, and the proper guidance. Can you tune into any one of my live chats? Mark

benjiiibenjiii replied on May 14th, 2010

Hi Mark.... Is it possible that your guitar is wrong tuned??? For me it sounds so.....

jboothjbooth replied on May 14th, 2010

I think it's just tuned down one half step. All the shapes and patterns are the same, etc, but it will sound different. Mark always sings tuned down as it suites his voice better.

vkreddyvkreddy replied on August 4th, 2008

Hi Mark. After doing your "nose plug" test i found that i wasn't using my nose at all when i sing. Can you tell me how to increase my nasality?

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on September 13th, 2008

Hey VK, thanks for writing and your patience as well. Nasality is one of those things that your voice coach would have to hear in order to make a proper assessment. It may be that you have balanced nasality and may not need to make an adjustment but I would certainly have to hear you sing in order to make an accurate assessment. How do you think you sound? Stick to the warm-ups and don't forget to hum in the beginning. Humming should keep you in balanced nasality if you are doing the warm-ups properly. Keep at it and let me know. Thanks! Mark

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on July 25th, 2008

Hey Rob, yes I dash in and out sometimes. Sorry, but once you get drawn in it's hard to get out! Nice to hear from you though! Mark

robearlerobearle replied on July 11th, 2008

We spotted in you in Jamchat y'know Mark. You quit pretty quickly, but not quick enough, you were spotted! :)

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.



Lesson 1

Introduction to Singing

Mark introduces you to the wonderful world of singing.

Length: 15:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 6

Singing Exercises

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

Length: 26:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 9

Rhythm in Music

Mark Lincoln explains how rhythm is used in music.

Length: 15:16 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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

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.

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