A work in progress

Hi folk,
1st let me apologize. I got no video. Only audio.
I ain’t posted up many songs lately.
I think I know the reason why. I ain’t so computer savy to do them videos. I want sound quality and I just have trouble with the video. Thinking I got to do a video just makes me do nothing. I think, where I’m at gear wise, trying to do video just makes it a drag for me to do. I could do a telephone, but I hate the audio of the telephone. Anyways, ya all are just gonna have to live with audio only. My self, I’m old. I ‘listened’ to all the songs I like. There was no video. So you young folk gonna have to bear with me.

So I’ve been working on this song for a month perhaps. Likely more when I consider my first attempt. I had a earlier version I did of it too.

I found this song was done @ 144bpm (per a google search of bpm of this song). So that was my 1st attempt. I did it to fast imho. Perhaps it was supposed to be cut time, I don’t know.
This try I did it @ 72bpm. I think this is closer to where it’s really at.

As for the work in progress. imho, I missed to many notes.
I am doing this from a tab I got on line somewhere. It seems pretty close to what I think it’s supposed to sound like.

I’d sure like some feedback on this.

I think to make it better. The guitar part for sure. I need to make it more legato. The notes need to ring out. Most of what I do does ring, but not all of it. This is all done finger pickin style. I’m learning to finger pick imho (perhaps it’s obvious).

Anyways, what I’m hoping to get is criticism as to what you think I can do better.
The singing ain’t great either. But it is what it is. I don’t claim to sing.

Hope ya’ll all like it, and hope to get some feedback as to where ya think I need to better.

Perhaps, this is a learning log?
I really ain’t hip to what this learning log is when I see it posted here.
I’ve been learning this song for a while now, so perhaps, this is my learning log?

Helplessly Hoping is three tracks. I find it quite hard to sing and play this song. There’s a lot going on within the song. You gotta be pretty skilled to play it and sing it at the same time. I ain’t that skilled.
The song is,
one track guitar, acoustic plugged straight into the interface.
one track main vocal, strait in.
one track harmony vocal. strait in.
a bit of daw reverb added to the vocals.

Mixed down to no clip best I can tell.

Bonus tune. Her Majesty.
Done in one foul swoop.
Sang and played guitar at the same time. Two tracks though
I usually find it hard to do. Sing and play guitar.
Good thing about the bonus song.
It’s kinda short… :wink:

Anyways, your most critical comments on guitar playing would be most welcome. Ya can criticize the vocals too. But again. I don’t claim to sing.

I want this song to sound… musical, pretty, relaxing…
I’m having fun with it.

Helplessly Hoping, CSNY/Her Majesty, The Beatles.

Helplessly Hoping, 1st attempt, Likely prior to joinging JG.

It’s been a while since I did this version. But I’m quite sure this is two guitar tracks. Just straight rhythm strumming guitar + the main lick. I’m sure the vocals + harmony, and guitars are all done on separate tracks.



Good to see you posting Jim.

Can’t offer much in the way of criticism, as I am still very much in the early days of folk fingerstyle but the guitar sounded quite good in my opinion. Don’t worry about not wanting or being able to record video, audio only is fine. Folks won’t be able to comment on any physical advice but as is often said, if it sounds good … !


Hi Tom -

I love this song. My mom and I used to sing this together in front of the stereo tryin to sing two of the different three parts of the harmony they are so well known for.

You picked a doozy to sing and play I’ll tell ya that! I have some feedback for you. Some of which is a response to the text of your original post and the rest is to the recordings you posted. So, here goes. . .

I hear you on this front. I was also pretty reluctant to get into the whole video thing because of the gear /technoology side of things. . .I was lucky that I had inherited a bunch of “tech toys” from my father who passed a little while back and had some gear lyin around to work with. If you have the gear then it really isn’t as difficult as I imagined it would be. Now, if you don’t have the gear it can be a significant investment to get it and that of course is always a consideration. Anyway, with this comment, I am just tryin to encourage you to take a look at it and see if you could come to grips with gettin a set up that works so we can see what you’re doing cuz it makes it easier for you to get full, proper feedback on your playing if we can also see what you’re doing. BUT I get it. . .it takes a bit of patience and time to learn this stuff as well as the gear, which, if you don’t have, it means an investment which isn’t what guitar playing is about at the end of the day.

Either way, just know that there are lots of people here in this community who can help you, if you want, with pretty inexpensive ways to get a decent quality video and audio set up. They’ve helped point me in the right direction and am happy I was able to get a VERY BASIC understanding of how to put together a video and some decent audio. All you got to do is ask and I am sure people would be more than happy to point you to already existing information in the community. . .I won’t put any links here cuz I don’t want you to feel pressured or anything, but the info you need to do it is very close to hand if you decide you want to. . .I am happy to deal only with audio as well so for me no biggie. . . anyway on to the real feedback. . .

You’ve got the song under your fingers and can play it well, if slowly. The audio is clear on that point. I didn’t hear too many outright missed notes. It sounds to me, though, that you’re still playing a bit hesitantly and that the tune is not in “automation” mode yet for you.

This is normal after only a month of working such a complicated fingerstyle piece. The only advice I can give you on the playing side is that you need to keep on playing this thing on repeat slowly until your fingers just kinda go to the spots without you having to put too much thought into it. . .the speed is an issue. . . it sounds pretty slow to me at 72bpm, however, the second link you posted (your earlier version) also sounded a bit fast, to me too.

What helps me is to play directly along with the track as it’s coming out the speakers. Of course, at first, I have to be able to slow the track down to do it. . .this usually requires a computer program to put the digital music file into and then slow the track down by some degree.

For complicated pieces I usually start at about 50% speed. There’s a free piece of software called Audacity that you can download and it will allow you to adjust the speed of the track. Or you can buy another program called Transcribe (which I use) that allows you to the same and has a lot of other functions as well. With both programs you can loop and slow down tricky sections of songs to work on them. I haven’t used Audacity much but the price is right. I honestly think that the $35 I spent on Transcribe was the best money I’ve dropped on learning guitar in the last few years. . .anyway it HELPS ALOT to be able to adjust the speed of the song and play along directly with it. . . if you can get some way of slowing the song down then just . . .rinse and repeat. . .I tend to try to play pieces at different speeds to see how I am doing while I speed up the tempo I am playing at progressively over time. . .so one time I’ll play it at where I am comfortable and the next repeat I’ll speed it up by 25% and see how I cope. . . then back down to comfortable, then up again, say 15%, and see how that goes. . .but the bulk of the repetitions of the song I will play in my comfort zone and then gradually speed up the tempo til my comfort zone is at about 95% of the original. . .

As far as tips on sining and playing this tune together I would say all the standard things will help you. . but only patience and perseverance will get it done. . …I’ll just tell you how I approach this and you can take or leave it as you like.

First, I get the lyrics (with chords changes above the lyrics) WRITTEN DOWN ON PAPER for all . .intro/verse/chorus/ sections and I listen a bunch of times to the lyrics and then I sing the word on each chord change. . .from there I slowly start filling in the lyrics from change to change. . .if a section is particularly tricky I’ll put it on loop on the software and just go over it and over it until I can sing along with the whole song. while playing . .then the real fun begins . . I stop playing along with the track and just do the song under my own steam playing and singing with nothing else to support me until I am happy that I can confidently sing it and play it and only make minor mistakes. . (hopefully, if I am not too nervous and end up forgetting the order of the verses or some nonsense like that. . .)

This is a pretty long answer. . .sorry. . .hope there’s something you can use here.

I think that this song should be shared with everyone here and played by a fellow student and you got it sounding good. Would be great to hear you sing and play it one day. . .keep at it and let us know if you want any info on the tech side of stuff to help out with videos, etc. (no pressure!!!)

Keep on pickin and enjoy the ride!!


Sorry Jim. . .I meant Jim, not Tom. . :rofl: :rofl: :roll_eyes: .I guess I was just following on from Toby’s post and being lazy. . .though the user name happycat does lend itself to you gettin called Tom from time to time. . .

Anyway, have a good one!!

1 Like

Thanks for the listen and comments Jeremy.

To your first notes.
I suppose I kinda have the gear. I’ve got a smart phone I just don’t like where the pics are stored. The cloud I think, whatever that is.
I also got a older digital camera. It works, ok. The batt. don’t live as I’d like it to though.
I think mostly it’s about just adding that little bit more of recording gear.
when I record a tune I seem to have to record it over and over and over before I get something I like. With the daw, that isn’t so bad. I can do it all from my chair where I’m playing from. Add the camera and then I gotta get up, be careful where I step so I don’t trip on cables etc.
I think it’s the space, or lack there of, that causes me to not want to do the video part.
I also would have to go get davini again as I changed computers from the times that I have posted videos. Which ain’t so many.
I will work on this, perhaps, just do a lo-fi on my telephone. That I can do. I just miss the capability of the daw to adj. the sound vs the telephone where there is no control.
I know a video would be much better for getting some help. To be able to ‘see’ would be most helpful. I understand.

Good catch. I agree. And I’m not in auto mode when playing this song. Some parts of it, but not all of it.

For tempo. I think I decided on 72 after I went and tried to match the tempo of the song from the record. Been a bit, but best I can remember, my best guess was 68bpm. 72 seemed close enough. 72/144 is what the www was saying it was. I get 72, the 144, you hear what that did for me. Just speeded me up to much. I’m not even sure why as 72 is half of 144.

I do have the mosiey program. I think it separates out the instruments, speeds it up, slows it down etc. I didn’t find it worked real well for me on a first try, so I stopped using it.
I have listened to this song since my childhood. I like it. I have it in my mind. I’ve decided whatever I play will not be like the original. Close perhaps, but not exact. Since I do this for fun, close is ok with me. I only listened to this song a handful of times prior to deciding to record it. Mostly trying to figure out the tempo.
Perhaps I should give it a few more listens.
Good suggestion on learning the words. I actually have gone to trying just singing the words, w/o anything else, no backing. It helps.
As for the words. It’s me, I can’t read the words when they’re in ft. of me. No idea why I have a short memory for lyrics, but I do.

That’s funny. I’d never considered that, but it is true.
No harm done and I got a new perspective for my screename.

Thanks for the listen. I will consider these things you’ve noted.

I do consider this a work in progress as I’m not satisfied completely with what I’ve done. After another month maybe I’ll do it again, lo-fi, on a telephone w/light. That way I can get feedback on what my fingers are up to.