Before You Accuse Me & Justin's Beginner Blues Solo

Hey Everyone,
Posting both of these as my “passing” of module 13. Wow the blues stuff is so much fun!! I’ll be looking forward to revisiting both of these during Grade 2 consolidation including a bit of blues solo improv. There’ll be a bit more detail up on my learning log on the module overall.

I love Before You Accuse Me anyway, I remember when the Clapton Unplugged album first came out and that version of the song really grabbed me. Not that I’m doing it justice by comparison but it’s alot of fun. I’m getting really frustrated with the Scarlett microphone with gain settings seemingly all over the place, there’s a couple of spots here where it’s a little “boom-ey” uinfortunately. Not sure whether to go for a better vocal mic or continue to battle with this, but that’ll be a topic for another day.

The solo is a great intro to how to use the A minor pentatonic and I’ve started to dabble a little bit with the Guitar Pro backing track for improv. I seemed to stumble upon a nice tone with this in the Yamaha THR as well luckily!

Thanks for taking the time, as always any feedback is welcome :slight_smile:


The Mans got the Blues.

Well done Mark thoroughly enjoyed the first video. Far as I can see solid all the way with the old chunka chunka. I think I know what you are saying about the vocals but did not think it was a big issue and probably had not been listening for fluctuations, if you had not said anything. Don’t really know much about the Scarlett but know it comes with its own mic. Is it condenser or dynamic ? If the former it may be worth considering a dynamic mic for singing and playing simultaneously. I was happy with a condenser when recording vox on their own but switched to a Sure SM58LC when I went down the “singer songwriter” path. A condenser will pick up a lot of room noise and with deflections bouncing around a small room that can effect tone quality.

Others using the Scarlett will no doubt give a more knowledgeable response.

Welcome to the world of the Blues, spot it certainly is a whole lot of fun !!


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Thank you Toby there something about the chunka chunka rhythm, gets you “ooooh, right there” as Victor Wooten would describe it!!

Yes the Scarlett mic is a condenser which probably doesn’t help. I’m looking at adding an acoustic guitar soon so using that for the guitar and adding a dynamic mic for vocals could be the way anyway, and hey it means spending money on new gear!! :wink:.

Thanks for the listen and feedback as always!

Cool, sounds like plan, especially if GAS is involved.

I’ll spin the impro up later, as I am deep in some pedal tech stuff at the moment before the new toy arrives. Been stupid hot here and still over 30c so I am too drained to play this evening. Bit of reading, a beer, then a listen. Later.

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That sounds really good Mark. As Toby said you have the blues vibe down great. I don’t know enough about microphones to be of help though. I have a condenser which I have used for voice and guitar, but have never tried a dynamic one. Hmm… I think I have a birthday coming up in a about three months … :thinking: :wink:



The Blues solo is coming together nicely by the sound of it. Once you get the fingering of pat, you can start experimenting with expression. Those subtle timing changes that bring the emotion of the Blues and makes it flow. Easier to hear than to explain but something to experiment with, like holding a note for as long as possible before moving to the next. Or stopping it dead for a fraction of a second of silence before playing the next. Also easier said than done but what I means is take that piece that Justin teaches and make it your own. Does that make sense ?

Sounding good all the same !

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@TheCluelessLuthier Thanks Mark, birthday is always a good opportunity to look at new gear :joy:. Get searching!!

@TheMadman_tobyjenner Definitely good sir, I’ve done a little experimenting but not recorded anything. I’ll be playing around with that a lot from now on and when I get to grade 2 consolidation. Nice little nuggets on holding notes or shortening, I’ll be sure to share what comes out!

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Mark you’re making such excellent progress in so many ways. Your voice suits the blues and I hear the beginnings of a style of your own.

I wonder about the angle of your mic. If it’s a condenser is it possible to move the boom so that the mic is hanging parallel to your face, with the top about level with your chin or a little higher?


That was great Mark! Rrally enjoyed both videos, interesting tone choice for the second clip I like a bit of distortion here and there! I agree with Maggie it is a pleasure to watch you developing as a player and it clearly is giving you lots of fun which is the main goal! All the best


Bravo, Mark, both recordings sounded good to my ears.

Loved your shuffle rhythm on BYAM.

On the mic I didn’t hear the boominess you mentioned. What I heard was plosives on certain syllables. @batwoman made the suggestion that popped into my mind. I’d add perhaps back off a little bit from the mic and consider a pop filter.

If you start to record play and sing with the acoustic and want to make two track recordings (one guitar, one vocal) then @TheMadman_tobyjenner is on the money in suggesting a dynamic for the vocal to reduce guitar bleed on the vocal track. I have a reasonably affordable AKG D5 that works well.

Keep on rocking on!


I’d agree with David here.

Coming along nicely though, love the blues improv :sunglasses:


Coming along nicely Mark, great to see noticeable improvements in your AVOYPs!


@batwoman Thank you Maggie, it’s interesting your comment of the beginnings of a style of my own. As a little known fact I was a chorister for many years when I was young, obviously a good long time ago! However I think there’s an element of that style and training that remains. Not necessarily a bad thing as it’s served me well with pitch notice, breathing and a couple of other areas but as a vocal style it doesn’t particularly translate to this. It does feel a little like shackles are slowly coming off so your observation makes me smile! Also a good call with the mic, I’ll certainly have a play around with the boom and mic positioning.

@adi_mrok Thanks! The tone on the solo was kind of similar to the tone on the solo backing track in Guitar Pro (PC only though, I don’t know why iPad / iOS instruments in GP are all synth). But I quite liked the sound of it for the beginning section and was happy to dial it in.

@DavidP Thanks for the suggestions and backing up of Maggie’s commments, I feel a mini project coming along for G2 consolidation!! Also appreciated on sharing your mic model, I’ll be browsing at some point :slight_smile:

@liaty Cheers Dave! There’s going to be fun to have with the improvisation going forward, can see that already :wink:

@jkahn Thanks, it’s not just me then that feels like things are improving! :rofl: Appreciate you taking the time to listen in.


Excellent stuff Mark, that was very bluesy and that intro was schweeeeeet!

I’ve yet to hit the blues module (still playing with power chords) and after seeing what you have produced I can’t wait to get there.

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Thanks Stefan!! Half way to replicating the Unplugged intro, basically the simple bit of it!! :rofl:

I can’t believe how much fun I’ve found the blues module, the hooks are in and it seems like they get everyone!! It’s the rhythm more than anything, just makes you want to tap your foot, nod your head pull silly faces :wink: Sure you’ll love it when you land there!

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Awesome stuff Mark!
Too bad we can’t give double likes… you deserve 1 for your cover and 1 for justin’s solo that is ingrained in my head. I thought they were both done really well.

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Well done Mark, you’ve caught the caught the Blues Bug! Unlike Covid you’ll not shake it off. :smiley:

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Hey Mark,
I think on the 1st offering you warmed up on vox and it flowed pretty good after that. Your play is going well to my ears.

On that mic, if you replace it. Much like Toby said… look into a dynamic as they are less sensitive that a condenser and that makes them a bit easier to handle, noise rejection and recording wise. Save some money and try to get something over $100. I am presently using an SM7B and an EV-RE20, or there bout’s. Mind you these are fairly pricey mics. But if I were to start over again on mic buying, these 2 would be what I would get.

Keep up with them fun blues! Both via guitar and vox. You are doing a great job and good to hear from you on how it is going!

All the best!

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@Dro_1 Thanks Sandro!! I know you’re only just out of module 13 as well, will we ever forget that solo? :wink:

@sairfingers I’m happy to remain infected Gordon, pretty sure there’s no cure anyway, and if there is I don’t want it!! :rofl:

@LBro Thank you! Yes the vocals settled after the first verse, step by step we get there. Much appreciated for your comments regarding mics, another world of expertise to delve into :slight_smile:

That was great Mark. You have definitely got the blues. i enjoyed both your cover of BYAM and blues solo. That blues solo is definitely ingrained and worth going back to explore further when we get to the lesson on bends etc. Toby makes some great points on adding expression through subtle timing changes. Keep up the good work, you are making great progress.

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