@Siff re: Good Riddance
Well done for posting a full recording - your first is your worst (in terms of feeling the nerves, the anxiety and the uncertainty). Vibes for that.
Taking your last sentence first … I feel obliged to offer that constructive critique to hopefully give you some helpful pointers.
I won’t feedback on singing as I am a renowned non-songer. The only thing that I can offer - which helps me more than I can say - is singing with headphones on. If you’re using a DAW for guitar and mic just put headphones in and the sound coming directly into your ears may help you find the melody and pitch a bit better. It does for me.
Still not getting it as flawless as I’d like. Some unnecessary slowdowns and mistakes. Forgetting to mute the 1st string on the verses, not enough single picking too much strum…
Being able to recognise your own issues is a big benefit of recording - you can see, hear and learn from the things that appear to you as areas to improve.
The one big thing I am going to raise with you is rhythm and strumming. Justin mentions it all the time, in virtually every strumming lesson and in virtually every song lesson. Keep your arm moving at all times in time with the rhythm. You are not doing that. I encourage you to watch the video with the volume set to zero. That is a great way to recognise whether your arm is moving smoothly in rhythm or not. Down Up Down Up Down Up Down Up. Constantly and consistently.
This is such and important, fundamental technique and so many of the problems you are giving yourself - the reasons it is not ‘flawless’ are because your strumming arm is moving in a stop-start manner playing Down when it should be Up and Up when it should be Down and it makes the whole thing sound choppy and sometimes out of time. I recommend that you take stock of your rhythm playing and reshape your practice time to focus on eradicating the bad habits and building good habits. This may help:
Playing since Oct 2022. I’m currently at Module 19 of Grade 3, but revisiting this song right now as I never memorized and learned the strum/picking pattern until recently.
Ah. Perhaps there is the reason for the flaws you mention and the rhythm issues I am describing. Module 19 - Grade 13 in under 12 months is super-rapid progress and it raises questions on whether you truly spent enough time developing the basics and a strong foundation or whether you pushed on beyond them and began learning more advanced techniques without first mastering the beginner ones. We have seen many people in the community telling their own story of trying to run before they can walk and realising their mistake.
Go steady and revisit the basics fully and consolidate.
Beginner Grade 1 has 75 lessons plus essential consolidation. Each lesson requires at least one day of practice time but by the end of Grade 1, in Modules 5, 6 and 7, I would say that to do the learning justice and really get solid in the basics, each lesson should be given several days or a week or more. In terms of time for modules, start at one week for module 1 up to several weeks for module 7. I would even (exaggerating the time on purpose) suggest each module number be a rough guide to the weeks required if progress is slow and difficult.
Modules 1 to 7 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 = 28 weeks.
Grade 2 has 68 lessons. And as the learning ramps up the technical challenge and skill, each lesson and each module will require extended time to really get to grips with. I would suggest a similar approach.
Modules 8 to 14 = 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 + 12 + 13 + 14 = 77 weeks.
Those totals are definitely on the high side.
But I would rather encourage that over the opposite of not taking enough time and hitting problems as many have done. recommendation - take some backward steps to consolidate.
Oh yes, and learn songs, learn songs, learn songs.
That is some tough love from me and I hope you take it in the way I intend - constructive critique to help you focus on how to improve.