By and By - Caamp | February 2024

Somehow, another 3 months have passed since I last did a self-recording, which means I’m due for the quarterly AVOYP I told myself I’d strive for. This is a song that I attempted (rather unsuccessfully) to learn before discovering Justin’s lessons, and which I’ve continued (less unsuccessfully) to try to learn since at least last May.

The chords are only grade 1, but the sixteenth note strumming has taken me a LOT longer, and is still sometimes a little wobbly. I’m not sure I’ll ever get it up to the tempo of the recording (100bpm - putting the 8ths at 200bpm :hot_face: :face_with_spiral_eyes:), but considering I could barely manage it in slow motion at 45 bpm when I started, I’m pretty happy being able to play along at 65-70% now. And never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be able to sing along…until suddenly the chorus was there when I was practicing it over the last several weeks.

So here it is after a year and 2 months with JG - definitely some hiccups in there, but overall, I’m pretty happy with its (and my) progress. Critiques and suggestions for improvement are definitely welcome!

*Forgive the loud clunk of the furnace (and my alarmed turn of the head) in the middle.
*There’s also a tapping noise on the recording that I can’t hear IRL, which I can’t for the life of me figure out the source of. I did a few takes to troubleshoot - thought it was furnace, or the binder on my music stand, or my phone tapping the music stand, or the sound of my foot tapping the beat (though since I was sitting on carpet and wearing socks, that seems strange), but it seemed to make no difference when I turned off the heat, took the binder off, rested my phone somewhere else, and tried a verse without tapping my foot. So, infuriatingly, it’s just there. :woman_shrugging:


Hi Hilary - that was great, strumming seemed really solid to me. I think the tapping noise could be the bracelet on your strumming hand touching the guitar top. Especially as it stops around the 3.05 mark when you move your hand to stop striking the strings.
Anyhow - nice job!

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I think few people would notice the clicking sound without you pointing us to that direction. Great trick to make people listen carefully. :rofl: I vote for bracelet as well.
Your strumming improved a lot since the last time I saw your video. I think you could relax your strumming hand a bit, but that will come with time same as strumming/picking speed and accuracy. Just keep practicing. That was great progress, Hilary.

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I really admire how some of you guys can sing and play at this early stage. I definitely should try more often but I don’t think my brain is prepared for so much yet xD good job!

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Coming along nicely Hilary. Chord changes were solid, strumming pretty good. Here’s some tips.

The strumming was very repetitive. I reckon making it more organic would make the song sound a lot better. Keep the same general rhythm, but relax your arm a bit, make it looser, miss some beats here and add some beats there. Just organically. You did it once towards the end (after the lyrics). You might have even thought that was a mistake, but it’s not. Variation adds interest.

Another thing to experiment with is accentuating some beats, making some lighter and some louder. The hard thing about that is doing it while staying in time.

Maybe give it a try.


Nice job Hilary and well done for keeping to your quarterly goal. I don’t know the song but it’s a really nice melody which you sing really well.
After 2 months you should be proud, especially singing like that along with more than just down strumming.
@jkahn makes some good points re strumming in terms of variety, one other thing to try is mixing up the pattern between verses and choruses, it doesn’t need to be by much, the section where you stop here after 3 mins is a great example, it just changes the feel somewhat. But this will all come with time so keep doing what you’re doing!


Good stuff Hilary. A confident performance there. Really steady strumming and timing and you’ve had some good suggestions already from others as to how to mix things up a bit.
Singing and playing together is a skill in itself and you’ve got that covered. Well done.

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Hi Hilary,
You have already received all the good advice, all that remains for me to say is that you (as also said) hit your guitar, I think with the pick on the bottom site of the guitar…
and I enjoyed your singing and playing :clap: :sunglasses: :clap: between staring and figuring out the tap/hit on the guitar :grin:

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Good job be proud and keep on rocking

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Congratulations on your successes Hilary - playing without looking, 16th note strumming pattern, and then singing at the same time. I totally agree with Carlos, that you are able to sing and play at this early stage is truly admirable. I didn’t know Caamp yet - I’ll definitely check them out.

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Well done on making and sharing another recording, Hillary. All I can say is I enjoyed listening and keep on. You’ve already received plenty of suggestions.

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Heck yeah!! I was the same way till I found Justin’s teaching ways! Excellent way he has to teach us!

Yeah you will!! Keep up a solid practice routine and before you know it it will happen, especially if you want it bad enough!:v:. If you love that song, it sure helps. It is a lovely song, sung quite lovely as well.:slightly_smiling_face:

You have already gotten some excellent advice from @jkahn and @Notter. I will add that you are doing very well. I’m taking it your practice sessions are definately a helping and in practice as per say!

I think the clicking is your plectrum hitting your guard or body of the guitar. You keep your strumming hand moving through the song(very well done) why I said you will get it!:wink:. There are a few pauses and there the sound disappears, but as soon as you start the strumming again, there it is. I could be wrong, but I had the same problem and needed to o correct it! Drove me nuts!! Lol

Your rhythm was fairly consistent…you did fall off the boat more than a few times, but managed to get it back. I am really big on rhythm, if I’m listening, I’m a tapping my foot, can not help myself. However, for most of it it was most excellent. You could easily sing and play this one for an audience and you would be just fine I bet!!! :heart_eyes::+1:

Rock on girl!!

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Well done on this one, Hilary! :clap:

Seems like a great milestone for you to achieve and you really can be proud on this one. I remember my initial stuggle with 16th note strumming all to well. Good news: It will become more natural and smooth with some time and practice, so will increase speed. :slight_smile: You’re on a very good way already, so keep on doing what you’re doing.

Good advice was already given, so no need for repetition. Playing and singing sounded nice to my ears. :slight_smile:

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Nicely played Hilary. I have read the others who commented and I think you got some good guidance already that I can’t really add much to. I do kind of recognised the noise you mention. It does sounds to me like the noise of a pick hitting the pick guard. But then you would get this also when you are not recording, maybe check that is not happening , sometimes we don’t notice these things until we record.
A tendency I still have today and many have in an early stage of their playing is strumming too hard but i did not get that feeling from your strumming. Maybe check out you are not accidentally hitting the pick off the pick-guard. Well done , great progress.

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@mathsjunky @Boris1565 @Dman74 @eric.lennon

Thank you all for helping my solve the mystery of the tapping noise - I think it is indeed my pick striking the pickguard. The “bracelet” is actually just an elastic hair tie, so I didn’t think it was substantial enough to be making any noise, but I confirmed it today - I switched the hair band to my other wrist to be sure, and once I was specifically looking/listening for it, I do seem to be striking the guitar with the pick periodically. I’ve never noticed it before! I’ll try to work on relaxing and using a softer touch.

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@jkahn You bring up a great point about dynamics. The original song has dynamic changes in it that I know I’m missing - I hope with more automation on the singing and strumming, that I’ll eventually have enough brain space left over to vary the volume and play with the organic variations you mentioned. The original also uses picking of individual notes for the instrumental interludes…that’ll have to a distant ‘grower’ addition down the line.

@Notter Don’t give me too much credit - this is far more than 2 months of work for me (closer to a whole year)! Mixing up the pattern between verses and choruses sounds like a great first stepping stone to adding more dynamic interest to it.

@CarlosAP Singing and playing does get easier with each successive song! The first song was definitely the hardest and took the most time to wrap my brain around. It does also help to pick songs you already know the lyrics to!

@franzek Some of the playing without looking is me squinting my eyes shut because it helps me keep on track with singing better :laughing: For whatever reason, closing my eyes to eliminate ALL visual stimuli frees up more neurons for the singing and playing. Definitely check Caamp out - I love the folksy guitar they have in their songs!

@Lisa_S Intellectually, I know it to be true that things get easier with time and practice, but it is still reassuring to hear it about 16ths from someone else who’s been there!

@sairfingers @roger_holland @Jwaters @DavidP
Thank you all so much for the encouragement :heart:


Hey Hilary, I enjoyed your performance very much as I did with your former, “The Story”.
Kudos for being able to sing whilst 16th note strumming, that isn’t easy at all. You have now a very solid level to build on and I’m sure, with time you are able to spice up the song with changing patterns and other fancy stuff. Your voice is very pleasant, also a great tool to have. Be proud of yourself and keep on, looking forward to hearing more songs of yours!


That’s very good advice, I will try that :+1:

Hi Hilary, glad to help you find the source, it is funny how we don’t notice things like this until someone points it out or in your case recording. I am not a guitar teacher but here is something to check in your playing. If you strum with the wrist too rigid that can cause the pick to follow through towards the guitar body and then sometimes hit the guitar. It could well lighting up you touch will solve your issue but i have found a little rotation of the wrist when strumming helps tone and would also likely stop this problem. Not sure if Justin has covered this in his strumming lesson, might be worth a check.

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Yepp, excellent idea. I find myself doing this when I really want to focus on a part. Shut off that visual stimuli and pupmp up that listening one! Works really well!

Rock on!