I’ve been working on songs with the F chord on my acoustic guitar since I got it this past March - it’s quite a bit more difficult than playing them on my electric…
I originally posted this without backing vocals, but decided to do another take. Of course, this time I missed an entire bar of the F chord and the 2 beats of G in the third verse. So once again, warts and all, this time with vocals, here’s a cover of Carly Simon’s “You’re so vain”. Any comments or suggestions would be very much appreciated.
Well done, Tom. Nice work keeping that right hand in motion; I can see the attention to timing and maintaining the beat. Keep that up! The main thing I’d work on is polishing some of the chord transitions. You could probably also elevate this piece by sinking into the “feel” of the song, adding some dynamics or accents to vary the sound of the strumming (not necessarily the pattern itself – more like the “energy” of the guitar) when moving from verses to choruses. You’ve got the “bones” of the song down; at this point you’re at the polishing and making it as “musical” as possible stage. Good job!
JWC picks up some key points for finessing here.
To add to them, I would suggest simplifying the strumming at certain transition points.
You have a strum pattern - old faithful unless I’m mistaken - but you don’t need to keep it running through the whole song.
Over the lyric, ‘you had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte’ for example, play one down strum per chord only. Emphasise these with a strong dynamic strum. Not whacking the heck out of the strings, but don’t be shy.
Then go more gentle on the, ‘and all the girls dreamed …’ part before building the dynamic up to enter the chorus with some gusto.
Tom, congrats on doing the recording and putting it up here. As you have seen the feedback is positive and on point.
The more you play the song the easier and more comfortable it will get. Keep up the good work!
Well done Tom. You’ve got a good steady strum action there. You just need introduce a bit of feeling and fluidity into it and be less mechanical. I know it’s difficult to concentrate on a chord like F at the same time as introducing dynamics, but stick at it. You’ll get there.
Well done, Tom, I see great progress on the basics. Keep doing what you are doing and you’ll become more relaxed and comfortable, and then able to play with more feel, dynamics etc. It is not easy to be able to keep steady rhythm, make all the changes, keep track of where you are in the song … those that make it look easy have achieved that through a great deal of practice and playing.
Thanks David! Adding in the F chord changes has been rather challenging… I’ve been working on it in my daily practice routines for quite a while. I’ve just recently started playing songs with the F chord. I appreciate your comments and everyone else’s. Thanks.
After the feedback I received on this, I started working in the suggestions that @J.W.C , @Richard_close2u and @sairfingers offered, and the changes have made such a huge difference in the overall “listenability” of the song. I’m going to continue the “play, practice, rinse and repeat” routine with these improvements and eventually post a revised version.
You’ve got a great start, Tom, and lots of positives, as noted above. It just takes practice, practice, practice. I can see you are putting it in, and the payoffs will keep coming. Nice job on this one.