Closer to fine (but not very close 😂

So, long time no post…
Been struggling, as you’re about to see. Have been trying to learn to use a pick as I was wearing out my thumb, but now ill need to learn to sing more loudly…
Loads of mistakes, and a whole section skipped at the end. Had to learn a load of new things for this, so happy I’m progressing still if slowly.


That is a great great start on this great great song! Your strumming is really good, you keep a good beat and you definitely show the energy of the song. The vocals are quiet, but I can hear that you have a nice voice, you can test out different mic (or iPhone) positioning to improve the guitar / vocal balance. I have a couple of suggestions, if you’re interested. First, I wouldn’t suggest worrying about the entire very recognizable opening riff too much for now, but you could start the song with hitting just the G note on the E string to bring a taste of that in (i.e. the 3rd fret of the E string, on the G chord), rather than the entire chord (then continuing with strumming with the beat you have). You can then aim for the open A string as the first note of the 2nd half of that bar, and then the 3rd fret of the A string to start the 2nd bar. Don’t worry about it too much though, practice it separately at a slower speed, and then gradually incorporate it in. 2nd, you obviously know the song, so I suggest listening to the original for where there are spaces in the strumming. Right before the chorus there’s a space, and it’s a really nice entry into the chorus. Finally, I can’t quite tell what chord you’re playing on the 3rd line of the verses (‘the best thing you’ve ever done for me’), a variation of D, but it sounds really cool if you instead take your C chord and move that exact shape up two frets. It’s now a different variation on a D chord (054030 or 554030), it adds a little something, and it’s also easy to play (because it’s just a C chord moved up 2 frets!). That’s the way I’ve always played it so I checked a couple of YouTube tutorials just now to confirm that everyone does seem to teach it that way.

I hope you don’t mind my suggestions. You’ve got a really excellent start on this song, it sounds good as you have it and you don’t have to change a thing if you don’t want to.

And then of course you’ll have to find a 2nd singer to add the harmony line :slight_smile:


ps I just saw that you started learning guitar Feb 2021. Wow! This song is a real achievement for a year and a half of playing!!

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Hi Mari63
Thanks for such a useful & detailed response.
I first heard the song a month ago, when googling female voice songs with acoustic guitar, and loved it! Ive not watched any tutorials so maybe I should!! Firstly, however, I will work on all of your suggestions. When i first saw the chords for this I nearly gave up, but have been chipping away at it, now I’d like to get it played well. Many thanks.

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Really good Julie, well done. Lots of great advice from Mari for you to follow. It’s a great song and one that can be improved on as your skill develops.

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It’s nice to see that one came up when you were looking for female voice songs. The Indigo Girls are rather underrated if measured in terms of popularity, but they do have quite a following. Closer to Fine is IMO an extraordinary song, thematically, musically, and vocally. And it should also show up on lists of great acoustic guitar songs to play, it’s one of the funnest songs to play that I’ve ever heard! You are doing amazing on this song for having only heard it a month ago!!

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Change is always a hard thing when you need to do it but you did it well. Yes, the vocals need to step up a bit when you use a pick but now you know.

Self-assessment is a good thing if you can see yourself what needs working on.

Nicely done Julie.

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