Direvus - September 2022 - Desperado - full song practice

Just over 2 weeks since I posted my first recording of the Desperado intro, thought it was time for a follow-up and see how I’m progressing.

That previous recording is here if you want to compare :wink: Desperado - Intro practice

What I’m going for in this playthrough, is to keep a reasonably steady tempo, try to have smooth movements between chords, play from memory as much as I can, and continue to play through mistakes.

I’m not fussed about the quality of the singing, I know my pitch is all over the shop, and it’s real quiet. I only sing along to keep me in the groove and have fun with it, I haven’t invested any effort in trying to learn to sign it properly … not yet, anyway.

Stuff I’ve noticed can be improved:

  • The C - Cm and Em - Bm changes are definitely a weak point, I’m not fast enough on these yet.
  • I am sloppy on the G - B7/D♯ change, need to work on that.
  • My G11 is awkward.
  • Accidentally did a bend on the second C/D ?! That was weird, never happened apart from on this take.
  • Caught some accidental pull-off noise when moving off the G13 in the intro, not totally sure why or how to fix that.

Stuff I thought went well:

  • When I totally lost my place in the final verse, I didn’t pull the plug and abandon the take, kept on going and picked up the singing again when I got my mojo back.
  • Apart from the ditch in the final verse, and some sluggish moves to Cm, I thought the timekeeping was decent.
  • I reckon the overall vibe is not crappy. I mean, obviously I’m a beginner and anybody watching would know that I am, and I hope I’m not blowing my own horn too much if I say so, but it does feel the way Desperado is supposed to feel.

Anyhow, if you’re still reading, thanks for checking it out. If you have any feedback on my playing I’ll gladly take it.


Hi Brendan,
You do one of the most important things to get better, your analysis is very good, :sunglasses: …and the difference with the previous performance is positively huge… so keep it up and a fantastic performance will “automatically”(after hours of hard work, but with pleasure) be created :sunglasses:

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You’re quite right Rogier, the minutes just seem to fly by while I’m working on this, it is a lot of fun. Thanks for your kind words.

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Hi Brendan,
Desperado really is a wonderful song, and man, it really looks tricky to play. Great job :clap::+1:.

As far as I can tell, you‘ve reached all of your goals perfectly. And thanks to the little troubles at the end, you could also fulfil your last goal :wink:.

Thanks for sharing :hugs:.

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Brendan, this is definitely an improvement since original video, bravo for persistence! Your hard work is definitely paying off! You are aware of the weaknesses and no point in focusing on that. I enjoyed what went well section as this is what keeps us going, positivity and optisism will keep you flying so don’t give up!

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Hi Brendan, I am not experienced enough to give you much advice but that sounded really nice and very enjoyable to listen to. Keep it up!!!

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Hi Brendan, I think you’re doing a great job and I enjoyed your quiet singing too, it sounds very natural and like you’re enjoying it, not straining at all. I also try to analyse things, and for me being objective is a struggle…so a :clap::clap::clap: for the playing, the singing and for your self-assessment skills too :blush:

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Hi Brendan,
You have a really nice Groover. An idea that recently made a big impact for me:

Try to extend the time you play without looking. As the take goes on you are looking less and less which is awesome. Then practice extra the chunks where you still need to look.

Not looking will teach the finger to feel there way to the optimal path. This has helped me a ton recently with making the changes.

Great outro too by the way, nice tone, very relaxed vibe. Keep rockin!
Best regards,

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Yes, absolutely, I agree. Not looking has a lot of benefits. It’s something I’m already deliberately working on. Unfortunately, many of these chords are ones I’ve only ever encountered on this particular song, so there’s a lot of learning ahead of me, before I’ll be able to play them all without looking.

Thanks for your feedback Bill :smiley:

Thanks Silvia that’s very kind. I was indeed enjoying it. As for the “not straining” part, as I’ve been trying to learn more about singing, I’ve heard a few different singing teachers repeat the same tip, that a lot of beginners are straining and tensing up their neck. I realised that was definitely true for me. So I’m purposefully trying to keep my throat relaxed when I do sing now. And if a note feels like I need to strain, I don’t go for it. I think it is helping, and it’s really cool that it came across to you in the video.

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Oh jeez, I just went to play along with Justin in his lesson video and realised this whole time I have been playing the intro & outro at the wrong tempo. :frowning: :man_facepalming: Essentially half-timing them without meaning to. So trying to find a tempo where I could play the whole song in (what I thought was) a single tempo, I ended up playing the intro & outro too slow, and the strumming too fast.

What a noob!

Others have said it all Brendan. Nice playing and singing, it’s coming along nicely.

Oh, the amount of times I’ve started a song and then watched a Justin video and have had to start again is unbelievable. :smiley: