Firasr - July 2023 - Three Little Birds + Hey Joe + Ain't No Sunshine

That is very simple yet clearly demonstrates the right feeling to aim for. Thanks again James :blush:

Thanks for your reply Firas, I was already thinking that maybe I shouldn’t have written that :sweat_smile: I’m glad you could find it helpful, you are giving me an idea too, as at the moment I chose a song with the 8th notes downstrums only thinking to get more confident with the pick while avoiding the upstrums… slow tempo seems to be helpful too, so I made up my mind that next song will be a slow tempo one! Thank you :blush:

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My pleasure Silvia :blush: Your suggestion opened up a great conversation which led to others giving great suggestions as well. So thank you for that!

That’s a great idea choosing to work on slower tempo and down strums only. I’m finding one of the songs I’m practicing to be challenging with chord changes from and to the C major chord with half bar changes of chords (Hey Joe) . I realized I was trying to jump straight to practicing it with both up & down strums like I did with my first song but realized this one is more complex. So I’m practicing it with only down strums to get used to the more challenging chord changes before reintroducing the up strums and I find that it is less frustrating and I’m making better progress with it that way. Hopefully you’ll make great progress with your practice song too by simplifying it at first.

I’m realizing that there is much to learn and develop to even simple songs, so I have to allow myself to build up my skills gradually and not try to do it all at once to make progress. I have to remind myself that it’s a marathon not a race as one of my Coaches used to tell me :blush:

Congratulations on your first AVOYP posting Firas.

Very recognisable. Nice changes and strumming was solid. Great progression so far.

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Thank you Stefan :blush:

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Here’s my second song memorized and recorded as part of Grade 1 consolidation on July 21st, 2023:

First time recording a song using an audio interface instead of an external mic. I’m really happy with the audio quality of recording my guitar through my Zoom Multi-FX connected to my Volt 2 which is plugged into my PC. Learned just enough of the DAW interface to make this video. I’ll have to explore how to actually use the software plug-ins for FX instead of my Zoom, but I’m happy with the result for now.

As for the guitar playing, I hadn’t intended to record this song today (had another one in mind) but after having successfully setup my Epiphone Les Paul myself (polished the fretboard, changed the strings, adjusted the truss rod, lowered the string action and raised the pickup heights, intonation was pretty good, so left it as is), I just started playing Hey Joe to hear the difference after the setup which sounded great and thought I might as well record this :smile:

After reviewing my recording, I noticed that with songs that have more involved/complicated strumming patterns, I tend to use my wrist more than my arm, so that’s something I’ll be working on in my strumming practice. Also, my C chord change from E is a little muddy, so I’ll keep working on those in my PFC.

I’m also looking forward to learning more about changing strumming patterns in the Strumming Dynamics course for songs like this one, which essentially has the same chords throughout to spice it up.

That being said, I’m really loving playing around with my new guitars, gear, and software and learning so much. Most importantly, I’m really starting to feel the rhythm while playing and am loving it. Less than 2 months since starting this course, and I can’t believe that I’m actually playing such cool rhythms!

Shout out goes to @MrPB and @TheMadman_tobyjenner for inspiring me to buy my Les Paul. I’m really loving playing with it!

New playthrough of the same song on 4th August, 2023 after practicing and improving my chord changes (E to C in particular) for a few weeks (recorded using my new Marshall Code 25 amp, Shure SM57 mic, and Zoom G1X Four for drums all plugged into my Volt 2 Audio Interface):


Hi Firas,

every guitar players favorite chord progression, C, G , D , A and E. Well played, and you nicely introduced refinements in the strumming pattern after the first passes with straight on the beat strumming. Just one little observation is that you seem to have a small problem fully forming the C chord when you play the down up on beat 1, effectively muting. It seems you place the ring finger last, after you have played string 5.

You are getting really nice guitar tones from your LP and the interface!


I’m not sure this is something you need to fix. Does Justin say somewhere use your arm not wrist?

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Thank you for the encouragement and detailed feedback Tjeerd! That’s the reason I picked this song, to practice all the open chord changes learned so far in one song. It was challenging and frustrating to start, but I’m glad that I picked it. It gives me so much to work on with my chord changes, strumming patterns, keeping rhythm and in the future I’d love to learn the lead solos in it.

You’ve accurately identified the cause of my garbled C after the chord change (I knew I wasn’t getting it right but couldn’t figure out the problem). I can form the C chord fine in my perfect chord practice, one minute changes and even perfect fast chord changes but in this song I have difficult with it. Possibly due to the faster tempo?

I’ll keep practicing it at a slower speed then bring it back up to speed again once I’m forming the C chord properly and consistently.

And yes, I was shocked with the sound quality difference of the LP in general, slightly more so after the setup, and especially recording through the audio interface. I’m also experimenting with and starting to figure out how to make small changes to the FX Processor preset patches to find the tones I like. All in all, I’m having a great learning experience and really loving both the challenge and the progress from making these videos (both in my playing and my audio tweeking) :blush:

Hi Serhat. Yes he first mentioned it in the Module 2 - Strumming Mechanics lesson and repeats it quite often throughout the beginner course and the Strumming SOS course.

The strum comes from the movement of your forearm. Imagine a straight line from your elbow to your thumb. Your wrist shouldn’t be doing much work.

In the lesson videos his arm is visibly moving a lot more than his wrist even when he’s strumming fast and complicated patterns which is something I’m going to keep working on.

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Really like that tone - crunchy, but still well defined.
Nice timing in the rhythm.
Classic tune.


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Thanks Stephen! I have the ToneLib community to thank for finding some great patches for my Zoom G1X Four which I then tweak until I find the tone I like :blush:

Hi Firas, Awesome tune and one that you can really grow with as you progress with your playing if you want to, you handled that really well and again good to see you mixing up your strumming patterns through a song. With the slightly higher tempo of this vs Three Litttle Birds and some of your changes weren’t quite as clean as before and I agree with Tjeerd that C was probably your biggest culprit of chord formation. Regardless though, great job.

Also nice to read of your developing setup and your jump right in approach to working on your guitar, it’s well worth investing that time and you’ve clearly done a decent job as that’s was a nice tone just cusping on breakup, top stuff!

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Hi Firas,
Gooood sound and video and already nice to listen to :sunglasses: :clap:… keep this one close to you because this is a grower :sunglasses:

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Hi Firas,

that was very well done! :clap: Especially with respect to you being only in your second month in the guitar game, this is amazing! :slight_smile:

You seem to be very reflected and analysing your “weak” points exactly, but keep in mind: you just started out and are doing really good in a short period of time. So please, be gentle with yourself as well. :slight_smile: But it’s good to identify areas of improvement for sure. You will see, over time, these things will be getting smoother and easier under your fingers. Especially with this song, it’s an excellent one to keep on working on - you will grow together. :smiley:

Keep on with the good work! :slight_smile:

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Good stuff Firas. Keep working on getting those chord changes clean before you move on to something else.
Loved the tone you had there. :+1:

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Thanks Mark! Yeah, this song was a bit more challenging than the first one, with a lot more room for improvement and development. Definitely going to keep practicing this one and adding more to it as I grow my skills.

I was quite reluctant to try my own setup, but having my cheaper Squier Strat starter guitar to practice on helped a lot, and I’m really happy with how it turned out on the Epi LP :blush:

Thank you Roger. This song is definitely going to stay in my development songs list. So much to learn through it.

Thank you for the kind words and the wise reminder Lisa. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist and very critical of myself, so your reminder is well-placed and I will keep it mind to enjoy this journey with all it’s ups and downs while enjoying the music as I go along :blush:

Thanks Gordon. Will definitely keep practicing those chord changes, which is why I love this song so much. Much more fun to practice them all this way while working on my strumming and rhythm at the same time :smile:


Fantastic mate, looking good!!

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That LP’s looking and sounding real sweet Firas. Good choice :wink:

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Thank you Toby! I’m really happy with it :blush:

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