FirasR - October 2023 - Jimi Hendrix & Pearl Jam

So it’s been a few weeks since I bought my new Fender American Professional II Stratocaster HSS guitar, and I’m way overdue recording myself playing it.

I’ve been working my way through Grade 2 and learning some new songs and I’m almost ready to record 1 or 2 of them but need a bit more practice to finish memorizing them, hence playing an older practice song.

While there’s not much new in terms of the guitar playing for this song (besides switching to the weak finger G chord from Grade 2), but there are a few technical firsts for me:

  • It’s my first time playing standing up for a video (I’ve been practicing riffs and songs standing for the past few weeks as it’s actually better for my back). Still a long way to go to stop looking at the fretboard but I’m improving, slightly.

  • First time recording myself playing with a backing track. Besides learning how to do that technically, I actually prefer this as it’s much easier to remember chord changes having the vocals, bass and drums to go by (not a big deal for Hey Joe, but it’s much easier with the newer songs I’m practicing).

  • I’m traveling with a new MacBook Air laptop and a new Fender Mustang Micro headphone amp serving as my audio interface, so I had to figure out how to get them all to play nice with each other.

While I’ve already gotten lots of helpful feedback on my original play-through of this song, any additional feedback and tips on my playing is always welcome as I continue to practice playing this and other Grade 1 songs daily to keep improving how I play them. Plus I really needed to play this song on the new Strat :guitar: :blush:

October AVOYPs:

2023-10-29 - Pearl Jam - Last Kiss
2023-10-28 - Pearl Jam - Black
2023-10-06 - Jimi Hendrix - Hey Joe


Hey Firas
Where you go with that guitar in yo han’?
Hey Firas
You look like you gonna lay some chords down!

Ok, so that was pretty lame… but look at you playing while standing!!! Way to go, man!
Criticism wise - looks like you need to work a bit on timing & “groove”. It felt a bit out of sync with your backing track. Maybe keeping the strumming hand moving could help with that? I did think that you had good chord transitions and that no matter what, that is one killer strat in your hands!!! Love it’s look & sound!!!
Good job & thanks for posting!!!



Coming along nicely Firas. Strat looks and sounds great. You can see your skills developing. Still some speed needed in the chord changes.

On what @CATMAN62 said on the out of sync. It’s the riff in the middle of the two E barres that’s making it sounding off. The rest of your playing is on time - not perfectly, but good enough. But that riff isn’t in time with when it should be.

You can keep developing this song and fill out that riff a bit with an easy lead line. It’s a super one fun to play, and one a lot of us play at around your stage in the journey!

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Man, that is one fine looking guitar and it sounds great. Also well done on standing and playing, yes, it is easier on the back and all things considered, in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t take too long to transition from sitting to standing.

Nice work with playing along with a backing track too. It brings another level and is a so much more fun.

Everything else you look to be doing just fine Firas.

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Hello Firas :slightly_smiling_face:

What a pleasure to watch you playing your beautiful new Strat from Anderton’s. I love this cool dark night finish a lot :sunglasses:

It looks and sounds great :+1: :star_struck:
I liked your cover song a lot - and I guess Jimi would have liked it, too.

Playing standing up really seems to be a good idea. Wishing you the very best for your back. :hugs:
And I think it is helpful when you practise to avoid looking at the fretboard all the time. You did very well there, I’d say. Just a few quick looks for some more difficult chord changes, I think that’s OK, and you are on a very good way there. :+1:

I was very relieved to spot some strap locks. I guess they are very important when playing standing up, so that nothing happens to your beautiful Strat. Take good care of her :blush: :guitar:

Keep on rockin’

Gunhild :lady_beetle:

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Hi Firas,

you’re on track, I would say. It’s coming along nicely and you’re doing good starting to play standing up as well. Starting this early will pay off in the long run. When I first started I always played sitting, never even tried standing up. So this is something I still need to put effort in after all those years - a problem you will problem stumble across then. :+1: :smiley:

Share the same observation as Tod and JK mentioned. It’s probably also because you started playing with the backing track. It needs some time to get used to it in this set surrounding.

But glad, you will keep this one on your plate. You will see, how you will grow together with increasing skills. :smiley:

Your new Strat is just beautiful and makes some pretty sounding “noise” - excellent choice, Firas!
Keep it going, you’re progress is quite obvious to see. :+1:

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@CATMAN62 Hiya Tod! Lame or not, your excitement is infectious and always highly appreciated my friend. Thank you for all your positive energy, continuous encouragement and compliments. I’m in the hospital all day today with my brother for his chemotherapy treatment, and your positive vibes make a long and difficult day that much more bearable. Thank you :pray:t4::blush:

Thanks for pointing out the timing issues. I listened to the recording a few more times and noticed how I speed up and slow down repeatedly more noticeably in the beginning. While playing with the backing track is helpful for context but it means I have to be more spot on with the rhythm timing since it’s not there like when I’m playing along with the full song. I’ll have to add practicing with backing tracks specifically to my daily practice routine after I’m comfortable with the song structure to hone in on the rhythm timing.

Another good suggestion with the hand movement, thank you. I still notice myself stopping that especially with other songs I’m practicing that have stops and starts. I’m working on being more conscious of those and have to intentially keeping the strumming hand moving.

Funny thing with this video recording, it felt like it was the first time I recorded a video. Cold sweats, fingers and body stiff. Maybe a little longer warm up before recording in the future would be helpful and more regular recordings even if just for myself to reflect on and notice areas of improvement achieved or needed.

@jkahn thanks for the kind words JK :blush: Thank you for pointing out the area where I’m stumbling with. I always felt like I’m scrambling to get back on rhythm after that part but wasn’t consciously aware of it. I’ll explore that some more and see how I can both flesh it out and smooth it out. Plus I love learning a new riff and this song has a lot to continue building up to. Definitely a keeper and developer song for me to help me solidify my rhythm playing and hopefully start exploring some lead playing when I reach those upcoming modules.

@SgtColon thank you Stefan :blush: Yes both playing standing up and playing with a backing track have added new layers to work on and develop with my playing and has the added benefit of less back and shoulder pain from hunching over. It’s amazing how such seemingly small changes can open up new areas of development :grin:

@Gunhild thank you so much :blush: I thought after buying it the initial dazzle would wear off, but I’m loving my guitar more and more every day. Any doubts about whether I should have bought this guitar have evaporated :heart_eyes:

Yes a few people had suggested that playing standing up will help with not looking at the fretboard as much, and it does seem to be working gradually so will definitely keep practicing playing both standing and sitting.

As for the strap locks, yeah I’ve made them standard issue for all my guitars. We have limited options back home for guitar repairs so can’t risk that :grin:

@Lisa_S Thank you so much :blush: Yes I’ve heard from many that it helps to start practicing standing up early (if possible) so I’m learning from everyone’s experience in hind sight which I highly appreciate.

Thank you all for all the continus support and tremendously enlightening and helpful feedback as always!

This is song is deceptively simple with a fixed chord progression throughout, but it’s a great example of how critical good timing, rhythm, and groove is. I’ve played it on all 3 of my guitars, and while it’s interesting to see the different tones each of them has (and that I’m capable of creating with them), it’s also interesting to see where I’ve improved and what new areas of improvement and exploration are needed. Did I mention how much I love learning to play the guitar? It’s a never ending cycle of learning and development. And to think I’ve spent so many hours in my previous years getting that sense of challenge and achievement from video games when I could’ve been learning to play the guitar :rofl:

Oh well, like I always remind friends and the occasional coaching client “Better late than never!” :blush:


Oh man, Firas, that beautiful new Strat is singing to me. I can dig some Jimi!!! This is one of my go-to songs as well. Well done.

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Thanks so much Tosh :blush: I just dipped into some of your song videos, and you’ve got a beautiful acoustic guitar (love the matte finish) and a beautifully matching voice :heart_eyes:

Hey Firas
Enjoyed listening to your video :smiley:
Sorry, I don’t feel that I’m qualified to offer any actual feedback, but gotta say impressed with you standing up and playing! :slight_smile: And love your new Strat! :heart_eyes: She’s sounding real nice!

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Thank you Jax :blush:

Standing up is a new and slightly challenging experience but I’m starting to get more comfortable with it and actually enjoy it. I feel like I’m getting more into the groove of the songs I play when standing up.

And I’m loving the new strat, thank you. How it looks, feels and sounds is just, well, for lack of better words, lovely :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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I had this thread opened on my laptop from a while ago that I forgot to close (I’m a browser tab hoarder), your reply was there in front of me, and the words finally hit me :man_facepalming:t4: You spun the Hey Joe lyrics from gun to guitar, Joe to Firas :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Oh man, do I feel slow now :rofl:

See Tod, your words have a never ending positive impact (even if it takes a while to sink in). Thank you my friend, that was both hilarious and uplifting, and very much needed :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Hi Firas!
I’m happy to hear that my truly lame twist on the Hey Joe lyrics brought you some joy!
Your message made me think… here we sre, half a world away from each other, communicating in a forum made up of people from around the globe, different languages & cultures, and yet we’re both just two guys connecting over music! All the unrest and sorrow that the media brings into people’s lives but we are both happy about an inside joke! Thank you my friend for highlighting this insight for me!
Rock on!!! Enjoy your music :notes:!!!


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That’s a beautiful insight Tod :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Thank you for sharing it with everyone. @brianlarsen and I were having a similar conversation yesterday. I’m grateful for such communities that bring people together as opposed to driving them apart. We’re all just human and social creatures after all, and we have more in common deep down than we do differences on the surface. It’s just a matter of which we choose to look for, the more we will find it.

Here’s hoping that the world is just a little slow as I was in catching your joke, and hopefully wake up soon and realize that we’re all just looking to enjoy peaceful and happy lives, and help each other get there instead of fighting over my happiness vs someone else’s. The inside joke being, there’s more than enough happiness and peace to go around for the whole world, and we don’t have to fight over it.


Well, 'Scuse me, while I kiss this guy!
(google if necessary :wink:)

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This took me down a hilarious rabbit hole :rofl:

I thought you played very well, Firas. I’m sure it’s wise to start practicing standing up early in your journey, as you said. You inspire me to work on that. I should have started a long time ago. It’s hard for me. I can’t seem to get the hang of it so haven’t been persistent at it.

Very nice guitar!

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Great stuff Firas!!! Sounds great!
That Fender looks awsome by the way…

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@pkboo3 Thank you Pamela :smiling_face: I started playing standing very gradually, just worked it into my practice routine. I would play just one or two riffs standing every day, then all of my riffs review standing (7 of them so far), then one song that I’m really comfortable with, and kept adding one at a time until I could play all my review songs standing. Now I just practice my scales and chords sitting, all my riffs & songs standing. I found it worked the best for me to ease into it with the areas of practice that were the easiest for me to minimize the discomfort and inevitable awkwardness.

@tRONd Thank you Trond :smiling_face:

2023-10-28 - Cover: Pearl Jam - Black

First song recording on my Fender Mustang GTX100 (via XLR line out into my Volt 2 audio interface) :blush:

I’ve been learning & practicing this song for almost 2 months now, and I thought I should go ahead and record it even though I still need to improve the following:

  • Timing of the intro (guitar playing with the vocals timing is off in this take).
  • Rhythm timing through the whole song in general (speeding up in a few places).
  • Rhythm Push consistency (only hitting it on some bars and not others I think).
  • Strumming pattern is fixed throughout the whole song. Will work on changing it up in the future but that still throws my timing off if I try to do it now.

That being said, I loved learning and practicing this song. I’m also working on the riff for this song and would love to sing along with it one day.

As usual, any feedback is welcome either on the points mentioned above or any other ones I missed :blush: