firasR - September 2023 - Old Time Rock n Roll

Old Time Rock n Roll by Bob Seger

Finally got my 5th Grade 1 song recorded! Woohoo :hugs:
This concludes my Grade 1 consolidation (in terms of completed tasks not practice of course, that will be forever ongoing).

This song was a challenging but rewarding one. It’s my first Rock n Roll song (with a blues shuffle) and it really forced me to use a combination of skills and techniques learned throughout Grade 1 and the Strumming course as well (palm muting, switching between strumming and the shuffle, distortion sound effects, dynamics, builds, etc.). Thanks to everyone who shared feedback on how to get close to the tone I wanted for this song.

Areas that I need to keep working on and improving are:

  • Palm muting
  • Shuffle
  • Smoother transitions between strumming and the shuffle
  • Not looking at my fretting hand all the time

That being said, I’m really ecstatic at finally playing and recording this one.
As always, any feedback is welcome :blush:


Nice work! Your strumming is pretty smooth for where you are in the journey so kudos.

I like ok at my fretting hand a lot, and I gradually try to do it less and less (completely memorizing the song helps the most I think), but the pros do too, especially during solos, so I wouldn’t worry about that too much. Keep rocking :+1:

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Thanks Travis :blush: I appreciate your encouragement and support. The strumming course and daily practice has been a huge help with that.

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Your self analysis has covered everything I think.
I loved the tone you had there and you captured a great rock ‘n’ roll vibe.
Well done Firas.

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Well done on staying with the consolidation, Firas, slow and steady is the way.

Sounding good in this rendition.

Keep doing what you’re doing.

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@sairfingers Thanks Gordon! It took a bit of experimenting with Overdrive/Distortion effects for the first time, and was really happy with the resulting tone. I also had to really lighten my strumming as I’m used to strumming harder when playing clean which sounded horrendous with the OD FX, so ended up really putting the Dynamics lessons to good use :smiley:

@DavidP Thanks David :blush: This song really tested my resolve and my slowly developing noob guitar skills. I really appreciated your thoughts and suggestions in the other thread as they led me to experiment with a footswitch, different pickup positions, strumming dynamics, and tweaking the FX themselves. Practicing the Strumming Dynamics helped the most in this case, but I learned a lot about all the other options as well through all the trial and error.

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Hello Firas :slightly_smiling_face:

What a great tune! I enjoyed listening to your performance a lot.

You are right, it is challenging and rewarding.
And I had to smile, when I read about the areas you keep working on.
I’m working on this song too, and I’m struggling a lot with the same four things exactly :grin:
But (IMHO) you really did a very good job here … faaaaaar better than me :+1:

Did you check out “Summertime Blues” by Eddie Cochran already?
Justin did a great tutorial for this one, too (Grade 3). It has a similar vibe and a lot of good stuff to practice (palm muting, shuffle, …)

Keep up the great work! :grinning: :guitar:


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Hi @Gunhild ! Thank you for your kind words :blush: It’s good to know that I’m not the only one struggling with those four things :joy:

I’ve been learning & practicing this song over 2 months now. It was one of the first songs I wanted to play after Bob Marley’s Don’t Worry (3 Little Birds) but I kept moving it down the list as it required a lot more skills than I had. I even contemplated abandoning it and coming back to it later but I really wanted to learn and play a Rock n Roll song which this song is all about.

I’m glad I stuck with it though, as I love rock and roll and blues and this has them both. What helped me was breaking down the 3 different playstyles and practicing them seperately (the riff, the strumming and the shuffle) and only in the last week or so combining them together in my practice (not to mention obsessing over getting the tone right over the past two weeks :rofl:).

Also keep in mind that the above recording was the final result of 4 hours of failed attempts of playing through the whole thing (I still botched the ending but couldn’t get myself to record another take). My wife adores my stubborn persistence streak sometimes, especially when cans or jars need opening :rofl:

Stick with it, keep working on those areas seperately and I’m sure you’ll be happy with the result. And if you get too frustrated with it, take a break and learn another song (or 3 in my case) then come back to it.

Thank you so much for that song recommendation :blush: I’ve never heard it before but I love it. I’ll be sure to check out the lesson once I’ve developed the required skills for it a bit more.

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That’s great progress, Firas.
Nice share :smiley:
My only 2 cents would be

  1. not to worry too much about looking at your fretting hand. You’ll do it less often naturally when you become more comfortable with the positions (and you’re trying to read the lyrics you’re singing :laughing:)
  2. Try to keep your strumming hand moving at the same speed/rhythm throughout the song. You sometimes stop when you’re not hitting the strings.

Onwards and upwards, my friend! :sunglasses:

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Thanks so much @firasR for your encouraging words and your great advice about practicing the parts seperately.

Yes, I’ve experienced already that all of this takes a lot of time and patience … and “stubborn persistence” :rofl:

Of course I’ll stick with it. I’m just a total beginner, but the songs and the courses are so much fun that they’ll keep me motivated. That’s for sure.

And a huge advantage of the song tutorials is (at least to me) that they often start quite simple with just three or four easy chords and a very basic strumming pattern, and then Justin spices the song up with interesting embellishments or more advanced techniques. I think this approach is very motivating and it constantly pushes me forward a little bit, because I just want to learn all this great stuff.

And yes, you are very right, if it gets too difficult, we can always take a little break and revisit it some time later.
That’s one more thing I’ve learned here on the website: a song can grow with you as you grow as a guitar player … well, it is something that Justin had said, but he had put it in much nicer words, of course :wink:

Dear Firas, no doubt you are on the right path already, and I’m sure that you’ll have a great musical journey ahead of you!

Have lots of fun … and stick to that “stubborn persistence” :smiley:

Cheers :guitar: :guitar: :guitar:

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Thank you for the reassurance and tips @brianlarsen. I can get ahead of myself at times and am my own worst critic :grin: Will keep those in mind.

Much appreciated :blush:

That’s so true @Gunhild. I’m grateful for that reminder from Justin and others here on the forum. I also love Justin’s approach of introducing the bare minimum skills needed to play a song and then adding little sprinkles and spice to keep us excited about coming lessons.

You’ve definitely got the right mindset for a neverending journey of learning and exploration. Start simple, enjoy the process and journey, and keep adding to it and growing as you go along.

Thank you for your kind wishes and I wish you the same on your journey :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Well done, Firas! :clap:

That was a good piece for consolidating skills of Grade 1 and sneaking in to a little Grade 2 stuff, I guess. Nice, you kept on it and played around until you got the tone you wanted. I felt the groove and Rock’n’roll vibes! :smiley:

Good advice is already given, so no need for repeat button. :smiley: Glad, you take it up in addition to your identified points for improvement. Taking advice as well as good self assessment is key when we’re learning and practicing on our own. :+1:

You’re well on your way, Firas! Keep it going and have lots of fun on your journey. :slight_smile:

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Thanks Lisa and well spotted :blush: I’ve moved a little into Grade 2 but not too far ahead while consolidating Grade 1 skills and songs.

I was quite concerned at how good I could get without one on one face time with an instructor, but the community here has really filled that role very well by offering continuous encouragement while making me aware of potential bad habits and offering areas of improvement to consider. The combination of quality instruction by Justin and the tremendous community support is an amazing one, and makes me really happy to be a part of it :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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That was real good Firas. You have been covering some great tracks for your grade 1 and doing a cracking job with all of them.

The best way to solve that issue is to stand up. :wink:

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Kudos to you, Firas!!!
What they all said… not anything to add really except that this is my favorite by you so far!!!

Amusing anecdote -
When I was first learning to be an Air Traffic Controller, I went to the FAA’s Academy in Oklahoma City. There was a man from Pakistan who was there and we were both staying at the same apartment complex & rode the bus to school together every morning. He spoke very good English but with this extremely thick Pakistani accent. So, he loved Rock-N-Roll in general but Bob Seger in particular… he would sing Old Time Rock-N-Roll & Night Moves VERY LOUDLY on the bus… in his turban, long beard & robes… off key… heavily accented & in some Tribal Dialect!!! The first few days, I couldn’t figure out what he was singing!!! It sounded sort of familiar… after a while we talked about music & that’s when I found out what he’d been singing!!! :rofl:
Anyway, I hope to hear you sing this one sometime! Keep up the good work with your guitar & have fun finding the Fender in London!


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@SgtColon Thanks Stefan :blush: Lots of great support, tips and advice from the community has really helped with my Grade 1 consolidation. I’m really happy with how my selected 5 songs turned out (honestly didn’t think I could ever play any of them except for the first one :rofl:) , and how noticeable the improvements were over the past few months based on the advice folks have given me.

And thanks for the tip of playing standing up. I’ve only done that with songs I’m really comfortable with. Now that this song has been moved into the “improve” section of my daily practice, I’ll practice it standing up and report back to you on the progress.

@CATMAN62 Thanks Tod :blush: This was the most challenging and the most rewarding song of the five for sure! My first song with that Rock n Roll crunch sound that I love and was dying to achieve :heart_eyes: That story of your work friend is hilarious :rofl: I salute him for bravely singing aloud in the bus to work :saluting_face: I’ve only attempted it in my car, with my oldest daughter. What can I say, she puts up with a lot from me :rofl: That being said, your story gives me hope, being an Arab without a pronounced accent (which my American wife is extremely grateful for) should make it easier for me to overcome my horrible singing (my English accent is described as a neutral American accent by most people).

Thank you for the kind wishes on the hunt for my first Fender Strat. Just a few more days before I travel to London, and then maybe a week to settle down and sort out some things before I can visit Anderton’s! I can almost feel it in my hands :star_struck:


Hi Firas, great performance. I love those old rocknroll songs, no disco for me!
Nice tone set up, just right for this bob seger classic. Listened to your recording a few times and enjoyed it. The power chord syncopated strumming was great, really got my foot tapping. Nice work mate.

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Thanks so much Dave :blush: This song really spoke to me (literally with it’s lyrics “That kind of music just soothes the soul”) and I love the Blues shuffle part of it especially. I can’t wait to learn more about power chords and blues shuffles in the upcoming Grade 2 lessons. This kind of song is why I wanted to learn to play the guitar. It’s amazing that Justin gets us playing such songs in just the first Grade!

For the tone, I experimented a little with both my Marshall Code 25 modeling amp as well as GarageBand’s built-in amps & pedals. I originally recorded it with the Code only then ran it through GarageBand which added a bit more to the crunch tone.

I still love practicing it every night (practicing it standing up as per @SgtColon advice, thanks again BTW Stephan), and will record it again to see if I’ve improved my shuffle and transitions.

I’m glad you enjoyed listening to it as much as I loved playing it :blush:

Hi Firas,

I really enjoyed watching the video and hearing you playing. I’m really impressed by the progress you have made in such a short time. I wish my strumming hand was as relaxed as yours. You started learning a few weeks before me and I think you have made a lot more progress than I have. I was really happy to see you playing that Squier Strat that you modified. I read your post all about how you modified it and I thought that with your modifications, that guitar looks absolutely great. So I was hoping to hear how it sounds.

I have to say that because you started at a similar time to me, it’s a real motivation to hear you playing and see what can be achieved in such a short time.

All the best and keep posting the videos!!!


p.s., what a beautiful collection of guitars you have now: the 2 Strats and the Epiphone LP. Nice!! I promised myself I wouldn’t get a new guitar until I’m well into Grade 2. I’m just getting to the last module of Grade 1. If I decide to buy a new guitar I’ll probably mod my current Squier Telecaster for fun. You have motivated me with that Strat mod.

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Hi Firas,

I think you’ve nailed a lot of aspects here.
Tone is really nice - just the right amount of crunch.
Timing is right in the groove.
Nice muting.
And rocking it with some head nodding. :slight_smile:

Top job.


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