Fire and Rain | James Taylor | December '23 AVOYP

Well done, Jeff. :clap: … JT is a great challenge for anyone and you accompanied him brilliantly.
Us finger-pickers in here know the challenge of combining playing and singing.

For me learning tab just takes (lots of) time, but lyric learning I struggle with. Writing out long-hand helps me; but we’re not all wired the same, so whatever works best for you.

FWIW, this is what works for me:

  1. Learn the chords first and then get the tune’s fingering down. Tab helps me, but the objective is 100% commit it all to memory. I cannot read music score well enough, so learn beat & cadence/rhythm by ear.
    2a. Start to play it along with a version you like; also listen to words and their timing to the tune. Listen to the song as performed (often enough not to lose interest ! ).
    2b. In parallel start to commit the lyric to memory.
  2. Start singing along to your finger-picking but without the lyric, (ie. la-la-la) to get the rhythm and flow of the song’s lyric down.
  3. By this stage bringing the tune and lyric together becomes a much easier task.

At this point it becomes possible to focus on performing your cover version a song. Views differ on this, but I don’t think a performance is possible if one still needs to rely on written tab and lyric.

… just my penny-worth.

Thanks @Elixir1253. Those are all valuable tips. I think it’s just another skill that takes time to master, just like learning the F chord. Nothing is impossible, but it might takes years - which is ok.

I really want to learn this right from the start with easier strumming songs. Singing and playing just 4 downstrums, and then adding the upstrums seems to work ok when the melody generally follows that rhythm. Accented notes, pushed chords and fingerpicking are a whole different story. I’ll get there, but I better get to practice. :slightly_smiling_face:

All good Jeff … you have a plan.
Look forward to hearing more.

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Hey Jeff, just noticed this one today when it resurfaced. Great playing. Especially when you’re not traditionally a fingerstyle guy.

I find with fingerstyle songs there is a point where my fingers just know it. From your comments above - that automatic thing will come in time.

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I got this on it’s 2nd wind! Nice fingerwork. Good job on the camwork too. Nice production all around!

Take good care,

Well I think you can safely say that it is one you have in your bag. That was really great work, Jeff. I really enjoyed it.

Singing and fingerstyle is so hard but I look forward to that recording once you have nailed it.