First AVOYP- Chocolate Jesus

Enough lurking, time to become more active in this community! I’ve been learning from Justin for a little over 2 years, and this is my first AVOYP. I’m not posting this one to showcase my best playing. I’m starting with this one because it’s fun for me to play and sing (even if my voice isn’t the greatest). I had already recorded it when I realized someone else recently uploaded the same song. I guess it’s more popular than I thought!

Anyway, This is me learning to sing and do alternate finger picking. I did a slower version, but I feel more confident with this tempo. I flubbed the last verse both times. :frowning: A metronome can help me keep a steady tempo, but I’d love to hear any advice about maintaining the rhythm throughout the song. Also, I’m open to suggestions for a better way to play the bridge. This is a work in progress, so I’d appreciate any constructive feedback.

Although I’m amazed at all the things I’ve learned in this time, I feel like I have become incredibly “so-so” at a ton of skills. I really want to move forward to the next level, and I think one of the keys is going to be spending more time working with others.

I’m not sure if there’s anything else I should say. Like I said, I do want to become more involved here, so just ask if you have questions I haven’t answered. -Donna


Hi Donna that was fantastic introduction into AVOYP, well done! I think your performance was really entertaining and theatrical alike, you have put up the full show and with all the joy and smiling splashing to the camera I really had a blast :grinning:

For 2.5 years you are doing really well I shall say. It is definitely not an easy song to play AND sing along to but you managed to put up a great share with us.

How to improve the timing you ask? I would try to set the song on appropriate speed in your metronome, I would initially reduce it to like 0.7x or 0.75x speed and just played to metronome. If you can’t keep up - slow down the metronome further. If it’s too easy - bring it up by 0.05 or 0.1 until you reach original speed.

That’s the best advise I have for you, I think your idea how to play the bridge was great you introduced some good dynamics there. Overall feel proud, you did a cracking job!

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That was a great introduction Donna. I thought you played that really well and the vocals worked really well for the song. As regards tempo I wouldn’t worry too much about it as you seemed to feel the song and had a really good groove going. I am playing not much longer than you and used to give a lot of thought to BPM and all that stuff and found that my playing became robotic. Now anything I play is as I hear and feel it and it seems to come across better. As Justin preaches “ if it sounds good it is good”. A really good solid first post! :+1::sunglasses:


Thank you for your thoughtful feedback and advice! Good idea to change the speed in measured increments. I’m amazed that I was able to communicate any of the joy I usually feel during this song. I was a bit nervous about making a recording.

I appreciate your supportive comments!I was surprised that I was able to keep any sort of groove because I haven’t gotten over my fear of the camera yet.

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That was a great first post- Very impressive! Thanks for sharing and keep them coming.


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:clap: :clap: :clap:
Bravo, Donna, congratulations on an excellent first AVOYP recording. The first time recording and posting is challenging thing to do, but it gets less stressful over time and is invaluable in supporting one’s learning.

Good suggestions from Adrian and Eddie.

I think over time as you work on keeping the beat and your strumming steady you’ll become better at maintaining a steady tempo. Playing along with the original will help develop that and you can always slow the tempo.

Look forward to more from you as you join in here.

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Wow, Donna, that was excellent! Nice version!

What?? Your voice is a great base to build on!

Can’t confirm this. A lot more than so-so.
I don’t worry that you’ll move forward :wink:

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Super first AVoYP Donna. An infectious enthusiasm pored out of that performance. You’ve got a great singing voice so put any doubts about that to the side.

Your guitar play had dynamics, your chord changes were pretty clean, you seldom looked at your fretting fingers and you had your lyrics off by heart. Lots to be very pleased with.

Yes your timing was a bit variable but the groove still came across due to your strumming technique. As has been said, working with a metronome will help. Your timing will improve and I’d rather listen to a song played with feeling and groove than to a robotic sterile performance.

Well done. Change your username to DonnatheverymuchAlive. :smiley:

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Gotta join the applause here Donna.
That was a terrific performance, and for your first AVOYP, much more so.
Great groove to the song, great vocals - a great show allround. :ok_hand:
Lookin forward to some more.

Cheers, Shane

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Yay for team Donna!!! Very well done.

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I liked your version of this song. This is a song with a ton of potential for varying styles and presentations. You did well and incorporated the proper amount of sass!

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Hello Donna, this was a really great performance. Your playing, your singing, your interaction with the audience,…
Much to like :smiley::+1::clap:.
Keep up the good work :hugs:.

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Congratulations on your first AVOYP. That’s a significant step, and it was a great performance. You have a good “stage presence,” had a decent groove going, used some dynamics, and you kept going during little stumbles. (Also, note that audiences, in general, won’t even notice such things if you just keep going.)

You had a pretty solid groove going, and it worked, even if it wasn’t perfect. I agree with Adrian that slowing things down a bit and gradually increasing the tempo can be useful when you’re working on timing. For where you seem to be with this particular song I don’t think you need to slow it down too much, though. One of the best things you can do is always practice/play this song with a beat. A metronome is fine, but it can also be fun to use a drum beat. (You can use prerecorded beats from youtube sites like LumBeat, or there are apps and such that provide them.) Metronomes can be handy, but drum beats always sound better and are more satisfying to play with, in my opinion.

Another thing you can do to improve your timing is to play with other musicians. Actually, that will sharpen all sorts of musical skills, not just timing.

Great job! Looking forward to more.

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Cracking debut Donna, what a wonderful performance. Plenty of advice offered up so far, so I just sat back and enjoyed the show. Great the way you brought your personality into it and had some fun. No more lurking in the shadows for you, get yourself out there, no excuse now.

And welcome to the Community. Best way to get involved in addition to recording is to share your experiences and help those who walking up the road behind. And make use of the bountiful supply of knowledge and experience here and holler when ever you need help.



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Thank you!

Hi and welcome!
Nicely done and I enjoyed your first offering! Keep up the good work and I hope to see more down the road…

All the best,

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I appreciate your comments! I guess I need to decide which version I’m trying to emulate. I started with Tom Waits, but I’d love to learn some of the guitar parts for the Beth Hart version.

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Your encouraging words mean a lot to me!

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Thanks so much for the comments and encouragement!

Well done. Change your username to DonnatheverymuchAlive.

Bahaha! :smile: