Five G1 campfire songs memorized with G2 and G3 strumming - SteveL - 30Oct2023

I finally made the commitment to memorize the chords and lyrics for five Grade 1 songs. I was inspired by the song practice suggestions in modules 19 and 20, my recent review of Grade 1 and strumming foundations and Richard’s persistent message of songs, songs, songs! This is big for me, since I have always played from song sheets, lead sheets, chord charts or TABs, and at 68 years old I wasn’t sure if my memory is still at its peak. Since I am at the Grade 3 level, but finishing Grade 2 consolidation, I wanted to include some of the new strumming techniques. I have started setting up my new DAW, but decided to record this with a phone to put less pressure on me. Also, these are the only Grade 1 songs I have posted other than the partial song in the Beginner Space.


I did this last and only memorized last week to include as my fifth song since this was my first beginner AVOYP post and I only did one verse of the song. The instrumental bridge was winged or improvised as a modified chord progression, since I only decided to include at the last minute. With more practice I could get the song up to regular tempo, but I went a little slower to remember the lyrics.


I spent a long time working on the right rhythm. Justin suggested playing on the “off” or “and” beats, but it seemed to sound better to add a percussive strum on the down beat along with the strum on the “off” or “up” beat.

The was the first song I recorded. I repeated the song so I didn’t settled into the song until I repeated at the 1:45 time point in the song.


I confess that I just winged the strum to match the song. I don’t even know what the rhythm pattern was. Again, I repeated the song so I didn’t settled into the song until I repeated at the 1:45 time point in the song.


I didn’t use a metronome or click track for any of the songs and it shows a little for this song, but i was focused more on remembering the words. I decided not to use a pick for this song, just thumb and finger strum. Otherwise i used a Dunlop nylon 0.60 pick.


I think this was my best song, but then it has a more interesting chord progression, the song fits my voice and I like to use a percussive strum.


They were terrific Steve. Some great stumming and vocals.

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You are showing some great progress Steve. Some nice variations in style throughout the videos. Keep on moving forward! :+1:


Bravo, Steve, you are making excellent progress, sounding good.


Hello Steve,
The first one: WOW, great singing and playing with the variety also went well, the entire song was a real treat. :sunglasses: :clap: :clap: :clap:

The second: Well, actually great too, but the guitar of this song if you hear it 30+ times in a relatively short time like me becomes a bit ,…pfff yes three little birdies … so I completely understand BrianL @brianlarsen with his own song that he finally got those 3 birds on his doorstep dead :laughing:… but that doesn’t detract from your performance at all, because this is a great job too :sunglasses: :clap:

The 3th :boom: You had my attention from the start, and your face beamed… :star_struck:

Fourth : :dizzy:
The previous songs should all have their own topic, but this song… it made me silent for a moment and gave me goosebumps a few times, Steve.

Please give this its own topic so that many more people will hear this… Grade 1 ??? difficult to approach, but sung and played with so much passion you rise far above grade 1 :man_bowing: :man_bowing: :man_bowing:

The fifth :
By making this your best you create quite an expectation after your previous great songs, maybe just as good I would say, guitar technically for sure very nice :sunglasses:, but because of that there are sometimes miniscule flaws in the timing that I would never have mentioned if you didn’t think this was your best. … less than a quarter of a beat, a baas walk is sometimes a bit behind the , but because it gives the song extra flair, it comes in shared first place if you ask me :smiley:

MAN you can sing and convey these songs with a happy feeling so so good , please consider giving song 4 its own stage because it will remain a bit underexposed here,


Thank you for this musical morning :sunglasses: :man_bowing: :clap: :dizzy: :bouquet:



Good morning Steve!
What a musical start into the day! Thanks for sharing! Your project could be rated as very successful, I would say! Each of the five a very solid performance. The songs might be Grade 1 level at first sight, but you spiced them up to a much higher level. I like your song choice, all of them are captivating in their supposed simplicity, but get their special vibe, when they are played well and you did them justice!
I liked all the five, but my favourite is “Aint no sunshine”. One can see your joy whilst playing… .
Thumps up for your singing too, you have a very pleasing voice! Great basis for the future! Keep on Steve!


A great collection of songs there Steve and nice work with all of them. Song solid strumming, nice vocals. Also some good work on the percussive hits and well done for playing without following a sheet and doing it from memory.

I thought Three little birds was the weakest track of the five. Your timing was off a little and for me the rhythm didn’t work.

All coming along nicely.


Great work, you did really well on all of them - a great foundation to build on!


That was great Steve. i think you are doing a fine job with all those songs, and you put youre own “stamp” on those classics. well done… keep it up! :clap:


Nice guitar work Steve, and pleasant vocals to boot!


Really good stuff, Steve! Your progress really shows and all the efforts you put in pays off nicely, here. :clap:

You made the pieces your own, showed a variety of accompanying yourself, differents vibes and moods - really good. :+1:
As you noticed yourself, timing is a little wonky here and there, but this is a thing that can be fixed by using click tracks or metronome until you really get the feel for it (this takes time though). Most it was only slightly, so all good.

Great you played from memory for all of them. Also, singing and playing are working together nicely. You’re very well on track, Steve. Rock on! :smiley:


Great stuff Steve.

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A really good collection of campfire songs there Steve. Well done and you certainly raised them above grade 1 level.
The only one that didn’t work for me was three little birds. You didn’t really catch the reggae beat. Ain’t no sunshine was my favourite.

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I enjoyed the 5 songs that you shared.

As you stated the secind part of three litlle birds was better than the first part as you were more relaxed and I guess its a matter of opinion, but I enjoyed your take on this song.

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Woohoo, excellent. :guitar:


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Thanks for watching my videos and your encouraging words. Glad you like them.

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@roger_holland Thanks for taking the time to watch all of my videos and encouraging comments. I must admit that I picked Three Little Birds and Hound dog because they had the easiest lyrics to memorize, with two short repeating stanzas. I need to learn to not grade or rate my videos ahead of time and create expectations of greatness. I actually enjoyed singing the 4th song “Ain’t No Sunshine” the most, but the 5th song “Stand By Me” had the most complete performance from a technical guitar performance. I can even claim musical license with the tempo variation in the bass run between the G and Em chords, by claiming use of Rubato, which is the artistic varying of tempo, similar to falling leaf technique for dynamics :slight_smile: . Again, thanks for your encouraging review and kind words.

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Thanks for watching my videos and your glowing review of my 5 pieces. I enjoyed playing and singing on the 4th song “Ain’t No Sunshine”. It is amusing that I spent so much time strumming with a pick and one of my best performances (song 4) seems to be this song played without a pick. :slight_smile:

Thanks for watching my videos and your encouraging words. As I admitted earlier, I just chose Three Little Birds because it had lyrics that are easy to memorize, not because it was one of my favorite grade 1 songs. I agree that the rhythm is not very convincing reggae rhythm but I found that hard to do with just a guitar. I thought about adding steel drum loop, but surprisingly that is not available in GarageBand I check against a metronome and my rhythm tempo was pretty steady after the 1:50 mark at about 95 bpm, which is a little fast. Maybe I can find a reggae drum loop and dress up this song later.
@R.F.W Thanks for listening to my songs. I’m happy you enjoyed them. As I said before, I picked 3 Little Birds for the easy lyrics, but i am glad you liked my take on it.

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Thanks for watching my videos and your encouraging words. Glad you like them.