Grade 1 Consolidation - Gary Jules - Mad World

Hi All,

Well, finally put together the first consolidation track which I wanted to get out there prior to going on holiday next week.

The theory is that I will add my other consolidation tracks to this thread once I get back.

This is the first using the recently purchased hardware Behringer UMC202HD, Shure SM58, and software that I’m still working out :thinking: Reaper, OBS (using ReaRoute) and my mobile phone as the camera via USB using DroidCam.

Sorry about the great view of my legs, I’ll be sure to either cover them up or make sure they are tanned next time around :wink: :rofl: Also sorry that I wasn’t until the uploads that I realised that the video is in a small window :roll_eyes: I think this is because I was trialing DroidCam and so it only lets me select a low res version. Having seen it work I should be able to now pay the minimal fee and use a higher res.

The biggest part of Mod 1 for me was to try to be aware and stick to some strumming patterns right through a song so this has been a work in progress. I get the urge to go “off Piste” a bit with strumming sometimes when it feels good although never really sure if it’s “correct” :thinking:

And now down to business. Watching back these videos and listening is a great way to look objectively at our playing and singing so it’s been a great tool however there is no better leveler than the opinions of our peers :joy: :stuck_out_tongue: so yes, please offer any constructive advice that you see fit that is why it’s on here and it’s a journey so I hope to improve. And I appreciate any strumming specific thoughts too :+1:


Bravo, Craig, I enjoyed your rendition of Mad World.

Generally I think you are doing great. I especially noticed your hand kept moving in the couple of beats of silence before singing ‘mad world’. I think once or twice the left leg movement stuttered a bit. Not an issue, just keep at it.

In terms of getting familiar with gear, recording etc. I’d suggest that if you are not doing post-processing of the audio or blending backing then you could drop Reaper and just record directly in OBS once you’d done some sound-checking to get the levels as you want them.

I don’t know about DroidCam. I have used OBS Ninja to use my phone as a camera. It was free and worked like a charm, so maybe worth a look. Check it out here: Producing a video with phone cam and an audio interface

And your legs are just fine as is.

Look forward to the next!


Very nice, polished performance and if I understand correctly, this is Grade 1 consolidation? If so, you’re playing above your grade here! Lot of good things going on, keeping pretty much in time, hand keeps moving with a fee mild slowdowns, nice chords ringing out well, smooth chord transitions… overall I think you’re definitely on the right track!
As far as strumming goes, “If it sounds good, it IS good”!!! Justin mentions in numerous videos that if you miss or add strums, it’s ok as long as it “feels” right.
I think of it as being similar to what Barbarossa says in Pirates :pirate_flag: of the Caribbean, “Not Rules, more like Guidelines”!!! As long as you don’t panic and stop strumming because you messed up the pattern, the vast majority of your audience won’t even notice. As a matter of fact, sometimes you like the “screwed up” pattern so much that you play it that way every time you’re playing that particular song or chord progression. I can’t seem to get the strum for a couple of the songs Justin plays in the lessons but the patterns I use sound ok to me & my audience (ok, so my dogs don’t complain too much) so I just stick with them!
Overall, good job! Enjoyed watching & keep going!


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Oh, forgot to mention that I don’t know this song but if that’s your voice singing…
BRAVO!!! Wow! Nice job accompanying yourself!


That was very good, Craig :slight_smile:

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I liked it, good job!

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Thanks for the comments David. I might give that a go although I did do a little fx work post, just some reverb, eq and compression I think it was.

I tried this one but I seem to remember that there was a reason I couldn’t use it. Either didn’t work with my version of OBS (win 7 version) or it was wifi only and there was a delay problem. I can’t remember which as I looked a so many ways to use a phone as a webcam but all the wifi version were too laggy.

Thanks for the feedback Tod, appreciated. Yes, sorry it is grade 1 I have correct the references to it :+1:

:joy: :rofl: yes, thhamks that is my voice and it’s taking a long time to get used to hearing it :scream:


Yeah, scary, isn’t it? It never sounds the way we think or hope!

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Hi Craig,
Nice consolidation playing :sunglasses: :clap:
Keep on going …

And @DavidP confrontational link that you posted there :roll_eyes: :smile: and unfortunately my wife was just sitting next to me and says “what!!! I have lost my laptop to you for so long, start quickly find your own laptop” (I don’t like that to do :see_no_evil:) … but a good link that I bookmarked a long time ago … so thanks for the reminder, I will look for better sound recording


That was good Craig. Well played, well sung, great to listen to.

On strumming. Your strumming was good. My view on strumming is to not think about songs having a specific strumming pattern. Instead, they have a specific rhythm for the song. You convey the rhythm through your strumming.

That doesn’t mean robotically sticking to the same strumming pattern through a song - varying it slightly is good and adds interest. Some parts of songs, the rhythm switches. Switching up the rhythm unintentionally, to something that isn’t part of the song, would just be playing it wrong. But adding interest, emphasis, fills etc - that’s the good stuff.


Hi Craig,

that was an enjoyable listen! :clap: :+1: Well played and sung, so you did pretty well on your consolidation! Also glad, you found a way out of the “new gear and recording rabbit hole”. :joy:

A lot of good advice given, no need to repeat. So just take my like and keep on doing what you’re doing. :smiley: And of course: Enjoy your vacation!

Cheers - Lisa

Thanks JK for the feedback and the thoughts on strumming. I think that because my focus has been on trying to be able to consistently strum a particular pattern, the thought that creeps in when I don’t that it could be wrong. However, during playing when adding or missing particular strums they feel right and (IMO) sound ok too :+1: so I’ll probably allow that “creativity” to leak out :joy: I’m sure there are plenty on here that’ll pull me back into line if it gets out of hand :scream: :+1:

Thanks Lisa, pretty sure I’m still firmly in trenched in that rabbit hole but enjoying the process and each improvement is encouraging :+1:


Craig, that was a solid consolidation performance and you’re more than ready to move on. Great vocal too. Well done all round.

My one comment is to tame that flying little finger. It’s especially noticeable when you play Em in that song. Break the habit now as you’ll need your little finger to be under control later on when you play embellishments etc.

Also meant to ask. What type of clip on pick-up are you using?

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Hi Gordon, thanks for the feedback appreciate it and well spotted. It’s funny but I never noticed the little finger doing that when I watched it but now :scream::joy:. I’ll have to check that out, not really sure why I tend to stretch it out.

The pickup was a real cheapy from Aldi one day. I’ve had it ages and it seems serve a purpose perfectly for now.

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All been said above, Craig, but that was a very pleasant listen. Good vox too.
Even the odd embellishment. No nits from me :grinning:

Lol thanks Brian, I think thats as far as my embelishments stretch currently but hey I’ll take what I can get :joy::joy::+1::notes:

That was really good Craig. Nice singing and you were doing everything right with your playing as well.

I agree with JK on the strumming and there is nothing wrong with going off piste with it. If it sounds good, it is good.

Not sure if this is your first AVOYP posting but if it is then congrats on getting that first one out of the way.

Enjoy your holiday.

Hiya Craig, I really enjoyed that and frankly it sounds like you’re well ahead of grade 1 consolidation, it comes across you’ve put a lot of time into that. You’ve got some really nice little pieces going on in there, occasional mixing up of strumming, a little bit of playing with dynamics towards the end and so on. And to echo others’ comments, you’ve got a really good voice and I can’t wait to hear that more as you continue to progress.

Top top job mate, super impressive :clap: :clap: :+1: :+1: :guitar: :guitar:

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Thanks Stefan @SgtColon much appreciated. Second AVOYP but the last one was back in Feb. thanks for watching.

Mark, @Notter really appreciate your feedback :+1: when I get back I want to put together another 2 as consolidation songs before starting to have a look at Grade 2.
Thanks for watching and your comments.

Beautifully done Craig! Really clean chords, consistent strumming, and a beautiful singing voice to match :clap: Sounds like you’re putting all your new gear to good use :smiley:

Enjoy your holiday :smiley: