I’m a Believer - Neil Diamond

Spoiler alert - help required! :worried:

This song was a huge mid ‘60s hit for The Monkees but was of course written by Neil Diamond.
My version is based on a slow version by Neil Diamond.

Ok. Help and advice is needed. I want to get away from acoustic strum-a-strum along soI tried to put a little lead riff into the song. It went badly but I’ve posted anyway to let you hear it and also as a bit of a line in the sand for me.

Trying to jump from singing/strumming and hitting the correct first note of my riff is proving almost impossible. If I play the riff on its own I can play it perfectly (a relative term I know).
Then because I don’t have a backing track my riff timing goes to pot. It’s therefore difficult to get the whole thing to flow.

Then I have the problem of keeping my vocal engaged in the verses prior to the riff as in the back of my mind I’m thinking I’ll mess the riff up.

Yes yes I know. Practise practise practise.


As one who is still struggling with strum a dum dum, Gordon, can’t offer specific points on the lead line and the single note riffs in the song.

Apart from that sounded great, such relaxed strumming and the guitar sounds so good.

I was wondering if playing it with your band may help, a basic drum groove and the bass to have something solid to lock into?

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From you description I was expecting some sort of horror show but I thought is sounded very good. Yes there was the odd fumble but I dont think it will take too much practice to sort out.

Same as DavidP I still struggle with the strum a dum dum so I cant’ offer anything specific on how to improve.

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Hi Gordon,
I believe that with just a little bit of practice …and not …3x praxctice you are already there…
Your voice is really fantastic with this and I totally went along with it :sunglasses: … Then the solo comes and then of course it out of the song going a little bit ,but someone has to do something with a piece of rhythm guitar in some reaper stuff or so .
To the point, I belie…no not the same stupidity every time…
I Loved watching and listening… :smiley: :sunglasses: :bouquet:
Greetings ,…

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Hi Gordon,

Way beyond my play grade to give any meaningful feedback or advice. I thought you played very well and with more practice to a metronome you’d have it locked in tight. I’ve tried the soundbrenner pulse to have a silent metronome and that works alright for me. Though vibrations aren’t everyone’s cup tea.

Enjoyed watching and listening. Brightened up this rainy afternoon.


That was pretty much OK but as you said yourself, a few flubs - not to worry, bit more practice will make the difference.
Not heard this version before, not heard the Monkees version for years and years!

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Thanks for the listens guys. This is what the riff should be like. But yes it’s too sterile on its own. It needs a rhythm guitar behind it. Now my lack of technology kicks in! :smiley:


I agree, well played!

I remember the Monkee’s version from ages ago, but didn’t realize Neil Diamond wrote it. But of course he did. He is one of those amazing artists who has been around forever and done everything.

It definitely is a lovely and thoughtful tune, that we (I) don’t really think about because we don’t listen to Neil Diamond (in spite of his greatness, not usually my style) and only remember the silliness of the Monkees.

It is very nice to hear you play it.

My brush with greatness is that when I was in college I (and friends) got to show Neil Diamond what “hackey sack” was. His daughter was in my class.


Hey Gordon,
Neil Diamond is great :smiley:
My mum and au pairs used to listen to him a lot in Beirut half a century ago.
I got to watch him for free, working as a paramedic when studying in Dublin and frequently ssid: “Alexa, play Neil Diamond” while I was looking after my mum over the last couple of years.
Regarding this song. I think you’re taking the wrong approach.
I know you’re exploring lead play/noodle/impro, but no matter how well you ‘nail this riff’ it will only detract from your performance.
When you play and sing, you grab people’s attention. An acoustic solo without any backing just plonked in the middle will be just ‘meh’, even if flawless. It would work better if you played it to a backing track (either your Trio or downloaded). It would also be easier to learn and play like that.
The short runs of plucked bass notes on the other hand work really well.
I am jealous.
Carry on, but leave out the unbacked acoustic solos that are driving you scatty. (but do continue practicing them!_

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That sounded well played Gordon.

I thought the Trio+ has a looper? If so, no further technology required.

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Hi Gordon,
Nice Solo :sunglasses:
Well @brianlarsen hits the nail on the head…
And yes @DavidP , the trio+ has a looper…otherwise it would have been called the Duo+ :joy:
Greetings, :sun_with_face:

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That was great Gordon, such an amazing tune and probably quite the contrary to others here I also enjoy Smash Mouth’s version.

I agree with Brian here would sound a lot better with a BT chucked in there. But I was still mighty impressed with the little hammer on flick off lick, gush seems like yesterday watching your first noodle in I believe Dm and now you are pulling off this sort of licks, I reckon Sweet Chile O Mine is next? :sweat_smile:

One thing also I would suggest to keep things more interesting is to include more of those little hammer ons while playing main bit - second finger on D string or G string 2nd fret hammer ons are great, you could include some more Dsus2 and sus4 chops here and there - that itself would be a big bonus :wink: all the best Gordon!

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Thanks Brian, you are absolutely correct. I don’t know why I thought this would sound good. I just wanted to do something different from straightforward strumming and thought I could add a riff into the middle of the song. The original has a riff but of course also has multiple guitars etc too.
This has been a wake up and smell the coffee moment. Thanks for switching on the percolator! :smiley:

Loved this Gordon. You voice is so good, there’s tones and personality there that I want more of. When I see glimpses of attitude I want more of that too. You’re good at selling a song.

Good on you for stretching yourself. It wasn’t a train wreck. All you needed was a rhythm track to keep you company while you let 'er rip.

All I want now is more attitude.

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Hi David, yes the Trio+ has a looper. My acoustic does not have electrics so I can’t use it to create either a rhythm loop or a lead loop. I spent ages prior to posting the song trying to create the lead on a loop with my electric. I just couldn’t get it right.
Firstly the sound didn’t fit.
Also having created the lead loop I then had to press the pedal at exactly the right time to get it to play at the right time. That was impossible.
Also I had to create the loop keeping the timing of the song in my head. That didn’t work and I ended up having to adjust my acoustic rhythm to suit the lead riff which of course was then different to the rest of the song! All in all a mess.
If my understood of all this is correct you should play the lead over the rhythm. My current set up means I’m trying to play the rhythm over the lead.

Nah not a mess Gordon. Think of all the new neurons you have now. :man_student:

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Nice! I can’t tell you how many times I come on here and think to myself, “Playa, slow it the heck down and play with some soul, some flair!” You did just that. I like what you did here a lot. Nice job of freshening up an old chestnut. :slight_smile:

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Could you use the trio plus with a microphone to create your loops with your acoustic guitar? I think I saw the pedal guy do a video using the trio plus with a dynamic mic.

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Hey Gordon,

I too was expecting a horror show, given your intro blurb, but all in all, it was pretty good. But as you say, its about the lead parts.
For me, trying to play little lead lines or solos requires playing them over a backing track, or rhythm section. That helps lock in my timing. Cant you use your Trio to provide the rhythm while you’re doing the solo parts?

Cheers, Shane

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Another good one Gordon. You, your playing and voice make a song great. I think Brian hit the nail on the head in regards to the riff.

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