If it makes you Happy

It’s been a little while since I have posted to this community so I thought that I would share this video of myself playing ‘If it makes you happy’ by Sheryl Crow to a backing track. I recently joined a local music group which is helping me to improve my playing and this is a song that we have been working on.


Nice Malcolm. I love this song and you captured the Sheryl Crow sound really well. :+1:


You made a nice effort but I feel obliged to give you some pointers on your strumming.

You seem struggling with some of the timing, mostly because of your strumming hand that isn’t doing a continuous up and down movement.
It makes you think too hard when yoo hit hit the next chord.

If you keep a steady flow and make your hand go up and down in a smooth fashion, you’re less likely to fumble the timing because the constant pattern of up down will dictate a downstrum when you need one on the next chord.

You could try to simplify the strumming by omitting those smaller divisions of the rhythm and focus on getting the general strumming right first. I recommend trying that with a drum only; it will make you feel the actual rhythm of the song.

You’ll hear me echo’ing some of these but they are fundamental.

Observe how Justins strumming hand always keeps going up and down like the arm of an old steam locomotive.

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Well done Malcolm. Some good clean barre chord changes in there. You’ve got timing and strumming issues though. Lieven has given you a load of good advice.

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Thank you @LievenDV , @Eddie_09 & @sairfingers for your feedback.
I guess this video sums up where I am at with guitar at the moment. I have been playing for nearly 4 years and still trying to make my way through justin’s beginner course, currently working on grade 3, the final grade before moving to the intermediate grades.
I think that a lot of my playing is moving towards intermediate level but I am still struggling with some basic beginner skills which are holding me back, and yes, I am aware that strumming and timing are big issues for me. Thank you Lieven for the links, I shall watch those lessons again and try to get my strumming better, but I really do struggle to relax, get in the groove and keep that arm moving while strumming.
I have recently joined a newly formed music club in my village. Most of the others there are more experienced than me on the instruments that they play, so I am hoping that this also helps to improve my playing. In fact, this song is one that we are working on.


Great song choice Malcolm and you did pretty well with it. Guitar tome was good and nice on the chord changes. Also, great advice from Lieven.

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Some good barre chords so well done on those. For me the strumming sounded a bit stilted. Lieven’s advice above should help with that.

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