Jason B 1st recording beginner Don’t Look Back in Anger

Not sure if I did this right but hopefully my video link is here.
A little background— about 10 years ago bought an acoustic , played for like a month before putting away to collect dust . I got as far as learning open chords.
Since I have barely left my house in 2 years and have a lot fee time decided to give the guitar another shot. For my bday 2 months ago Got a one of the electric cheapest guitars I could find. Squier strat. Wanting to play some of those great 90’s songs I grew up with. Since then I haven’t been able to put it down. Been working on Justin’s beginner course.
With some trepidation decided to record myself and put it up hoping to get some feedback. I know I got a lot to work on. I’m hoping to compare this to my playing in 6 months and seeing vast improvement.
I am so obsessed with learning this that I even went out last weekend and I had to buy an epiphone les Paul studio. Because the Strat just didn’t sound right to me. This video is with my Strat. still getting the feel of the les Paul. Not as beginner friendly
Anyway here it is-

14 Likes

Congratulations Jason on your first recording. Feels good to get that first one done hey?
Some good stuff goin on - some nice embellishments, lead lines etc. And its not a staightforward song in parts.
A couple of observations if I may;

  1. Your strumming hand looks a little stiff and tense. May in part be due to recording nerves, which we all suffer from.
  2. Concentrate on nailing that chord progression and rhythm, and focus on the changes that are most diffucult. It’ll then allow those embellishments, lead lines etc to really shine through.

You’ve done really well though mate, ans some great stuff therecto develop. You’ve obviously got the passion, and that’ll drive you to nailing this song.

Lookin forward to the next update.

Cheers,
Shane

1 Like

You’re on fire Jason. I have no doubt you see lots of progress when you check back in 6 months time. Keeping a video record is a good things to do.

1 Like

You are doing great, Jason, making excellent progress.

Keep up regular practice and you are sure to see the difference when you record this song again in six months.

If I was to make one suggestion it would be to add some simpler songs into your practice routine and practice those at a tempo where you can maintain a steady strumming motion and make the chord changes smoothly. Eliminating slight hiccups in the strumming while making a chord change to develop that smooth rhythm is an essential ability to develop and can be challenging when playing songs with more complicated chord progressions.

Just keep on keeping on, ever onward!

1 Like

At your stage this is OK, take your time and don’t try to rush it. Record button fear can disrupt your performance; so many of us have this problem so don’t worry about it :joy:
Your doing ok, you just need to carry on doing what you are and recording it for critique; it’s the secret of online learning; there are many of us here happy to listen and give advice if needed plus encouragement which is always important regardless of your level.
Have fun and enjoy your learning curve; remember to look back occasionally to see how much progress you’ve made, sometimes it’s a bit of a revelation!

1 Like

Hi Jason,
You probably thought,…for me no start with 3 little birds :sweat_smile:…congratulations on your first video :sunglasses:,… you are already doing some nice moves that are really clever for a beginner,… and you will look back smiling on this in 6 months if you continue at this pace, … I do agree with David’s comment to maybe pick out a slightly easier song for your videos so it “runs through” a little better and then you use these tough songs as “growths” over the months…but keep it up and you’ll be playing in no time the strings hot and broken :wink:
Greetings Rogier

1 Like

Hi Jason nice stuff mate.
In regards to some of the comments above: what I found helped with my strumming in the very early stages was looking for songs with mostly basic chords in them. For example I started off with basic Beatles songs when I only knew 3 to 4 chords. Even though they might be using the same chords a lot, it did help me find a groove with strumming over time.

In regards to coming back in 6 months time for a comparison, that is a fun thing to do… as I’ve come to realise myself while uploading some of my old stuff when I joined this site recently. Keep at it mate

Thanks everyone I really appreciate the replies. Definitely was nervous doing the video I didn’t even watch it when I was done I just posted it. Yeah I think that was sort of a little hard with a lot going on in that song. I seem to do not bad when I’m practicing it in sections but when I put it all together I think I get a little overwhelmed. So I decided to do something that I’ve been practicing for the longest “wish you were here” by Pink Floyd. I still a little uncomfortable doing the video. definitely know there were some mistakes in there :slightly_frowning_face: but again I’m not gonna watch it or even listen for fear that I won’t like it and will not post it. So I hope it’s ok. The only way to get better is to learn what you were doing wrong. I really took to Justin‘s saying practice makes permanent I’m 40 years old never heard that it never even thought of it. so I would hate to be constantly practicing or doing something incorrectly.
I did try to apply your comments To this recording I hope my strumming is a little more relaxed and my rhythm is a little bit better. I would definitely appreciate any feedback. Cheers

2 Likes

Highly recommend this, practicing the old faithful rhythm for ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ was a major breakthrough.

Hi Jason, thanks for the share. Definitely a lot of progress. I think your biggest area to work on is rhythm - timing, finding the groove, keeping the rhythm pushing forward.

I noticed both the songs you put up mix riffs and chords. These are pretty hard to learn good rhythm on as by their very nature the rhythm of the song is different than the rhythm of the picking/etc. Learning some songs that are just strumming will really help you get the rhythm and timing down, and to get solid at your strumming. E.g. Brown Eyed Girl, Hey Joe (without the riff), Last Kiss, Wonderwall, etc. Play along with a backing track (easier and more fun than a metronome) and really feel the rhythm of the song to incorporate into the strumming. Once you’ve got that nailed, then work on the harder ones :grinning:.

I think Justin says in some of his lessons, if you play a wrong chord often nobody notices… but if your rhythm is off, everyone notices. So it will make a huge step up in your playing.

Recording and reviewing your own recordings can really help you improve as well, so it’s great you’re recording. Our brains have this tendency to brush over our own mistakes whereas the recording lays it out bare. When I started recording I just used the voice memos app on my phone and I could tell ways I was going wrong I hadn’t realised just from playing. Good on you for doing it!

1 Like

Hello Jason and a very big round of applause for hit the big red button and sharing your progress.
I’m curious that you say you haven’t watched them. I hope you mean only before uploading them in a way to fool yourself psychologically and not back out of sharing. I hope you have or will watch them very soon. You need to watch and listen to make use of them.

I’m going to echo some comments already made and add a few other suggestions to improve.

FIRST - RHYTHM
The guitar is fundamentally an instrument designed for playing rhythmically. In addition to that, you can play chords and melodies - bonus. But rhythm is the basics of it. And you need to learn solid and secure rhythm as a most important skill. You need to spend some time on improving yours and rebuilding good habits - which means ending old and not-so-good habits. Start by setting aside songs with riffs, lead lines, embellishment notes and fills etc. Concentrate solely and exclusively on strumming and being rhythmic and bringing that to chords and chord changes.
This is my main and most important piece of advice and I urge you to discipline yourself to do this before you make it even harder to step back and re-learn.
Your strumming arm is moving through large arcs of motion that can be reduced. Aim more for the 2nd not the 1st of these pics.

Also, your wrist is very stiff and your forearm is doing all of the strumming action. Loosen up your wrist for strumming. Your forearm moves (though not in a very large arc) and your wrist also needs to be flexible, having a flicking or whipping motion across the strings with the down and up strums. Justin talks of shaking water off your fingers. That is a good descriptor.
Your strumming arm stops and starts and stops and starts. Unlearn that bad habit now. Please, you need to change that before it becomes too much of an issue as you look to develop your skills.
You must develop an inner sense of time and tempo. That is going to take regular and structured practice. I suggest these exercises on a daily basis.
10 mins – Muted Percussive Rhythm Practice
Touch the strings lightly to mute them. Strum using the most basic of patterns - playing four times per bar, all Down strums.

Try to control the moving arc of your forearm. Try also to ensure your wrist is relaxed, loose, supple and is involved in the strumming.
Count: 1, 2, 3, 4 out loud throughout the strumming.
Try to make a conscious act of tapping your foot or nodding your head or moving some part of your body as you play. This is rhythm. You are allowed to move - to dance as it were. Alternate your count of the 1, 2, 3, 4 with saying out loud the direction of your strum.
Say out loud: Down, Down, Down, Down.
You are aiming to be very conscious of strumming with a consistent rhythm. To begin with go at your own speed (and I suggest you make it a slow speed, very slow is good here) until you are comfortable with the mechanics of the arm movements and the counting. Once comfortable you need to begin to train yourself to do all of the above and keep time, keep a steady beat. You are going to play along with a drummer. A metronome can do the job also but I recommend a drum track at 60bpm to start. There is a count in on a click. Use it to start counting 1, 2, 3, 4. Listen to the drums alternate between ‘Boom’ and ‘Bash’. Those are sounding out the count of 1 then 2 then 3 then 4.
Boom, Bash, Boom, Bash = 1, 2, 3, 4.
Drum beats are a little more organic and feel better than metronome clicks in my view.
The development of this is to incorporate Up strums. Of necessity, playing four Down strums involves your arm coming back up again. On those movements you are now going to strum the muted strings also.
Strum with a full pattern of eighths as shown.

Count out loud: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & as you strum occasionally changing what you say to Down, Up, Down, Up, Down, Up, Down, Up. Verbalising the counts will help embed the rhythm into your body and brain.
Once again, do this unaccompanied so that you become comfortable with the feel and the mechanics. Then play along with the same 60bpm drum track.

SECOND - The G Chord

You have a most unconventional approach to playing the G chord, wrapping your thumb around the neck. I know that you have made it work for you so kudos for figuring out something that works. That said there is a but, and a big but. Long term it is going to restrict you and prevent you from being able to do other things around and with the G chord. Embellishments such as Gsus4, Gsus2, G with melody notes added, other forms of G. The reason being is that to play it your way your hand is dropped low and your wrist is angled such that your other fingers are virtually taken right out of the equation and unable to do any of this extra work.

Jason G

Look how low your wrist and fingers have to srop to play it your way.

There are the four diffferent variations that Justin teaches to play the G chord.

These two are in Grade 1.

These two are in Grade 2.

Once again, I encourage you with all my powers of encouragement to relearn that chord, to break and lose your old habit and learn a new, better one.

I will leave it there. I have given what I hope is helpful, constructive critique and advice and that you take it in the spirit it is meant - as encouragement and a guide to improve, not as a criticism or a negative dismissal of your efforts too date.

Cheers
:slight_smile: Richard

4 Likes

Good on you for working at these challenging songs, Jason. I can’t add more to the comments provided by Richard and JK. One wants to move on and the best thing one can do for long term is to take all the time needed to lay the solid foundation. So I suggest work through the feedback given, apply that slow and steady to some simple songs and you will reap the rewards of laying that foundation from the get go … smooth, steady strumming, eliminating the slight pauses by slowing down to match your ability to form and change chords. Keep on keeping on!

Good on you posting these AVoYPs Jason. Tricky stuff to play songs that combine strumming and riffs.
I certainly can’t add anything to the excellent advice given above.

Well done, stick in and I look forward to more from you in the future.

Hey Jason, congratulations on posting your first two recordings and not straightforward songs to play. You have had lots of great feedback that you can take forward to improve. That’s the great thing about recording oneself, you can watch back and analyse one’s own performance whilst getting feedback from others on this forum. You got some solid helpful advice from @Richard_close2u and I would add to it that it is worth checking out Justin’s Strumming Techniques course. Also not sure if its the camera angle playing tricks but it looks like your tilting the guitar to see the fretboard which would effect your strumming angle. Keep up the good work you’ve done really well for the length of time you have been playing. With regards to the suggestion to apply the feedback to some simple songs to lay the foundations since you said you wanted to play some of those great 90’s songs that you grew up with and your first one was Don’t Look Back in Anger I have just put together a chord and lyric sheet (along with strumming pattern and chord diagrams) for Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds acoustic version which I have been learning this week, happy to share it with you.

1 Like

Hi Jason:

I applaud your efforts and for sharing your first video. I agree whole heartedly with Richard’s advice. Richard knows what he is talking about and has been helping me find my rhythm too. Save a copy of everything he posted here and add to your practice routine. Playing in time with even strumming is the most critical skill. I have been told this every time I ask for advice.

I think you have the right idea of recording your progress and looking back to see what improved after a few months. In addition, I agree with what was said here in finding an easy song. I get it we all want to be advanced, but if you play a harder song, find a way to simplify it to make it playable with a Capo or simple chords. Keep the hand moving when making changes.

Thanks so much for sharing and keep going

Jeff from CA

1 Like

Thanks everyone, great feedback and suggestions I really appreciate it . Knowing what I need to focus on will help me a lot. There was definitely time and effort put into your responses. I’ve Been working on my strumming and loosening the wrist. (I was stiff) not And getting more rhythm. I will link a quick vid of just the strumming. I’m Open to any comments. I really want to make sure I got this basic down.
Nice noticing my funky G chord Rich. I have no idea where I got it from. But I have been doing it as long as I can remember. I have been trying to break out of that habit. If definitely restricts me.
I have to the video after I post it. If I watch it before I’ll never be satisfied and will not share.
Thanks again for all the feedback, cheers

2 Likes

That’s already looking a little better, more looseness in the wrist, Jason.

I once saw a video that suggested the following exercise to be done without a guitar. Imagine you’ve just washed your hands and are flicking off excess water with just a flick of the fingers with a rotation of the hand at the wrist, forearm kept still. That is an exaggerated strumming action.