After posting Sweet Child of Mine a couple of weeks ago I thought I’d post a couple of other videos to show where I’m at after 2 years of guitar with JustinGuitar.
It will be something to look back on later, and also hopefully inspire some newbies as to what is realistically achievable with a couple of years of dedicated playing & practicing. I am definitely not the most disciplined practicer, but I do play every day.
Sorry mod team, I should have started the thread before posting Sweet Child and if they get mushed together the comment sections wouldn’t make much sense… I think from now on I’ll have to do the monthly thread thing now I’m recording more regularly.
Okay, here’s the first one. Eric Clapton’s Layla, Acoustic version. Encouraged by one of @DavidP’s comments on another share of mine I decided to sing as well.
Definitely a few warts in this but I’m OK with that and it’s pretty representative of my playing. If you’re hanging out for it - there is no main solo here.
As usual, any kind of comment or feedback welcome.
That is pretty darn impressive for 2 years, JK! Yes, there’s some practice time still to put in, but this is a really really great start. It took me a whole lot longer than 2 years to get this one. Apart from the solos, my one suggestion for you at this stage is to relax a bit into confidence. You have the basic building blocks, but leaning into confidence would really impact your overall playing, including dynamics.
Keep this one in your practice rotation. Great song, and really kind of showcases the guitar.
Caught this on the Toob and was pretty impressed but not surprised. I would suggest although you say you may not be the most disciplined “practicer”, I reckon you have a razor sharp focus on what you are working on. And to get to this level in two years is no mean feat. I’ve not seen many achieve that and I’ll be hitting my forum 10th anniversary next Feb and October '13 was when I started the BC (or there about). So this should be an inspiration to anyone just starting out and to see what can be done if you put your mind and time to it.
As far as I have perceived your character you seem pretty thorough and analytical which surely leads to more thought-out and mindful learning even if it’s not daily. Also emphasis on playing the guitar each day, as even non-practice sessions can still be practice and consolidation. Also a sign of passion for the instrument.
I think a lot of early learners could benefit from those takeaways for progressing. Thanks for sharing.
PS: Just read back the thread and Toby basically said the same. Well…
You definitely gave this newbie some inspiration. I’m 13 months in and really just becoming able to play along with songs start to finish and improvise off scales. Probably practice similar to you. I maintain a list of things to work on, but just practice (every day) what I feel like rather than follow a routine. Watching your video helps me see where I’m trying to go. Thanks.
Only 2 years in your light years ahead of most. The only feed back I can give is s;ow your phasing down to a manageable tempo. Your rushing and running everything together. Other than that sounded good.
Noticed the Key boards in the background. When you have 5 minute sit down and figure out the triad chords in the Key of C. All white keys. It’s a great way to understand theory.
Obviously improving and becoming more comfortable with both the instrument and performing. It flowed quite well for the most part and shows the time in practice, well done and thanks for sharing. The next one will incorporate the solo then.
I also enjoy your singing, lovely timbre and vibe. I’d like you to perhaps work on the mic positioning to try be more consistent, accommodating head movement as you play. And then pump it up a smidge in the mix.
I’ve been away from the forum for a bit and am trying to catch up with all the stuff I’ve missed.
It was great to see you playing this song at the two year mark in your journey!!! I don’t know how to play this song and appreciate the effort it has taken you to get this down after just 24 months on the “axe”.
It’s IS inspiring to see your progress.
As requested, I have a few comments which I hope will be helpful.
It is clear that you’ve got the song under your fingers and you know the changes well. If there is anything missing in your guitar performance it is a bit of the “feeling” aspect of the tune. This is normal and natural for someone who is two years into their journey. I suggest that (although you may be fed up with the song at the moment . . . ) you try to continue to play along with it and relax into the “feel”/groove/pocket of the song. I don’t want to take anything away from what you’ve done, it’s totally listenable. It just lacks that relaxed feeling which comes with time and familiarity with the tune.
I reckon that this is most evident in your single note lines in the song, which feel a bit rushed and not quite clearly “articulated.”
Many times, slowing these lines way down whilst still playing them in time helps to iron out the kinks and gets you playing them fluid. If you have Audacity or transcibe they work well for isolating sections and slowing them way down.
Congratulations on a great achievement and all the best with continuing on the journey.
Soon, I will be posting some covers of mine and you can have the chance to give me YOUR input. . .I hope my observations are helpful.
You certainly are an inspiration, not only for newbies. It’s incredible what you achieved in the past 2 years and clearly shows your dedication to the guitar and all the efforts you put in. All the practice (may it be disciplined or not) pays off nicely. You make those fast changes between the barre chords look effortless.
The intro had a few muted notes and felt a little rushed, but you probably already know that without me telling you.
I stated elsewhere I try to evaluate playing primarily, but as I know you’re open for feedback, maybe my 2 cents on the singing: Compared to older posts you made progress for sure and are on your way taming “the beast” - you have a really powerful voice and a lovely timbre (so beast meant in the most positive way here to be precise ), especially in the lower register. I felt, you sometimes where searching for the pitch or jumped between registers looking for your comfy zone, right? At least that’s what I felt listening. On the other hand, I recall this song not being easy to sing at all. Maybe it’s worth playing with a capo to find a sweet spot for your voice or maybe drop an octave, whatever feels best. This tune and the vibes of the acoustic version really suit your voice.
Back to playing:
Your overall performance felt quite relaxed and laid back to me, I totally got the vibe. Your timing is on point as usual. While singing, you’re not only strumming basic chords but manage to play this more advanced accompaniment flawlessly. Further, I really love the tone of your guitar.
You’ve come far in those 2 years and can be proud of your achievements. It’s impressive and by listening to you, I would easily assume you’re doing this way longer.
Looking forward to the next pieces - thanks for sharing!
Hi JK, congratulations on your 2nd guitarversary !!
Unbelievable, how far you’ve come in this short time .
I’m still in love with your OM performance of Lonely Boy .
Great job on Layla, as well . Very impressive .
I’m curious where your journey will take you within the next 2 years .
Great job JK, and congratulations on 2 years. You’ve come a long, long way in that time my friend, and this song showcases it. And not only in your guitar playing, but being a valued member of this great little commnuity.
This song has all the elements - a terrific teacher- so is a great one to keep coming back to as you develop even further.
Hey JK, firstly congratulations on the 2 year mark and I couldn’t agree more with the comments on your progress over the 24 months, super impressive and, as I’m sure / hope you are, be very proud mate.
Folliwing on from the Should I Stay Or Should I Go share from you, you look so at ease playing it’s a pleasure to see and to have been privvy to your progress. The new Maton really looks like it fits you like a glove and sounds sweeeeet!!
There’s a couple of nitpicks I could make but I’m not going to, and no doubt anything I said you’d have already said to yourself anyway. So I’m going to simply say a huge bravo, give you a big virtual hug and I can only imagine what your 3rd year anniversary is going to give us!
Grab a beer, or tipple of choice, enjoy and keep on strumming mate
PS - I know you’ve always been harsh on your vocals but they have improved so much along with your playing they need a comment and too.
Thanks for the compliment Mark. We all follow different paths!
Thanks Stefan. Singing like Clapton is difficult, so I just tried to do it a bit my way (the only way I have really).
Loved that James.
Thanks Mari, and especially for the advice! I find when something is on the limit of my playing (like this one, ESPECIALLY the lead/solo), it’s harder for me to be expressive and confident on the guitar with it. I can do that when it’s a song that’s more comfortable to play. I will keep coming back to this one, for sure. More to learn from it.
Shucks, thanks Toby. Yeah I’m not a great structured practicer but I am definitely obsessive. I’ve seen people’s practice journals in their learning logs and I think - woah, that is really well structured. I’m not as structured although I’ve been trying to introduce more structure. When I’m working on something I do it a LOT and I play plenty. I’ve struggled with the same stuff most people struggle with over time, and aside from having a drummer’s rhythm, I don’t have any innate talent for this. Still have really far to go as well.
You’re spot on there Siff. I’m an extroverted nerd, basically. With a compulsion to become obsessive with whatever I’m focused on (as my wife has told me many, many times over the years). And I’m OK with being bad at stuff for a long time. Thank you!
That’s awesome Michael! Keep at it, keep playing every day. Work on stuff that’s easy and fun and also work on stuff that stretches you and is hard. I started struggling to get my fingers down for the A chord (D was easy).
Thanks heaps Rick. Yeah the solo was not as smooth as it’s supposed to be - the original is quite fast, but playing it that fast with expression - the right pauses, vibrato, etc - is a bit beyond me. But I’ll get there
The keyboard is my eldest daughter’s - she’s been playing around 1 1/2 years and is getting quite decent now. I already figured out the chords in C with my guitar theory understanding . 1-3-5. Played a little jam for her with C - Am - F - G and a made up melody and she was impressed . Although that’s not really “playing” piano.
Thanks Mal! I’ll get around to that solo eventually! It’s a bit intimidating right now
Thank you David. I’ll be real, I’m not used to getting compliments on singing. Still working on it but with less practice than guitar. I’ll get better at the mic & mix stuff eventually!