JK Oct 2023 - 2 yrs - Layla, That 6th Trick, Just Breathe (added 3rd November)

:joy: Yeah that’s a tough one! But good to see you’ve still been pondering it though, would love to hear any updates on that, if you feel willing to share :smirk: :pray: :wink: :sweat_smile:

1 Like

Hey JK, thanks for mentioning me as an inspiration in this way, that must be a first. Now you have inspired me to revisit this song.
At one time I decided to try and learn all the songs on the unplugged album but I never completed that project surprisingly :grinning:. I got as far as Tears in Heaven, Layla, Nobody Knows You When Your Down And Out and I have done all of these at OMs. I also learned Signe but I have forgotten it by now. I recall someone did that really well at a past OM.
I found the Sweet Child intro play through , good job on that. I always find it very difficult to get the flow going smooth on the first time round even with a click track but it gets easier 2nd time when some drums come in and then 3rd time round with the full band it starts to flow easier. I think you mentioned something similar.

1 Like

Hi JK,

Great job.
Took me 2 years to get the guitar out of the case - you’re nailing Clapton!
On a serious note, I would suggest not letting the practice slip too much.
I was a better player years ago during my first few years following J’s lessons - I would spend an hour or 2 practicing/playing every day back then. Now, it’s literally play when I record something - no way my playing is as good.
What’s the saying - use it or lose it…


1 Like

Hi JK,
I’m a little late on this, can’t catch up with all the posts and videos any more :see_no_evil:. Those two videos are great examples of where you are and how far you’ve come within the past two years! It’s incredible progress you’ve made and can be seen in every new posting. And this progress not only shows in your guitar playing, but also in your singing abilities, where you made a really big jump ahead. Great to see, how far one can come within such a relatively short period of time. Congrats on this 2nd anniversery and on this all over success :clap: :clap: :clap:!
Thank you for being such an active member of this community and for your ongoing contribution to this forum. Made a rocket-like rise, but still standing on the ground and still caring for your fellow students, speaks for you and I really appreciate this! All the best for your further journey! :hibiscus:


Good tip, thanks Digger. Yeah I’ve read a few stories around the internet of people that had good skills, much much better than me, then didn’t play for a long time, and it took them years to get them back. So I’d like to avoid that. I try to play at least something every day even if I don’t practice.

No probs with that Andrea! There is so much going on in the community, and it’s supposed to be a hobby, not a job.

Aww shucks, making me blush. I like to spend time here, probably way too much time. I’m just a learner too! Just a couple of years down the path now.

1 Like

Okay, here’s my third and final 2 year showcase piece. Just Breathe by Pearl Jam. It’s an acoustic ballad. It’s one of those songs that means a lot to me, so I just had to learn it.

I’ve been working on this one for a while. A long time. Those that have been around a while might remember when I posted an in-progress video back in May 2022. It’s a song I often play when I just pick up the guitar. i don’t think I’ve actually “practiced” it in a while, just played it. At some point I could do the fingerpicking on autopilot and so I added the vocals recently. I’m no Eddie Vedder though!


This is a play through after a warm up. Kind of a one-take but kind of not - I played it through without recording to warm up, then had a couple of false starts, so it’s a “first take” in some ways. I think of myself more as a live player anyway. If I keep grinding and record take after take I inevitably get worse. The fingerpicking is pretty fast for me so there are a few glitches.

Open to all feedback as usual.


Belated congrats on the 2 years, JK, in danger of getting a speeding ticket :laughing:
Talking of which, I was looking at those fingers going and wondering- He’s not going to keep that up through the whole song, is he? Yup. :sunglasses:
The odd tiny adjustment but wow!
The vocal pitches needing a little more finessing, but that’ll improve with practice. I would still rather watch my buddy JK perform an imperfect version than put on the original
Well done :grinning:


Wow - that’s very impressive regardless, but for two years it’s insane.
Great job JK

1 Like

Hi Jk ,
You again :smile:

What a beautiful song to end with… and I echo Brian’s words with an extra attention to the wonderfully fast finger picking action :sunglasses: :clap: :sunglasses:
Definitely one that I want to learn one day, so I put it in the ridiculously long row of songs that I want to learn :see_no_evil:
As I type, the song is stuck in my head (in a good way)

1 Like

Hello JK, with this performance you’ve impressed me once again. Your fast and steady fingerpicking is amazing - and all that while singing simultaniously. I know how hard this is, as I’ve been working on something similar, but not at this pace.
I’m also impressed by your right pinky which seems to be glued at the guitar :astonished:. I’ve tried this method as well, but a ‘flying pinky’ seems to work better for me :grin:.
Congratulations on this great rendition :+1::clap:!

Off topic: I assume, that the move to your new home is going to happen soon (I recognized the empty shelf in the background.) All the best for it!

Ah, and great t-shirt :smiley:!

1 Like

:rofl: Thanks Brian. 2 years in and I’m still loving it, which is not my usual experience with hobbies. Speeding ticket - well, I saw a video on reddit the other day of someone 6 months in playing Little Wing & Yellow Ledbetter :roll_eyes:. So it’s all relative I guess…

Tell me about it! Hopefully one day I can sing a whole song with the right notes. One day. I’m glad you enjoyed the JK version.

Thanks Paul. The song is quite quick but it’s a standard Travis picking pattern, looks more complex than it is :smiley:. just took a lot of repetition to get it there.

:rofl: I’m not sure if that’s because I’ve been doing a lot of videos recently or just harrassing you on your threads. :wink:

I’m glad you enjoyed it. The song is fun to play and worth learning. You could even sing it too, right? I think the only singing I’ve heard you do is happy birthday. Hmm, I think we’re in something now, both doing the same songs all the time!

Oh Nicole, you’re too kind. This kind of fingerpicking, well, singing was impossible with it. Until the picking was automatic, and then all of a sudden it wasn’t impossible anymore. Although singing the right pitches is for me! I just try to make up for my lack of skill with emotion.

The pinky, well, I try to anchor because I find I’m more accurate. I’d hit all the wrong strings if I didn’t. I semi-anchor when flatpicking as well, but not with my pinky - with my forearm or palm.

Good spotting! Yes, we’re packing, and the kids finish school for the year in a couple of weeks and then we move. Almost 200km from where we are now. There is no place in that house to perform at 5am without waking the family up so the next OM will also be the last I play at for a while too! Although I’ll still wake up to watch.

Seemed appropriate! I decided to get dressed this time :rofl:


:joy: both and both I like it,

nope …
I have to / am going / want to start with the first steps of practicing sounds other than talking from my throat :roll_eyes: :grimacing:… I wish you had forgotten Happy Birthday :joy: :rofl:


1 Like

Damn JK that’s a superb recording, I’d say that’s the best song I’ve seen you perform. Keeping the rhythm with that picking pattern certainly does not look a straightforward task and your vocals on this one are genuinely mega.
Well done mate, proper stuff in all regards :boom: :boom: :boom:

1 Like

Seriously impressive progress for 2 years. You can see your progression increasing greatly once you had the basics down, every recording shows next level performance. Always watch JK videos.

1 Like

That was absolutely beautiful JK. I couldn’t remember the song until you played the first bar and then it was instantly recognizable. That really was mind blowing mate. :sunglasses:

1 Like

Bloody superb job mate!

1 Like

Hi JK,
I took in Lala and Just breath. I know Lala well and never heard of JB. Though my preference is JB as it seems a bit more polished possibly. I would guess the bulk of your efforts are spent on guitar? To me it shows as I think you are much further ahead on guitar, than on the vox.

As I have told others, don’t overlook your vocal efforts and put some time in on them practice wise. If you play in front of others, the guitar play will captivate them until you open your mouth. At that point IMHO, the guitar is forgotten pretty much and they will remember your vocals.

If you have not done so, you might look up Chris Liepe. He has a lot of free stuff that can help you and his pay side is very reasonable.

You can also play the short scale major scale on guitar. Start at the lowest note you can sing on the neck and play each note in the scale, matching it with your voice. Do that up and down the scale. Then move it up one fret and repeat. keep going all the way up the neck until you run out of vocals range and then if your still in good shape vox wise. Sing it all the back down to the start.

Doing the above will train your ear and that can help with guitar. You will be better able to sing by hitting the first note in the vocal run or phrase. The exercises will sharpen up your vocal pitch too. Once you are comfortable running though the practice above, it should come to the point you can do it in 5-8 minutes or so. Add in hitting some note and wavering your voice on that note. It is sort of like adding vibrato. This is called pulsing and as my voice coach once said; “it is like lifting weights for the voice and singing”. Your vocals will become stronger and you will be able to sing longer sessions.

I hope that keeps you busy and improving,


:scream::scream::scream: There is a downside in almost everything, isn’t it :see_no_evil::grimacing:.
I will definitely miss your live performances :disappointed:.

1 Like

Yep :smiley: Although eventually I will have another music space with a closed door, maybe in a year or so!

1 Like

Thanks Mark, it was really nice to read this. The picking pattern is a mostly straightforward travis picking with some minor variations, hard to get under the fingers at first but because it’s consistent, it’s easier than it seems once you’ve got it!

Thanks for the kudos on my vocals. You know where I’ve come from. I’m trying to build towards performing in the harsh environment of a real world open mic and I’m not quite there, it’s a slow journey in working out how to sing. I’ve been figuring out how to sing with my actual natural singing voice is, the way I sing in Just Breathe is probably closest to it. Even though I’m still miles off pitch in a lot of places.

Thanks for watching Phil and thanks especially for watching my other videos too! I don’t have an expectation people will watch but it certainly is nice. I think I learn best in a high-feedback environment and learning alone it’s hard to get that. TBH I’d love to see some more videos from you :wink:

So glad you knew the song Eddie! And enjoyed it. I’m not sure if it was ever a single, but since I’ve heard it I’ve loved it. To me it’s a tale of loss, gratitude and love spun into one.

Thank you Phil!

Hi LBro! Thanks so much for checking my songs out and your feedback. You are 100% right. The bulk of my efforts are spent on guitar and not singing. Combined with that I come off a really, really low base with singing. Nobody sang in my house growing up. 18 months ago when I started trying to learn I didn’t even realise singers were singing… notes :roll_eyes:. I was monotone. I started with a pitch matching app (which I couldn’t even do, but eventually could), then Yousician - matching the pitch of the songs. But I found that my timbre/tone was awful when doing that.

Actually, when I listened to music, my ears were mostly active to the rhythm. I didn’t know what a melody was (and made some posts here asking about it).

I’ve done a bit of the Chris Liepe course. But admittedly stopped it and should pick it up again. One of his pieces of advice was to go for timbre/tone/emotion first, and pitch second. So I’m mostly following that advice - still trying for pitch but not at the sacrifice of tone.

I don’t do enough singing practice as such. Mostly what I do now is just try to sing in the car, and sing with headphones hooked up to a mic so I can hear myself. I plan to get a singing teacher IRL but wasn’t able to find one on a schedule that worked where I live now.

I know I still have a long way to go. I wouldn’t sing at a real world open mic yet. In truth I’m not sure I’ll ever get to the level of a functional singer. You’ve given me a lot of food for thought on what I should spend my time practicing. Thank you.

Well, I like lifting weights, if only learning singing was that easy! :rofl: