This was a stage 4 song in the classic beginner course, but I have included some back beat scratch rhythms in the verses and tried to be a little more consistent in my strumming. I will happily point out that the recording almost went off the rails in the first chorus, due to nerves, but decided that the show must go on. I settled down in the rest of the song and even threw in an Fmaj7/C chord in the last chorus. The video recording quality is obviously better after learning a few things in the Beginners safe spot on this site. My voice, though, is 7 years older and not getting better. It might improve with a better microphone.
Both recordings are done with the same guitar and in the same room, but the second is recorded on my iphone. In the first recording the guitar is new that year. In this recording, my strings are over 1 year old, so the tone is probably a little too bassy.
I used a .60 Jim Dunlap Tortex pick in the first video. I used a .60 Jim Dunlap nylon pick on the second record, because I can do the scratch rhythm easier. The nylon pick also has raised lettering for a more confident hold on the pick.
I took Justin’s advice and made my own chord and lyrics sheet for this song and used the first and third verses of the song in the second video. I also changed the pronouns in the song so I am singing about a woman. I did that in the first version also, but since I was playing directly from the Beginner Songs book 1, I made the changes in my head.
Because my music stand is to the right side of the camera, I am definately not looking at my hands
Many thanks for your words of praise and encouragement. I am happy that you enjoyed the cover of this song. It does have a great melody and as a guitarist, I like that it has a chord for every letter of the musical scale, which makes it interesting to play.
Hi Steve! Great cover of that song. I like the strumming in the second video.
I am also working on this currently. But I am not ready yet to record it. I am using it to practise bringing more dynamics into my playing, but especially at the B7 just before the chorus, where I want the strumming to become louder and more energetic, I often struggle to make that change to the B7 fast and good enough.
You did not have that problem.
I liked a lot in the first video,…really a lot…
But the 2nd video shows an enormous progression in every area,…and contrary to what you think, I think and hear your voice has become much more beautiful, really beautiful … thank you and I have really enjoyed it…Bis Bis Bis
Really good comparison videos there Steve and terrific job with both. The first video was nicely played but wow everything kicked up following your G2 progress. For me your vocals were the most striking difference, they have come on significantly and overall the performance just oozes confidence in what you’re doing.
Bravo, Stephen. You were doing well in the first video and as others have said, the second took it all up a gear. I think the chord work was more confident (especially the B7), the strumming just had a better feel as well as the variations, and your voice is just fine (in both).
Great job on both versions. I agree with Silvia that version 1 was already good and version 2 was great. I’m glad you stuck with the song for so long and improved. Very nice job on strumming and especially percussive strums. I want to do that as a goal too. Thanks for sharing!
@nabri79 Thanks. Good luck with the song.
I had to spend a lot of time in the last 2 months on 1 minute changes with the B7 chord and other chords. The blues progression in E in grade 2 with the changes between B7 and E and A was good practice. I hadn’t practiced the G to B7 change except in playing the song, so I had to watch my video in slow motion to see what I did for that. I used the 2 3 and 4 finger version of the G chord in the song, so the first finger did not have to move much to form the B7, plus the pinkie or finger 4 just had to slide over 1 fret. With enough practice it will happen automatically.
@roger_holland Thank you for your words of encouragement. I am so happy that you saw improvement in the second video and you are too kind in your review of my singing voice. I am happy that you enjoyed the song.
@Notter. Thanks. I was glad that my small mistake in the chording in the first chorus didn’t distract from the second video. I think part of my confidence came from preparing and posting a couple of videos in the beginner safe space and the feedback I received there.
Also, I am happy that at the age of 67 my voice is still holding out and pleasant to listen to in the video.
@DavidP Thanks for all of the encouragement. I have enjoyed the videos and techniques added to the classic course and the second time through all of the strumming and chording videos has helped me with extensive self analysis of my playing and refine my technique as you may have noticed from my comments in those modules. I especially appreciate Justin’s emphasis on developing general musicianship and tips on how to play the song. That’s why I changed the strumming pattern for the chorus and the verses as it seemed appropriate and was able to add some Grade 2 techniques.
@SDKissFan Thanks. The percussive or back beat scratch strum is something that I have really worked on a lot lately. I’m glad that Justin added this to the Grade 2 lessons, since it is so tricky to master and difficult to learn from listening to a song and looking at the TAB. I hope you have good luck in learning the percussive strum technique.
@EndlessRepetition Thanks. Funny, I’ve played for a lot of occasions, but I’ve never played around a campfire. I think I was afraid of bringing a guitar camping and would probably be afraid to melt the laquer
@sairfingers Thanks. Interesting bit of trivia so I looked at the Killing Me Softly Wikipedia entry. It was inspired by a Don McLean concert, but Lori Lieberman was the cowriter that was inspired. It appears that she recorded the first version, but was quickly overshadowed by Roberta Flack’s No. 1 US hit, so she sometimes gets the credit.
As for my strap, I will admit that it looks awkward. I wasn’t using the strap much in practice and just threw it over my shoulder to get it out of the way when I recorded the video without regard to how it looked