Knockin' on Heaven's Door

Hi everyone, I hope all is well…

I recently came into possession of a gorgeous Taylor 510 AB 25th Anniversary and couldn’t wait to put it to use. This recording is a by-product of a decision to learn and incorporate more songs into my study regimen in addition to theory and technique to help keep the journey fresh. To this end I need to develop my vocals and perhaps more important, my ‘voice’.

Clocking in at a little over 2 minutes, this was a fun exercise and a good growing experience - the material is quite different in that it’s entirely acoustic/organic. While I’m still not entirely comfortable singing, it was fun and Justin’s recent post on singing was immensely helpful and encouraging: I enthusiastically recommend it to everyone who wants to ‘make the best of the pipes you have to work with’. Having said that, don’t fault Justin’s advice for any bad notes in here- at 70, those highs are pretty challenging.

For ‘techno nerds’ like me…
To keep with the mood of the original, I didn’t spend a lot of production time on this (relatively speaking)- about 8 hours over 2 days to record and mix. One track was put down with guitar and a vocal, and five tracks of additional background vocals. A little reverb and delay was thrown in to soften the edges.

Thanks for listening!

About the image:

The accompanying image is an original entitled “The Waiting Room” - an oil-on-canvas image inspired by a dream. I thought it fitting to the theme of the song.


Hey! That was pretty nice. Its a little different to which is good! Nice job with the production, keep them coming!

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That was beautiful Gary.

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Super version of that Dylan classic Gary. I enjoyed your production of it with the vocal harmony and fx.
Well done, I look forward to more from you.

Hi Gary, I like the way your cover is very recognisable as the Dylan song but you’ve grafted a lot of your own musicianship on to it. Great job.

Excellent Gary, very nice voice and great guitar playing.

Hi, I’m finding it really enjoyable…I especially loved the soft and smooth strumming :heart_eyes:

Great production Gary. Vocals are really strong and the BVs really give it character. Playing sounded in the pocket with clean chords and tight changes.


Bytron08;Eddie_09;sairfingers Willsie01; Andrea2022; SILVIA; TheMadman_tobyjenner;

Thank you all for making time to listen and for the kind encouragement.

With low production and more or less in-your-face vocals, this exercise helped me to confront my lack of confidence and near panic-inducing fear of singing and playing live, which has been a serious ‘pain threshold’ for me in reaching some of my goals. I suspect that I’m not alone in this.

So, inspired by Justin’s recent article on singing (Food for Thought), I took his advice and also researched some time-proven vocal techniques to try to overcome my fear. I found that employing just three things made for immediate improvement. For this, I hope it’s okay to share what I’ve learned, as others may find them useful:

First thing was to find my key(s) (duh). Singing in a comfortable key naturally leads to better control and increased confidence. How did I miss this?!?

Second, there is a big difference between speaking words in conversation and singing them in song (ya think?). I learned that by deliberately articulating each and every word - syllables, consonants, etc - clearly and inconspicuously from start to finish will help keep a listener’s attention and make it easier for them to connect. Pros know this - even when they are singing a song in a non-native dialect or language, each word is distinctly pronounced and without accent (i.e. The Beatles, Basia, Elton John, etc).

Third: Projection - I think this is where the rubber hits the road. When singing, I’ve found that using the diaphragm and keeping my lung reservoir full - even for soft parts - allows for better volume control. This helps give me the confidence to add personal interpretations and inflections, helping to set mood.

I’ll keep seeking out other techniques, of which there are many. But truly, singing in the right key, with clear pronunciation and strong projection has opened up nearly unlimited opportunities for me to build my limited skills on. They give me the confidence to inject personal expression and interpretation into a composition and ‘make it my own’.

With all this said, I wish I’d have learned this years ago. I don’t ever, at 70, expect to have a golden voice - but hey, the dream is alive! :wink:

Finally, I’d love to hear any remarks, tips, advice etc any may have in regards to vocals - please share!

Best to all, and thank you all once again!



If you want to develop you singing further I can strongly recommend Chris Liepe’s Discover Your Voice course. Its not free but it is exceptional value for money. There are a few of us here in the Community who have taken his course over the last couple of years and the improvements were outstanding.

18 months ago, I thought my singing voice was terrible and my rang limited. I do not like floating my own boat but others would now find that hard to believe.

I can pass details if you are interested.



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Mucho thanks,Toby. I see that he has quite a few You-Tubes, which I’ll check out.

There is a 3 free lesson taster he does with a guy called David Wallingham, YT gtr teacher and links to GuitarPro developers. I’ll dig the link out for those and drop them here,


Cool, cheers James. :sunglasses:

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Hi Gary, I think the others have summed it up very nicely and not much I can add but positive vibes.

And from the feedback of those members there are a few including myself that have enrolled in this summers course.

The voice is just a musical instrument. Just like any instrument it matures and produces vintage tones.

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Hi Gari,
Thanks a lot for posting this wonderful song :hugs:.
Playing and singing is a big challenge for me, as well, but nevertheless my main goal. Listening to your song and learning more about your experiences is very encouraging to me :grinning:.

Hi Gary,
Beautiful song beautifully performed
I listen about small, very bad external computer boxes (just a little while and then I’ll have real speakers) so I’m afraid I’m a bad reference, but the guitar could be a little louder,…
But in a while I’ll listen back to this about real boxes and come back to it when it’s absolutely perfect for me.
I think your art oil on canvas is absolutely beautiful and excellent with this song…and in the waiting room I spent many days/weeks together and I got goosebumps when I saw this…beautiful,
Thanks and greetings,Rogier :clap: :sunglasses: :bouquet: :man_bowing:

@NicoleKKB ; @roger_holland

Thanks for listening!

Nicole: As I found more often than not, many things can be intimidating because we lack knowledge. This, for me, is just a life fact and can easily apply to singing. Ignorance of something - especially things that are new or different can lead to discomfort, insecurity, fear and sadly, surrender. How often I’ve started a Justin lesson thinking, “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to play that!”.
It’s been my experience that how badly we want to do something usually corresponds to the effort we’re willing or able to invest in learning how to do it. Not yielding to defeat from frustration, which I admit is mighty tempting sometimes, will reap huge dividends. I’ve screamed my frustration into a pillow many times:face_with_spiral_eyes: For me, saying “I’ll give it a another try” is much better than saying “Why even try?”. Patience, perseverance and commitment almost always lead to a degree of competence. I try to remember this with learning things like singing. Be patient and gentle with yourself - and keep at it.You got this.


Thank you for noticing and commenting on the image. I was a practicing (outside) artist for quite a while, but no longer. Some concepts seem to process and translate easier than others, and this is one of them. I have always felt a special connection with it and consider it one of my more successful statements. I’m glad you like it. I remember your story and I’m deeply touched.
btw - Yes, the guitar is pretty faint - I noticed it on my system, too. Let me know when you get different speakers - I’m curious. :slightly_smiling_face:


Yes, I agree with you. I‘ll do my best to be patient :innocent:.

Great performance and really good singing. What a great rendition of this classic.

As another data point, I listened on my iPhone speaker and the guitar level sounded fine. Don’t know if that’s in the speakers or the ears.

Great production value.