Knocking on Heavens Door. First Uploaded video

October 2023. My first uploaded video of me playing guitar. Been playing since March 2023. Would appreciate constructive feedback or other useful comments.
J.J. Andre playing Knocking on Heavens Door


Hi JJ!

Good on you for sharing your first video. Nailing those open chords mate.

I have a few tips for you that will level up your playing:

Pick - looks like you’re holding it between your fingertips? Might just be the angle. Put it between thumb and side of index finger.

Rhythm and strumming - the rhythm of the song needs to flow continually, uninterrupted. This is the biggest thing you should work on IMHO. Play along with a drum beat or metronome - the fender tune app has built in drum beats - and just play old faithful strumming. Knockin is pretty consistently an old faithful groove. Forget about individual string embellishments etc you’ve got your groove down.

The rhythm waits for no man (or woman) - the foot should keep tapping, the strumming arm should keep going, even between chord changes etc. Will level you up.

Keep at it!


Hi J.J, Welcome to the group :wave:

Not sure if you’ve posted an introduction on the site, would be nice. :slight_smile:

Congrats on posting your first video with lyric too :+1: , not an easy thing to do I know, nerves get me lol, and a Grade 2 song :slight_smile: currently
I need to ask, Do you have the app and have you been going through the grade 1 course.
Normally its not recommended that singing and playing together so soon, kudos. Perhaps post some grade 1 consolidation pieces , that would be great.

I would recommend the strumming SOS course to help with timing.
Not sure yo’ve seen this G2 Heavens Door by J.S

This is a fantastic course Strumming this will help with strumming timing.

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Congratulations on your first AVOYP posting JJ.

Nice work on playing and singing too as it’s not an easy thing to do so early into your adventure.

I can only echo what others have said before me.

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Hey there JJ!!

Congrats on your first video posting.

I would echo the other comments here about pick position/holding the pick.

Also, getting the chord changes to flow from one to the next without missing time.

RHYTHM is the ABSOLUTE KING when it comes to playing any instrument, so playing the changes fluidly should be a priority for you in my opinion.

Playing and singing is never an easy thing to do especially when you are starting out on an instrument.

One thing I always do when I am learning a new song is make sure I’ve got all the guitar changes down BEFORE I add in my vocal. I might hum along whilst changing chords or something but until I’ve got the changes in time and “automatic” I don’t add any vocal lines in (I tend to get distracted from the guitar part when I sing so I have to know the guitar cold before I can even start to sing).
I think it’s great that you played the triad versions of the chords up the neck. It’s never too early to start trying out different places on the fretboard to play the same notes.

A great start! Well done. Keep on it. . .

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Hi JJ and welcome. Well done posting your first AVoYP.
You’re making things difficult for yourself by playing triads for this song. You need to work on your rhythm and timing and get a steady strum pattern going. At the moment you have no strum pattern. Go back to the simple open chords and play simple on the beat downstrokes until you’ve got the beat steady.

Are you following Justin’s lesson plan?


Well done on posting up a first recording, JJ.

I think the others posting before me have covered all that needs to be said.

If you are not a user of the Musopia App maybe that is something to consider. I think it can be extremely beneficial when working through grades 1 and 2, to be able to play along to the song, help get that rhythm grooved.

Keep on keeping on.


Welcome to the community J.J. Pop here and Introduce yourself and introduce yourself to the community if you haven’t already done so. Well done on posting your first AVoYP. I can only echo what others have said above. Wish you all the best on your learning adventure.

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Congratulations on your first post Jj. A lot to like and just follow the advice given above and you won’t go wrong.

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Congratulations on your first Avoyp JJ! A lot of good advice has already been given…You remind me of my ownself when I first started learning :star_struck::blush: … I just wanted to sing first and then play along and Rhythm suffered from this choice…Try to practice the guitar part on its own…my singing soul says it’s hard to do…but must be done! Keep at it, you started only in March and doing great!

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Hi JJ, welcome to the community and another big thumbs up from me for kicking off your postings with a video of your playing!

Definite positives with how clean your chords are ringing and the changes between them, you’ve clearly been putting in the practice time with your chord perfect and OMC / PFC exercises.

I think the points raised on strumming and rhythm are the biggest takeaways for you and it all leads to the song truly flowing as seamlessly as possible. This is a really good song to grow that with so certainly keep working with it and use those techniques mentioned of foot tapping and keeping the strumming hand moving throughout, it really does work.

Well done for singing and playing at the same time, I certainly couldn’t (properly) that early on in my learning but I would focus on the guitar alone as your priority and getting that flow for the moment. Keep it up as you’ve built good foundations here. Will look forward to future updates and postings from you!

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Thank you for the helpful comments to focus on rhythm and strumming and the encouragement more generally. I will practice that and perhaps post just an instrumental version.

90% of my practice is without singing and usually with either the Justin App songs or the original recording. My rhythm and strumming suffers when I sing as I don’t really enjoy singing.

Thanks for the advice and encouragement. I do use the app regularly and am up to module 18. I will rewatch JS’s video of heavens door. In this case, I think my poor attempt at singing caused my rhythm to suffer.

Welcome @jjAndre

Your doing great man!
I find singing very hard, then sing while I play guitar even harder yet.
You’ve done both. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I’ll reiterate what others have said. The metronome is your friend.
Staying in tempo is very hard imho. I don’t like to use a metronome, but I do. And when I do, I find myself wandering all over for tempo.
The metronome will bring this forward and give you (and me) much to work on. It’s very hard to do. Specially when your doing some complex chords as your doing.

Anyways. Great 1st post, and a video at that. Kudo’s man!

Love your guitar too JJ. That one looks like a real keeper to me.

Keep on jammin!


Sorry but I have to say, I think is far to fast if by module 18 you mean mid point of Grade 3 in just 7 months.

I think most folks on here, not all mind you, not all, but most will say that 6 months is good for grade 1 to consolidation.


I play 2-3 hours a day which I think is well above average. I think that is why I have moved up quicker than average. I will process the feedback which is immensely helpful and perhaps next video will be just guitar and no singing. Thanks again.

Thank you Happy Cat. I really appreciate your kind words. Yes I really enjoy this Epiphone Les Paul. I recently bought it used from my local music shop. Love the sound of the humbuckers!

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imho, Epiphones are under rated. Of the 5 guitars I got, 2 are Epiphones. They suit my needs. Both of mine were used too.

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Congratulations on your first video :partying_face: :sunglasses:…that’s a big thing and a hugely important learning step…
I haven’t read all the comments above properly, but my tip for you is …

First have the rhythm guitar automatically and only then start singing …


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6-7 months in, good job!!
Add to that the complications of making a video, even more impressive (coming from someone who struggles with videos).
Nice work, keep it up. Good foundation.

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