Looking for the Heart of Saturday Night-Tom Waits

I have been practicing this one and I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love With You for a while. Tom Waits is one of my favorite artists, my favorite song of his may be Time and I hope Justin will do a lesson on it one day.

Tha ks for taking a look!


You’ve captured the essence of Tom here Richard in your delivery both vocally and musically. By that I mean there’s some of the broken, fractured feeling I get when I listen to Tom. I’m a fan of his too and look forward to hearing what you do with I Hope That … and Time too.

You may want to check the tuning of your low E string, or perhaps the placement of your finger as you play individual notes in some of the runs. It sounds as though you may be bending some of them enough to take the note off pitch.


That is 100% accurate. I think it is a technique thing that I am bending the strings over the neck. It is also a bit out of tune lol. When I first started on this one I was bending the big E string off the neck, :laughing: I am still really new at playing, so the coordination is still coming.

Thank you for your kind words and helpful comments. I am always happy to see the encouragement and constructive comments here.

Have a great day!

1 Like


Weell done! Good strumming throughout.


1 Like

Hi Richard,
Ooo this song you mean ??? well …
I have yet to start singing, so not yet, but I will put this on the list…

And unlike me, you can already sing. I think you have a pleasant singing voice and I think that if you develop it further, many could/would worship you :blush:, sometimes I hear a rough edge coming up which is absolutely wonderful… and what a wonderful song to start the morning with liked the playing too … there is a bit too much pressure to hit the right notes … this goes away for me after I have practiced it hundreds of times with new, somewhat difficult fingerings/note runs while I have to hold the chords, etc… but i found it a pleasure to listen and watch :clap: :sunglasses: :clap:…keep the song close to you :smiley: :sunglasses:

(And you let Maggie peeping out of her" bat cave"… you’re not going to get a better comments today :sunglasses: :smiley: :smile: )



Well played and sung Richard. Yes you captured a TW rawness in that performance. Well done.
Are you left handed? I suspect not as the writing on your wall certificates was backwards. :smiley: Check your camera video settings.

and a +1 for getting @batwoman out of her batcave. :+1:

1 Like

I am right-handed. The settings on my phone reversed it because I was doing it “selfie” mode at my desk. I forgot to scoot my keyboard over as well, :laughing:

Richard! Very nice: I really enjoyed this. I’ve been working on the “Heart of Saturday” lesson but haven’t tried singing it yet.

I too would love a for a Justin lesson on Time. One of my favorite songs (also, I lived for a long while East of East St. Louis where the wind is making speeches)

1 Like

His music is pure poetry. I am looking forward to hearing your take on it. I am lucky to have a little natural singing talent but it is very rough. It is a skill, like guitar, which can be improved upon but you are kinda stuck with the instrument (unless you take up lots of smoking and drinking like Tom Waits to make it like tires on gravel) I play it a little too fast and am trying to adjust. I have played it more than 100 times. I might have another 200 or 300 more to get it closer to perfect. Slow progress is still progress!


Yes, it’s pure poetry. I remember hearing Rain Dogs and Swordfishtrombones for the first time and thinking: what is this sh**? It was so different from anything I was accustomed to (80s pop, punk, and the rock god bands like Stones, Who, etc.). Tom Waits seemed genre-less.

And then the words. All the stuff about I rowed down to the gutter in the bloodbank & I left all my papers on the Ticonderoga & wondering how the same moon out over Singapore could look down on Illinois and find you there (and those words are from just one single song: Shore Leave)—it just seemed impossibly poetic and romantic.

I was in the Army at the time. I was a kid from Illinois stationed overseas, looking up at the moon. Tom Waits. Couldn’t believe it. It just hit me and never left.

Anyway, @Rqualls — if it helps: I have been working on my speed by using Justin as a metronome and genial guide. Especially that section of the video starting just after 11:45 where he walks through the chords and the strum through to where he sings “…once you’ve done your homework.” That’s only a minute or so, but I keep repeating and playing along. It’s slow and relaxing.

1 Like

Thanks, I will take another look at the video, i actually should give that a second look because I bought the lesson book to use for the tab to learn this because I had such a hard time with the intro. I have been working on dozens of things at once but this always got the most of my attention.

He cherishes the broken. I was a teen runaway living on the streets of Los Angeles and he so obviously understood me. His music helped me through some hard and scary times. It gave me hope and taught me to embrace my own version of humanity.

Funny that you mention that song, I also thought of those words about looking up at the same moon as my girl when I was in bootcamp, but I went TO Illinois (Great Lakes.) I did go to Sinagapore a little later, though.

For the intro, I made a little audio recording (voice memo on my phone) of Justin playing through the intro. That starts at 5:40 in the video. I play along with that while looking at the tab. FWIW, I bought a lesson book but I’m too myopic to look at the book while playing—everything is so tiny that it’s washed out blurry for me. So I started using the tab thing on the website (I think it’s a subscription; I can’t actually remember).

Anyway, I play the audio of Justin doing the intro while having the tab maximized full screen in front of me. It helps me get the timing. If I’m missing the melody and bass notes, I try to at least miss them in time!

Very cool that you thought about that moon in boot camp. I might have been in CA when you were there: I was stationed at Ft. Ord between deployments starting in 1985. Tom Waits helped me too through some difficult times—if I think back on it, I was in bad mental shape. Something about bands like The Replacements, The Minutemen, and some others (like Tom Waits) really anchored me in ways that I probably still haven’t figured out. There is something really tender in my favorite Tom Waits songs which might have something to do with it. Songs like Time and Hang Down Your Head. Pretty much anything on Rain Dogs.

You and I have very similar music taste, I think. The Misfits, Firehose, Fugazi, Bad Religion, rounded out with the Bee Gees, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, and Earth Wind and Fire, lol. My dad was in the Army and spent time at Fort Ord. Talked about how surprisingly cold he found it to be coming from Arkansas. He was mostly stationed at Fort Bragg with the 82nd Airborne as a medic for most of his time. He was lucky to serve in the Elvis era, and missed both Korea and Vietnam. I joined the Navy in 2000. I had lost my job and was about to be on the streets again and was nearly 30. I remembered how hard it was when I was young and was desperate to find reliable food and somewhat safe quarters. I worked on the F/A-18 Super Hornets on the aircraft carriers. I always was a bit of a hippy, so I had trouble fitting in well but actually made rank fast. I was E-5 within three and a half years die to being the first in my A school. I am nkt really smart, but VERY tenacious. Like a dog with a bone. It is most likely undoagnosed ADHD my wofe thinks but I have done my best to harness it.

You seem like a really awesome person. Thank you for the kind words and the excellent tips. The Tabs are an extra cost but I am ready to consider it. I am dragging my feet at the end of the third grade and quality tabs which I know that I can trust are important right now. I use Ultimate Guitar but it is really hit or miss with some of the submitted chords/tabs. I KNOW that Justin is gonna give quality stuff. Certainly worth the cost.

Thanks again, new friend. Have a great weekend!

I find the tabs helpful for fingerstyle stuff—but then again, it can be overwhelming. Like the lesson on Landslide (Fleetwood Mac) sometimes I go crosseyed looking at the tabs.

I kind of got excited about the Guitar Pro 8 software (there’s a lesson on that in Grade 3) and took the plunge. To my mind, the software is better than tabs because you can focus on a couple of bars at a time, play at the speed that you want, and you are kind of forced to keep up to time. It’s like animated tabs that you have control over.

When you search for songs on Ultimate Guitar, you sometimes find Guitar Pro files. The hit/miss caveats remain, but the only song that I’ve downloaded so far (Landlside!) is great. Justin also has Guitar Pro files available on certain lessons for free downloads, and his are spot on.

And Richard you made rank way better than me: I was in for four years and never got past E4. I never fit in either—I kind of hated it, although there were long stretches of those four years that I like a lot. Thank god no wars though when I was in.

Have a great weekend yourself!

BTW, here is a quick rundown about how to get Guitar Pro files off of Ultimate Guitar:

1 Like

Richard, this is a very nice performance and enjoyable listen.
If you know @batwoman, bringing her out of the cave speaks volumes as
to your performance. Very well done.
Nice to see you, Maggie!


@oldhead49 and very nice to see you too Dave. :smiling_face: If you were to post some of your magic music, I may be tempted to leave the cave for a short time. :bat:

1 Like

Thank you. I am gladnthat you liked it. It was a real challenge for me. I spent like a month just learning to make the Em7 sound out. My pinky finger is a bit of a wimp, but I am giving him the old Charles Atlas treatment and he will stop getting sand kicked in his face soon.