March 2023 (#2 added 5th) (What’s So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding (Elvis Costello), Gold (Handsome Family)

I am still a beginner in grade 2 but about to bounce into grade 3 soon. This song is named Gold, and is by the Handsome Family. There are no curse words but a mention of the main character being shot in case that is upsetting for some.

Sorry it took a while. We had some wild weather here in North Texas this week. Had to replace some boards on the old fence!

I am currently working on my F chord and this song uses it pretty prominantly so this one seemed to be a good one to appropriately challenge me.

I have only been at this one for a week or so and really wanted to learn it better but I was told to show my warts, so here they are. :laughing: I am so nervous when I know I am being recorded that I make more mistakes but feel it is important to force myself to face that more. Good practice for the campfire.

#2 March 2023 (#2 added 5th) (What’s So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding (Elvis Costello), Gold (Handsome Family) - #4 by Rqualls


Great work.
I will say, singing with your playing is the best thing to do, as this develops your own style, especially the “right hand” strums and percussive styles (so many, and this is where the soul and the spirit of the song comes from.
Excellent playing, and love this recording.

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Thank you for the kind words and encouragement! I am really enjoying the journey.

I really love this song. This writer has a knack for making ugly things seem incredibly beautiful.

(What’s So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding - Elvis Costello

A local Dallas blues band covered this and slowed this down and redid it recently and I really liked it. It reminded me of how much I also loved the original (well, actually, it is also a cover of a song that Elvis Costello sped up) and what a great message it gives right now.

I am not sure if it is just my phone but I am using the app playalong for this and some words were big and others were small. Made for an extra challenge :laughing:

Seems funny that the C chord is probably still my toughest chord, pretty equal with the F chord. I am trying to do songs that challenge me amd stretch out my fingers. I learned fast but my body needsnto catch up.

Have a great weekend!


Hey Richard well done at stepping out of the shadow and sharing recordings with us! You did really good, your right hand was pretty consistent and seems you are getting on well with the F chord so good stuff! My recommendation would be to while practicing to slow down the song, I felt because of lack of enough practice you had moments of hesitation while changing chords which was throwing you out of time here and there. Try slower, build up your speed until you reach original speed. Keep up the good work! :+1:

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Great suggestion. I usually do that with the songs on the app but have not done it with this song.

Thank you!

:clap: :clap: :clap:
Well done on making recordings and sharing, Richard. You are making good progress, keep working at the strumming and chord changes, and it will continue to become more relaxed. No obvious issues to work on, just keep on keeping on.

I did a little Mod editing on your Topic title and edited the link to the second song for Mar.

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Thank you. Once singing got involved, it made things a little more sloppy but it is getting better. Sometimes I feel the music more and it all starts to gel.

Thank you for correcting the issues with the post.

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Ahhh… the Handsome Family song finally lands :smiley:
Well done for taking the plunge, recording and sharing, not just one but two! :smiley:
The good news: You have a nice fairly consistent strumming action going (incl. barre chords) and are able to sing in tune over it. You’ve broken the back of the main problem facing most beginners.
From here on in it’s all just practice, practice, practice. You’ll take it as far as you like.
The fact that you can smile/roll your eyes at missed chord changes and keep on going will stand you well. I think you’ll be a decent performer once you know the songs without aids and are able to sing to an audience or into the camera. Don’t rush it though. All the time in the world.
I thought you were more competent on Gold but that may be partly bias. If you have a capo, try putting it on the 2nd or 3rd fret to see if it is more comfortable for your register. I wondered whether the ‘understanding’ part went a bit low?
Keep on doing whatever you’ve been doing. It’s serving you well. :sunglasses:

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As I get more experience, I care less about my mistakes and such. I have three young kids, so being uncomfortable is kinda what life is for me now.

I need a lot more practice and luckily I am a big fan of it. I have replaced most of my tv time with practice, so not much of a loss. I will take the advise to slow things down, not just to take my time but to slow the tempo until I am getting things perfect.


Hi Richard,
Congratulations on your first …two videos :sunglasses: :partying_face: :clap:. You have already received all the good tips, so I wish you a lot of fun practicing :sunglasses:

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Congratulations on your first AVOYP postings Richard.

Both songs were nicely done. The only comment I would like to add is, try to stop looking over at your fretting hand if you can. I’m sure if you’re ending grade 2 that it is just a habit now. Trust in yourself. :+1:

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Thank you. Your comment about me still looking at my hand is very well received. I actually just noticed this because I am alternating standing and sitting while practicing and I have found that it is more difficult to look while standing. I also noticed that I didn’t really need to but you are correct that I am still clingong to a habit that I should be more actively working to avoid.

Thank you again for taking the time to look. Posting videos is very hard to do for me. However, even though it is only guitar adjacent, this is really good practice for me as well. Being able to share my playing and get what I feel is an honest but not cruel critique is pricless to me.

Hey @Rqualls, you are doing amazing considering your level!

One bit of suggestion from me:

Before each chord change, you are making an effort to strum the chord, then you are lifting your left hand to play the next chord. When you lift your hand, the sound suddenly stops.

To prevent this, you can lift your hand before strumming the chord for a last time. Therefore you would be strumming open strings once before playing the next chord. It should feel more fluid that way.

You may give it a try to see if you like it.

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Two good performances there Richard. Lots of good advice already given by others so I’ll just say well done and I look forward to more in the future.

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Great advice, thank you! I will try that.

I seem to remember Justin mentioning that several lessons back. I love finding these easy fixes.

Thanks again!

Yes, it was mentioned in a Justin lesson.

I tried your rhythm pattern with it.

I think your last one is a down strum. I would play that with the chord down as you do, and I would add one up strum after it with open strings.

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