Michael’s Brown Eyed Girl Cover - Ver 2 - with vocals this time

Well I have been promising for some time to post up some of my Grade 1 songs so here we go with the first one.

I intended this to be a test as I hope at some time in the future to do a song at a Community OM.

So, I set a time one evening when I knew the house would be quiet. Having not played the guitar that day I tuned up and did a quick sound check. I am using my iPad and have had issues in making sure the volume of playing and singing are right so one doesn’t drown out the other, not sure I have got it right yet. I did make a start but noticed that my tuner was still on and flashing, potential putting me off, so I stopped switched it off, lesson learned there then.

So, this is virtually one take and not the best of twenty takes, so a good exercise in playing when you need to. I have done my first gig as part of a group at the Guitar Club Christmas Concert in front of the audience so have a little experience in having to play NOW.

So, what did I think of it myself?
• I am sure I have played and sung better but overall; I was quite pleased with my effort.
• Perhaps played it a bit fast but I tend to do that.
• Looking back, I played all the chords I intended and in the right order
• Singing well, it is what it is, I have been taking lessons and if I had tried this before any lesson it would have been embarrassing.
• I am sure you will have noticed I didn’t play open chords, had a Capo on the second fret, I am told it suits my voice a better, I will take my singing teachers word on that.
• Yes, I have completed Strumming SOS Grade 1 and I know I don’t move my arm as much as I should based on this course, it just doesn’t work for me. I don’t rotate the arm it is just mostly wrist. I did post this up and got this response from the ‘man’ so I sort of have a get out of jail card.



Jan 16

The ‘truth’ lies between the two - but I suggest beginner start with the arm and then later build wrist movement. I feel that the arm movement helps a lot with getting into the groove and building good muscle memory! But using the wrist is fine too - especially when things get faster! :slight_smile: J
So overall I was quite pleased and makes me want to do some more and hopeful get to do an OM in the future.

All comments good or bad welcome as I am very much at the start of the learning curve part way through Grade 2.



Well done Michael on putting yourself out there. It’s not an easy thing to do and it’s also a huge step. I thought you did really well, as singing and playing at the same time is not easy to do. I also agree with your self assessment in that you know what you did well and also your work on’s. That’s the only way to make progress and you are definitely improving and on the right track. Great job and keep up the good work!

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Michael, I still remember your first video, yes it was a bit fast, but the key thing to me was you have made progress. Though to be honest I was expecting you to throw in the opening riff as I know its within your capabilities having followed your progress since you joined the community. You did give us vocals this time around so I will let you off the hook this time. As @Eddie_09 has said your self assessment is spot on and you know what you need to work on to take it to the next level (include the intro riff please for the next update). Keep up the good work, you are on the right track.


Very well done.
I am enjoying your excellent playing and progress!!!

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Bravo, Michael.

You played well through the verses and chorus. I think the phrasing of the lyrics to fit the strumming is not easy and you kept it flowing. So a solid foundation to build on, and one to keep in your repertoire.

The one thing I think may need some attention is the part with the pumping 8s strumming on the D chord. I think it runs 3 bars and you may be a few down strums short to play the full three bars and the transition back to the Old Faithful patter (which was rocking along).

Keep on keeping on and keep on progressing!

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Good stuff Michael, well done. In your intro post you’ve self-identified the things you need to work on so you’re certainly on the right track with knowing how to take this and other songs forward.
We’ve talked on another thread about getting the vocal/guitar balance right when using a phone or tablet and I think you had it spot on.
The thing I suggest you also work on is your phrasing. Your vocal and strum pattern was very much 1 2 3&4. Some variation on that would really help the song dynamic.
I look forward to version 3. :+1:

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I appreciate your detail in approaching the experience and takeaways from it. You seem well connected to areas you’d like to focus on in the future. It’s great to have record of where we’re all starting from. Great idea to show the same song over time.

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Hi and great job recording yourself, especially if you didn’t take more takes to capture that.

This isn’t the easiest song to sing and play so the bar is pretty high already and you took a very good shot at that bar.

Steady rhythm and changes but indeed, try slowing down a bit.

You are rushing a bit and it forces you to sing a vocal melody that is very much tied with your strumming accents, keeping you from giving more attention to accurate singing pitch. That said, you show promising results in being able to sing and play together and you can build upon what is there.

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Thanks for your comments just on my way out for the rest of the day will respond in detail when I get back

Some good comments already posted above, congratz on your recording you did really well in my opinion! I wouldn’t worry about the lack of arm movement in that fast strumming scenario as your movement was more economical and is something I would do too.

And to overcome this:

Just play alongside the original as much as you can and you should align pace wise with the original by default

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Hello Michael, and congratulations on your AVOYP :clap: :+1: . You’re progressing really well.

‘Brown Eyed Girl’ is such a nice song. I also play it from time to time, and it’s real fun :smiley: .
Although, I’m not able to play the intro yet.

There was really nice strumming in your version. A bit to fast, maybe, but steady.
Singing it, is a challenge on it’s own. I’m still struggeling with the lyrics.

Just one tiny thing, I recognized, is your capo being placed in the middle of the fret. Wouldn’t it sound better, if it were closer to fret 2? With my guitar, this makes a huge difference.

Keep on the good work, Michael :smiley: .

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You are off to a rockin’ good start sir. Full credit and kudos for listing your video on Youtube for a general audience.

Well done Michael!! :clap:

And congratulation on your first AVOYP!
Steady nice strumming, maybe it can be taken down a little bit in tempo?

Very good performance, keep it up :+1:

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Eddie @Eddie_09

Thanks for the comments, I was long overdue posting something, being so involved in other guitar things I kept putting it off and it wasn’t until I set myself a target of doing it at a particular time that it happened. I think you learn an awful lot from that challenge, like that and you can see how you are really doing. Could have done twenty takes and I am sure it would have been better, but if you want to play in front of people you cannot do that.

James @Socio
You either have an excellent memory or the tag system works. Yes, that first version was nearly twelve months ago – how time flies.
You mention the intro riff, you know it never crossed my mind about playing it, I haven’t done that in a long time, might get around in the not too distant future a short Version 3 with the riff. The cutaway guitar I bought was so I could play a lot further up the fretboard. In my defence I have been concentrating on learning lots of new chords as you do in Grade 2, improving my strumming, learning songs and theory, that riffs have dropped down the pecking order, I am sure they will come back when I get onto blues licks.

Thanks Rene @ReneAsologuitar
Like to think I am making progress.

David @DavidP

Thanks, as I said I was pleased with my effort but far from perfect.
You are right the 8th note lead up to Sha la was a bit short when I look back, but I do not quite play as Justin lesson, I put one bar of OF before the 8th note but I think you are right it is still a bit short.

Gordon @sairfingers

Thanks for your comments and as you say we have had a dialogue in the community about recording guitar and singing with just an iPad and your advice was much appreciated. Have tried making the adjustment we discussed and recording small parts of a song for a while and must say this recording was about the best balance I have had, bit lucky on that score. Still think later in the year going to disappear down the rabbit hole of AI etc.

You are right the phrasing of the lyrics didn’t match the original there is a definite gap in the middle of each line of lyrics, as I was playing so fast it didn’t just happen. I know that is my issue with this song and have got it better in the past.

I am about to start on Grade 2 of the new strumming course and in that there is a lot about dynamics.


I agree the best way to improve if you are not taking face to face lessons is recording and doing some honest self-assessment.

Lieven @LievenDV

Thanks, yes timing was an issue, I have played and sung at a much better tempo but doing this I realised I was too fast but didn’t want to stop as that was not what I had challenged myself to do.


Adrian @adi_mrok

Thanks yes I did get a bit uptight about my lack of arm movement going through Grade 1 new Strumming Course, I was fine when I was just doing the patterns and changing chords but as soon as I did a song, it went to more wrist. Just accepted that is how I strum and as you say as you progress you come across patterns and timings that mean you cannot do too much arm movement, already encounted this in some songs I am working on.

I used to play along with the App but of course this song was removed for licensing reasons, but yes, I will give the original a go.

Nicole @NicoleKKB

Thanks, as you say it is a nice beginner’s song. If I was learning it now, I think I would finger the G chord differently, fingers 2, 3 and 4 or even just 3 and 4.

Your comments are about the position of the Capo are noted and will try it closer to the fret but don’t know if it just my hand but when I play the C chord my knuckle goes beyond the fret and in the past I have touched it, which it is that far back. But will move it a bit closer than on the video.

Clint @CT
Thanks for your comment.

Trond @tRONd

As you say the fast tempo is an issue but if you know that is a problem then you can work on it.

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Nicely played, Mat. I think it’s good to do a self assessment when you’re learning something, and you’ve done a good job identifying sone areas to work on. And I’m particularly happy to see that you recognized what you did well, too, there’s generally always something to learn but there’s also something that we did fine!! I actually thought your strumming was fine, and Justin’s given some pointers but didn’t at all say it wasn’t fine! For my input I would agree with the couple of comments about the phrasing of the lyrics, and slowing it down might help with that. You can also use an app that will change the key so you can play and sing along with the original, but in the key you want. The original can sound funny if your key is too far off, but you’re pretty close to the original key. I use the free version of Anytune (which is also a slow downer app). It’s quite impressive though that you’re managing singing and playing this one!


Hi Michael
All things have been mentioned by yourself or your tips have been suggested and celebrated by the others, so it only remains for me to pat you on the back and say ‘great job’ :smiley: and had a great procces already … :sunglasses: :clap: :sunglasses: :partying_face:

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Matt well done. I suggest starting the sos 2 . I am on that now and I am in the very beginning of that course now so we will see how I do . I plan on posting a new video soon.

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Mari @Mari63

Thanks for the encouragement.
Interesting what you say about singing in the right key, which is why I started to use a Capo and start moving it around.
Have a look at the software you suggested and have downloaded, looks interesting.

Roger @roger_holland

Thanks for you comments, as you say plenty of advice from the Community.

Jeff @Jwaters

I think I am ready for Grade 2 strumming but in fairness have already had a look at some of the lessons, in particular those related to blues as I need them for what we are doing at the guitar club.

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I am on grade 2 but I slowed up with that so I can concentrate on strumming sos course 2 for now. I just posted my video of me doing Pearl Jam black take a look . I put it in beginners safe space.

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