Michael’s cover of Crazy Mama by JJ Cale

Very nicely done :clap: I find the blues shuffle riffs technique difficult, I’ve got it as part of my practice routine now and it’s finally sounding half decent (sort of :grimacing:) you seem to have a nice steady rhythm with it, well played :v:

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Nice one, Michael! You had that shuffle rhythm down, my friend! I could hear the train a’coming! :wink: :smile: :+1: Good write up too and, like you say, vocals are real tricky to focus on until the guitar becomes automatic. Makings of a super fun song, I bet it will be great fun to play along with the Guitar Club. Cheers! :clap: :sunglasses:

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Hello Michael, that’s really a nice one :smiley:. I like the shuffle rhythm. Haven’t worked on it myself, but look forward to :slightly_smiling_face:.
Your strumming sounded very steady :clap:.
Wish you lots of fun at the performance with your guitar club :star_struck:.

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You had a great shuffle beat going on there Michael. Well done
I think with a song that has a very monotonous chord progression and strum pattern the answer would be to inject more dynamic and feeling into the vocal. You were holding back and not letting yourself go.
What were you staring at? The lyrics, the chord sheet? Getting a song off by heart really helps with confidence levels.
As you said, the original has a lead guitar riff going on throughout which keeps the dynamic going.

By concert time you’ll have it cracked. :smiley:


This sounds vey nice Michael! I hope you feel ready for your concert as this recording should give you confidence I think :blush:

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Got the shuffle rhythm going well but it did sound a bit monotonous as sairfingers said. I am not at a level to suggest how to make it sound less so.

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Hi Michael,
Recording and posting a song is definitely the best way to improve, and you’ve already done your own analytic, add Gordon’s advice / tip and come definitly back with this song at a later time :sunglasses:


Thanks all for your feedback

Lee @Chazzo78

Strangely for me I found the shuffle rhythm fairly easy to learn. I think as I have been doing Justin’s Strumming SOS course where you are encouraged to have at least five strumming patterns I have sort of got used to learning a new pattern fairly quickly.

Jeff @nzmetal

Yes, a straightforward song, nice country blues type number. Making the singing better when playing is something I definitely need to work on.

Nicole @NicoleKKB

Thanks yes, it is easy song that is going to be the first one we will play at the concert.

Gordon @sairfingers

Yes, the song is a bit monotonous when just one guitar is playing, and you don’t have that twangy electrical guitar playing over the top.

Interesting you mentioned staring, I sort of became aware of it when recording. Only have my iPad so you have to have the screen in front of you. Didn’t have the chord sheet in front of me, as it was not necessary and didn’t really have to look at the chord changes, so what do you do? Often on TV when somebody is being interviewed in the street, they tend not to look at the camera but at the interviewer, wonder if that would be better.

Silvia @SILVIA

Thanks, yes, I think I am just about ready for the concert, we have one more practice session the day before.

Nice easy song so we are going to do this first.

Trevor @skinnyt

Not sure I know enough on how to make it less monotonous with just one guitar, no chord changes in the verse. However, with a bass player, more guitars, especially electric and a drummer it does sound a lot better, I hope.

We are also going to repeat verse 1 and play it at a slightly faster tempo than the original.

Roger @roger_holland

Yes, all helpful comments, if you don’t record yourself and be honest about your own performance and what needs work then it is difficult to progress.

Sort of song that you can put in your campfire repertoire as not a lot to remember.

Michael :+1::grinning:


Hi Michael, you’re making great progress and look well on your way to performing in the concert.

With the shuffle riff you could add in some variations. Check out this lesson. When playing with chords I think J J Cale adds in some embellishments. Justin’s Grade 3 chord explorer is a good one to experiment with for spicing things up a little.

Keep up the good work.


James @Socio

Thanks for the link to the lesson on riff variations, that would certainly improve things if you are just playing by yourself.

I was aware that there was the older classic course but assumed that all the lesson in some way would be incorporated into the new course but had a look and could not find it, perhaps just missed it.

Tried the variation with the little finger, no luck, I have trouble stretching my ring finger to get near the fret, I am doing some of Justin’s stretching exercise so maybe one day. However some of the other variations look possible.

Still on grade 2 so not come across the chord explorer lesson yet


Nicely done Michael. You had a nice shuffle going on there.

Also, good luck with your summer concert. I bet that will be a blast.

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Thanks Stefan @SgtColon
Concert is on Wednesday, final group practice the day before so not long now.

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Inspiring stuff - so tricky to sing over the shuffle strum. Will have to try to learn this great JJ Cale song.

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Paul @PaulPGlasziou
First of all welcome to the community. :grinning:
Thanks for the compliment. When I started to learn and joined the community at the beginning of last year I was persuaded to sing as well as play by some prominent members of the community and I am very pleased they did. My singing still needs a lot of work to sound decent but I am working on it. I find it a big help in learning songs by associating chord changes with the lyrics. Although not really necessary with this song.

Thanks Michael. I’ve been doing Justin’s lessons for a while, but hadn’t checked out the community before - it’s great!
And having fun listening and trying out versions of Crazy Mama, eg JJ Cale’s is yours with Capo on 2, but yours is easier to sing :wink:

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Paul @PaulPGlasziou

Must confess I had not come across JJ Cale until we did some Blues songs for the guitar club summer concert and the group I was in did four, see below.
It was decided by the two main singers in the group not to use a capo as it suited their voices better.

Must find some time to check out some others of his to add to my repertoire.
Michael :notes:

Hi Mike,

I really like this song, and you have the shuffle groove down pat. Well done! The original has a few upstrokes on the high strings to break through the monotony of the shuffle, maybe something to look into. And yes, at some point when you are in your comfort zone whilst playing, work a little on the dynamics in the singing. Even if it is a two verse song, J.J. Cale is telling a story about a relationship there, which is a mixture (as it always is with him) of irony and male (ego) suffering.

Anyway, its definately a song on my revisit/improve myself list, so thank you for reminding me of the song!

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Tjeerd @TRJ
Thanks for your comments, as you say you need a bit more going on to sound good, at the concert there was an electric guitar playing over the top of the acoustic guitars.
It was a bit of test for me on the shuffle riff/ rhythm and it does need a bit of variation. James @Socio was kind enough to point to a lesson on the old classic course which introduces variations to the notes played. On my to do list but not quite got to near the top yet.

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Well done, Michael, solid guitar and able to sing over that riff. Good progress.

And once you have that under the fingers you can consider Before You Accuse Me as another that has a similar vibe.


Thanks David @DavidP
Interestingly you mention Before You Accuse Me it happens to be sixth on my to do list after I have progressed sufficiently on the songs I am learning at present.
Must apply more control to my To Do list as it seems to longer each day!