My cover of “If You Could Read My Mind” by Gordon Lightfoot

Hi this is the latest song, fingerstyle, that I have got to a performance level (for video at least)
Not perfect but I wanted to post it here. I would say that this took a while, I started by learning the music slowly, keeping time by talking the lyrics at a steady time, slowly.
Did I mention I started slowly? By doing this I find you get an improvement day on day, until you suddenly start playing it through confidently, no mistakes
Then before you know it you are videoing yourself and posting it on YouTube!
Any comments for improvement very welcome


Hi Michael,

that was a beautiful rendition of this song, I enjoyed the listen a lot! :smiley: :clap:

I imagine this to be quite difficult to play and sing at the same time, so it’s beyond me to offer any advice on improvement from technical perspective. Only thing I want to add: Please don’t aspire “perfection” in the performance, because (at least for me) I will suck out the emotion and the human feeling out of the tune. :slight_smile:

This song lives by emotions and the feel, you put all into it, playing and singing wise, so no big deal to maybe mute a string or miss a pluck on rare occasion. :slight_smile:
I really like your singing voice, it fits this song very well.

Thanks also for sharing your way to achieve this. Going slow in the beginning is probably key here. Talking lyrics instead of singing them first I will keep in mind - good advice! :smiley:

Thanks for sharing this one!


Hello Mike, thanks so much for giving me some really enjoyable minutes. I’m sitting on my veranda, it’s a wonderfully calm Summer evening, and I’m listening to your song for the third time already :hugs:.

You’ve clearly put a lot of time and effort in this song and it definitely paid off.
Picking and singing simultaniously is such a challenging task. Congratulations, you did so well :+1::clap::smiley:!

Although it’s a beautiful picking pattern, I enjoyed that you used a different one from time to time. This kept the melody interesting throughout.
I also like your smile at the very end, clearly showing that you’re happy with your performance. And you absolutely can be happy with it.
Thanks a lot for sharing :hugs:.


Hi Mike!
Lovely rendition & beautifully done! I agree with Lisa & Nicole’s comments above so won’t repeat them but would like to add that after your video finished, the next in the queue was your version of Don McLean’s “Vincent”… I enjoyed it immensely!!! Just curious, do you play either on your acoustic? I for one would love to hear an “Unplugged” take of either number! Thank you for the listen!



Very enjoyable Mike. What a great performance. Hard to really nitpick anything mate.
The guitar tone and voiced matched perfectly, and the playing was top notch - very clean, nice touch, and flowed very rhthmically. Obviously lots of work to get it to that level.
You have to be proud of that one mate mate, cos you’ve produced a good one there. :+1:

Cheers, Shane

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Hi Tod
Thanks for your comments, my guitar is a kind of hybrid acoustic electric so I’m kind of stuck with the sound but I’m happy with it. If you really love a song I guess that the best starting point.
Thanks again for listening I really appreciate it.

Thanks Shane it’s great to hear!

Hi Nicole you’re right I did enjoy it. I can’t play it live though my hands shake too much!

Thanks so much Lisa you are right perfection is for a few, good enough is fine for me!

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That was excellent Mike! I’ve been working on that song on and off for a long time. I think it is one of the songs I ruined for my wife through too much repetition. :thinking:

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Well I don’t have that problem because my wife hates my guitar playing! Finger on strings are like fingernails down a blackboard for her, so she never listens to my practice!

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Great job, Mike :slight_smile:

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Sounded really beautiful Mike!! Great playing and singing.
We are in the same boat, my wife hates me playing guitar as well :rofl:

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Hi Mike, really enjoyed listening to this. Thought you did a great job playing and singing and you looked so relaxed while doing so. :clap: :clap: :clap:

A most enjoyable rendition, Mike. Thanks for sharing.

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Sounds like a new club in the making!

Hi Alan yes it’s the case I’m relaxed at home but when I tried this at an open mic, I could hardly get started because my fingers were shaking so much!

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A wonderful rendition of an all time classic.

I can sympathize with that Mike, had it happen to me too, fingerpicking countryblues that I had played often to myself.

There is no reason not to keep trying. If you are allowed several songs at the Open Mike, play a simpler one first, that you have done at an open Mike before, just to get going. It also helps if you have a buddy guitar or bass player to pull you through the rough times fingerpicking as you keep singing. Mostly the audience will not notice that you drop a few bars here and there.

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I can relate to your feelings of anxiety. I had a guitar at work and a colleague asked me to play, resulting in my mind going completely blank over what to play and fretting hand very shaky. I was only strumming but much admiration to those people that do a finger style song live, with the added complexity. Would be great to see you perform live and I hope you can work through performing anxiety. For the future if I work towards an OM I plan to do some private zooms with friends to see if I overcome my anxiety. Maybe something that could be helpful for you? Good luck with it.


Thank you for a beautifully played cover of one of Gordon Lightfoot’s fabulous songs! Loved it, well sung and played!

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