Notter's AVOYP - February 2023 - Slackstring (20th Feb); Green Day (17th Feb)

Continuing the consolidation saga for Grade 2 :wink:

I think I first started learning this 6 months ago as it’s a terrific song but actually far harder than I gave it credit for, there’s so much to think about!! I put this on my G2 list primarily for percussive hits but the barre chord workout is pretty intense too as it turns out, my thumb has doubled in strength practicing it!! A couple of small, not errors, but hesitations moving to E of all things, but otherwise I’m pleased to finally get this posted and take a break from it! :wink:

I think I need to work more on my percussive technique as I’m finding I’m hitting my index finger quite a bit on the stings when doing the hits, I’m presuming I need to try and bend my wrist a little more? Any thoughts here?

Thanks for listening! :guitar: :guitar:


That flowed well Mark a couple of missteps toward the end but nothing major. Your Barres look fine. The only thing I might suggest, and please correct me if wrong, is stay with whole songs to build stamina. I find sometimes the end of a song eats my finger positions, and it can almost fall apart. Thanks for sharing I enjoyed this. :smiley:

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Hello Mark,
Nice…What a dificult song to sing I can imagine :flushed: (for me this will never be possible) :sunglasses: :clap: :man_bowing:
And I saw you laughing in between :smiley: :sunglasses: … and as far as that index finger is concerned, just try to avoid it calmly and then it will get easier and easier, but after many months of practice I also very often hit the strings hard with my index finger … .but do people hear the difference? so don’t worry too much about it…

And how often when something that is difficult goes well, and then you BEEEP something that is very easy for you… :smile:

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Good progress Mark. Definitely not an easy song to sing but you did pretty well.

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Thanks guys!
@Malz - when you say stay with the whole song, as in during practice? I pretty much always do, although the last week or so as I’ve been starting recording this I have stopped when something’s gone dodgy! Not an unfair comment though :+1:

@roger_holland - that’s actually quite good to hear you still hit index finger! You’re totally right though in that I don’t think a difference can be heard, more about protecting my delicate finger! :rofl: Thank you for the kind comments!

@Rossco01 - Thank Jason, I really need to start using a capo and move around a little bit with what key I’m singing in to get to where my voice is a little more powerful, but I’ve been saying that to myself for months now! One day…

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Bravo Mark!! :clap::clap::clap: I think it overall sounds very good, only a few hesitations, as you say. I can’t give any advice on the percussive hit but I can say that this sounds what it should to me :blush:

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Thats a really hard performance for someone who just starting out. Bravo :sunglasses:

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If you may allow me a little tip, based on this comment: the song “Velha infancia” by tribalistas (a Brazilian song) is great for this. Just three chords you hold and release for 3 minutes. A great song and even a better “workout”.

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Really challenging song there Mark but you are definitely getting there. Keep at it and it will become smoother.

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That was great Mark, I enjoyed your version. Like you say, it’s was a real barre chord workout. Well done on that. Your percussive strum worked really well too along with an excellent vocal.

As for the tiny E chord fluffs near the end that you mentioned, the answer is don’t mention them. As soon as you point something out, people look and listen for what would probably have gone unnoticed.

Mal mentioned always practise whole songs. I second that and include whole songs in my routine. Of course you have to go over and over any tricky bits more often. I find my concentration goes near the end. Partly due to thinking “nearly there, no mistakes so far just don’t mess up now” and of course the inevitable happens.


@SILVIA @DarkWillowTM @adi_mrok :slight_smile: Appreciated as always!

@GreenRider @sairfingers I usually do always do full play throughs in practice, I think with this one it’s been going on for such a long time for me it lapsed a little, especially this last week or so as mentioned above but it remains very good advice to always keep in mind.

Fair point btw Gordon, I’ll not point out my own observed mistakes from now on!!

Sounds good to me Mark, and I thought the percussive hits were quite fine. That is definitely a workout for bar chords, but you did well.

Take a week or two away and then when you go back and try it again you may find that you’ve improved on this song after setting it aside for a bit. I love when that happens :slightly_smiling_face:

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Awesome work Mark! Barre chords are no joke, and well above grade 2 so we’ll played.

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A difficult song to play and sing but you did a superb job on it Mark. Some good skills on show and your barre chords looked really good. Great cover!

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@Mari63 i hear you, I’ve had that before where a break helps! Memory doing its thing in the background :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks @alexisduprey @Eddie_09 both of you have made me smile there :+1:


Hey Mark, good to see another vid of yours. Although I’ve got to admit I mostly listened to it with my AirPods while hanging the washing and just watched a bit.

Overall played well and your percussive hit sounded good. A couple of things I noticed which might or might not be relevant. One is that I could hear your strumming stop with chord changes. I’m not sure if that was intentional for the song but it was noticeable, maybe try to keep it going? Also I heard the tempo slow down when you went into the instrumental bit. Which again might have been on purpose?

Overall good and an enjoyable listen.

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Hi JK, thanks for listening, good to know I helped you through a mundane task! :joy:

I think what you’ve heard lines up with others comments with smoothness of the song overall, the breaks you’re hearing are more from strings muted as I’m moving the barre chords rather than strumming stopping, it is / it’s going to be a song that’ll take a lot of time to perfect. Tempo wise will just be me taking a breather rather than intentional!! Good to hear the feedback, thank you. Now go get the next load out of the machine :wink:

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Firstly, well done Mark. Your performance is already at a fair level, enjoyable to listen to.

Sure, work is required on a couple of the barre chord changes that are made over 3-5 frets, to make them quick and clean in time.

I’m guessing that you are hyper aware of those, perhaps have some inner dialogue just before making the change, and perhaps that causes some extra tension as you ‘gather yourself’ to make the jump up or down the neck. And paradoxically the more relaxed, loose you are the faster you will move.

Also remember to focus your eye on the fret you are moving towards.

The percussive hits sounded good bar one or two isolated moments. The only tip I can offer is to keep the strumming action as consistent as possible for the normal strum and the percussive hit. I find when I ever it wobbles for me if I focus on strumming through or past the strings to finish the down strum in the same place for normal and percussive it comes right (as right as I can play it) rather than thinking of it as a hit with the pick that stops the strumming action. Hope that makes some sense.

I have to amplify this point. I am still working on taming my inner dialogue when playing, especially performing, and this ‘don’t mess up now’ kills me every time. I’m not a neurolinguistic scientist, but my lay-person understanding is that this language pattern viz a mental instruction not to do something is almost an instruction to the brain to do it.

So something I am still working on his the mental inner-dialogue aspect of playing, trying to be as in the moment, as absorbed and in the zone of playing as I can possibly be with as little thinking and inner-dialogue about life the universe and everything as possible.

Great job and worth keeping this in the mix in a way that works for you to smooth the final rough edges.


Agreed David. It’s the same when I play golf. Out of bounds on the right, don’t slice this drive. Oh s***.:smiley:


Thanks for that breakdown @DavidP , very correct in your thoughts on the inner dialogue and the way I’m thinking when playing this.

Another analogy to add to Gordon’s golf comment is mountain biking, my other hobby. Especially on fast sections if you look at a tree you’re going to hit it so look where you want to be, all the time.

With this song in particular with so much going on in my head with the barres, hits and vocals there’s been times where some of it is done natural but my head is jumping around. When I go back to the song in earnest I’ll focus only on the playing, and get that as natural and relaxed as possible. It’s a really fun one all things considered.

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