Only Living Boy in New York - cover

Working on this one. Strumming pattern not quite there yet, and tend to strum too harshly I think. Any feedback appreciated.



Such a beautiful song, and I love your cover of it. I would like to hear the vocals a bit louder, so maybe that’s where you’re feeling the strumming is too harsh. I thought you played really well, and I love the vocals too.

1 Like

Thanks - you’re very kind. It’s definitely a work in progress, but fun to play.

1 Like

I don’t think your strumming is harsh Rod. It has a fluidity and movement that supports the atmosphere of the song. Perhaps you could make your strumming more dynamic by accentuating some beats, playing a little louder in places, playing a little softer in others. You might also like to experiment with playing just the bass notes or just the top three strings in places and varying the volume with these too.

1 Like

Thanks - 100% agree with all you have said. Once off and strumming I tend to forget about accentuating beats and dynamics. Just focused on the rhythm and the changes. Will keep working on it. The bass-line tip is great also.

1 Like

Congrats on a first share in AVOYP, Roderick. Your experience and ability shows through in a relaxed, easy on the ear performance.

Strumming didn’t seem harsh in the action to me. If the tone seemed a little bright then maybe think about how you are contacting the strings. Not sure if you were strumming with a pick or finger? If a pick maybe try a different material, maybe a heavier pick and connect more gently?

But it didn’t sound harsh to me.

Like Mari, I’d have liked to hear the vocal a little louder. Not sure how you made the audio for this video. If with a phone then not much that can be done. If you were using the condensor to pick up both guitar and vocal then experimenting with its position may help with the balance. I notice the mic is inverted and is around head high. Given its pickup pattern it would tend to be picking up the guitar more strongly than the voice. Perhaps flipping it, raising it, and bringing in a little closer may help.

Enjoyed your performance and look forward to more.

Oh and noted the guitar collection … sweet.

1 Like

Congrats on your first AVoYP Rod. Vibes from me for that.
One of my favourite S&G songs and that was a lovely version, beautifully sung. There is some difficult phrasing in there which you coped with really well.

Regarding the ‘harsh’ strumming. ‘Harsh’ is not the right word. What I think it is is too many up strum hits on the high e (first) string. Because of the high pitch of that string it is tending to dominate your sound.
Try to miss that string on some of your up strums and try to emphasise the low E and A strings on more of your down strums. That will reduce what you perceive as ‘harsh’ and make your strumming sound ‘sweeter’.

I really enjoyed your performance, well done and I look forward to more.

1 Like

Really good performance, nice one Rod!

Like others I think your strumming is not harsh, looks quite good. The sound is bright though, which might not be your preference.

Take to heart what @DavidP suggested about picks. I use Tortex and even in the same size and material, a pointy end is bright and rounded end is warm.

Another thing to consider is strings - if you’re using 80/20 and want a warmer sound, try phosphor bronze.

It’s clear you’ve nailed this song - well done mate.

1 Like

Hi Rod,
You should be very proud of such a first video … very well done :sunglasses:

1 Like

Thanks David - it was a medium pick but maybe gripping a bit too tightly and digging in a little. Just used the iPad mic so not the best sound. Will put in a little more work and re-record with the condenser mic and pick-up.

1 Like

Thanks so much - great feedback. Will try your suggestions. Sairfingers is a great name too. Reminds me of the famous Scottish poem. “Ye’ve hurt a yer fingers - puir wee man.”

1 Like

Thanks - loving all the sound advice in this community. Much appreciated.

1 Like

Thanks Roger - it is very illuminating to record video and audio. You learn a lot about what can be improved.

Congratulations on your first AVOYP post Rod and what a great way to start.

Great playing and singing. I didn’t think your strumming was harsh at all. Overall I thought it was an excellent performance.

I did notice though, I think you might be suffering with a bit of GAS. :smiley:

1 Like

Thanks SgtColon for your comments - appreciate all the kindness. The guitar collection has taken almost 40 years to put together. First was the Yamaha acoustic which I bought in 1984 with 100 pounds from my student grant that year. One of the best investments of my life along with lessons from Tom C. Cleary (Dundonian legend). Then the classical which is a low-end in terms of price but sounds great with the spruce top. The electric I got from my son when he bought a nicer guitar for himself. Finally the Breedlove acoustic was a 50th birthday present to myself. I love the richness of sound from it - great for fingerpicking.

1 Like