Pkboo3’s Songs from the Archives

I’m going to attempt to pull my songs from the original forum. Hopefully can finish by the deadline. I plan on pulling informative critiques from all of the comments for reference and continual learning. Someone let me know if I’m posting in the wrong place or incorrectly, please. Also, if you prefer I take any of your comments out.

Mar 8, 2017

This was my first post. I still love playing this. It is so fun. I changed some things because I couldn’t play with the original.

Some forum critiques were to speed it up, add dynamics (jono, chix2); (loefgren - “play/sing louder/softer, mix up the strumming pattern, not strum all the strings all the time, etc.”)

Other comments:
Trying w/capo on frets one or two to sing higher.
Compliments on singing through the “hiccups”. (loefgren)

I loved this comment by @Richard_close2u, “It is almost purposely, post-ironically low-key and low-fi and laid-back to make a point. The point I want to make is that you capture the essence of a great song in stripped down form, and deliver in a unique and individual way.”

Oh and from my first comment from Justin:!

“Great cover PK!

Your voice suits the song and it’s real vibey and cool!

I only heard one little blooper but you kept going and so it’s hardly noticeable :)

One thing you might want to try and experimenting with dynamics a bit more and maybe have a section where you strum less - just the pattern stays the same a long time y’know.

But I do think next time you should get some cool style glasses or hat!!

Very well done - confident cover.”


These are songs two and three out of three times I’ve posted the same song. I posted twice because one was an older one and with the intro; and the other was the current one, but in it I forgot the intro.

3 Apr 2017

Comments/critique: @DavidP “…did hear changes in strumming pattern. Not as much in terms of dynamics … “. ‘’ In terms of the phrasing of some of the words my sense is a few were stretched out to fit strumming pattern. Stretch may be to deliver those words faster while keeping the strumming going.“

Other comments on the video I left out, was that I had improved; but that I need to work on tempo because I was slow on one verse and faster on the chorus.

4 Apr 2021


My favorite comment from @batwoman

“ Pam you’ve achieved so much with this, perhaps most of all finding the courage to put yourself out there. You play fluently, your singing makes me melt and you present with a warmth, honesty, humility and humour that’s endearing. Your speaking voice and chat is as lovely as your singing. You’re gaining skills with recording and video editing. Can you imagine 3 years ago you’d be doing this and doing it so well?

My wish for you is that you believe in yourself a whole heap more. I sure do.

I wonder would it help to know that your music brings other so much pleasure?”

From @CT:
“The song is a bit of a bummer normally, but your vocals brightened it up to make it somewhat hopeful…”

“Yeah, the lyrics truly are quite sad. And I’ve forgotten the emotion that should go with it. However your uplifting comments make me contemplate whether I should keep with the hopeful feeling or work at bringing the true feeling back into it. So thanks for that. Something to ponder on.

CT: “Don’t get me wrong, this song needs a little fresh air and some sunshine. Your version provided a glimmer of hope (to my mind and ears). I prefer it to those that are dripping with sorrow and overbearing anguish…”

Mic advice from David: “My only suggestion would be to experiment a little with your mic orientation. You have it pointing at the 12th fret which is working wonderfully for the guitar but perhaps compromising the vocal a little.

When using a single mic for guitar and vocal I’ve noticed people usually angle the mic up a little more, perhaps to a midpoint between mouth and guitar, maybe even more towards the mouth.

I’ve also noticed often the mic is upside, perhaps level with the mouth and angled down toward the guitar. I think this is due to the greater sensitivity of such a mic being above and around the front, sides, and above the mic.”

20 Apr 2017
Somethin’ Stupid #1


  • slow it down to improve chord changes, supplement with some one-minute-change drills on the more challenging changes.

  • playing it a bit more gently and having a bit more accent on the “ones and threes” might make quite a difference.

4 May 2017
Somethin’ Stupid #2
I tried to incorporate earlier advice, but still had trouble on the chord changes. GRRR!


  • Fourtwo “Really nice job Pam, your voice is right on the pitch all the way through and strumming is very steady. You might want to try a little syncopation with the strumming to vary the pace a little although that might be a little overambitious at this stage.”

I tried syncopation. It was fun! But I will have to work on it. A couple of chord changes got a little harder to keep the rhythm when I tried it! But I’ll keep practicing that. It really changed the mood of the song.



Hey all! I have wanted to redo this one with suggestions given to me in my previous posts! I say posts, as in plural, because as I began to type this, I decided to look back at my old post and realized that I’ve already posted this song twice before; not once but twice! Oh me, I didn’t realize that! But, oh well! I’ve already done it, put a lot of time and effort in it, so here it is one more time!

I also want to thank @LBro for his assistance in helping me with the audio mix. He is such a gem to be so willing to help out. So, to you, LBro, I thank you so much!

I wanted to redo this song to see if I could improve and apply the advice I have been given, i.e., to try syncopation, to accent beats 1 & 3, to play softly and less choppy… I hope those listening can hear an improvement and I will appreciate constructive critique as you see fit once more.

The video is a work in progress also and I have much to learn in that area. So, the syncing of vocal/strumming/singing is going to be off.

Tip Concerning Video Recording

  • David: “maybe the guitars could be pulled a couple of dB down to make the vocal that little bit more dominant in the mix. But that is a matter of taste and the overall sound you were working to achieve.”

Tip Concerning Vocals

  • LievenDV “Your voice gets more beautiful (to my ears) as you go higher. [:blush:]
    Have you tried singing this standing up, properly putting your feet on the ground, making sure the back of your head pulled but so your back is straight and you don’t make your chin go up? You could raise the key of the so’ng one semitone at a time. My guess, I could be wrong, is that when you stand up to sing and raise the key a bit, we would even enjoy that silky mid-high/high range some more!” :)

May 8, 2017


  • DrWinterbourne: Strumming: “…like, palm muting in the verses, then full strums for the chorus and climax. Or, power chords in the verses then full chords in the chorus. Or, pumping 8s in the verse, then 8th note strumming in the choruses.”

  • Oldhead49: “Just playing along with your video I felt the attached rhythm pattern. (See “Strumming Sample” below) Hit the bass note, strum the chord, then abbreviate the ringing by touching the strings with your hand. A pattern like this would also give room for your voice to come through. I didn’t do the chorus, but that would probably be a good place to play more openly and have some release in the feeling.”

    Strumming Sample

  • RedRHodie/Lynn: “I think that you should just keep playing it as you are and let yourself discover the strumming pattern. It will happen if you let it. Or, you could REALLY transform it by working out a finger picking pattern.”

  • SiegeFrog: “For the dynamics, as Justin suggests, if you’re pumping 8ths then try to put an accent on beats 2 and 4. Or, try to put an accent on all the downbeats and then just lightly brush the bass strings on the upbeats. I think of this song as having 3 parts (verse, pre chorus and chorus, and bridge). The chord progression is the same for the first 2 parts and similar for the 3rd. To distinguish them you want each part to have a different feel. You can achieve that with volume, dynamics, and rhythm.”

  • BrianLarsen: “One other thing, which can be very effective (and more importantly requires no extra skills!), is not playing. Why not try throwing in an a cappella verse or chorus and see what it sounds like? Instant dynamics :D

May 16, 2017

From Lessons/Comments/Critique; I was finally grasping a little about strumming patterns and dynamics. I said I was going to “let loose”, but I think hitting “Record” toned me back down. :laughing:

May 27, 2017

@redrhodie said she thought I should try a Lucinda Williams song, so this was it. Thanks again Lynn! I also learned that Lucinda wrote Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “Passionate Kisses”. Going back through all these old feeds has made me remember that I may like to try to learn one of her songs.

Oct 28, 2017


(These comments are from V1 which I didn’t include the link.)

  • “If you are looking for pointers to improve presentation you could try putting the camera at a higher level and looking at it a bit more as I think that would be a bit more engaging.“ (Davidvac)

  • “Lots of fine ingredient here for a good song.
    Structurally I think it would benefit from some rearranging and maybe the addition of a bridge or middle section.
    I like the interest that your quick change chord progression brings too.
    Good job and you are definitely heading in a good direction.
    Re: presentatiom.
    You spend time looking at your fretting hand … understandable just now so I’m not criticising that … You should take advantage of that. Position your phone more to your left and higher up. That way you can more easily look in to this camera and you vocal will be picked up better.
    Definitely trim your ends and put in a title sequence if you can do that.” (Close2U)

  • [Concerning adding embellishments when songwriting] “When I listen to music I tend to focus on the little guitar embellishments - background riffs and licks that colour the sound. This also reflects the way I build up my tracks with the basic rhythm guitar and drum track first then these embellishments next.” (Fourtwo)

  • [Re: Learning Video Production] “Have a look to see if any of the local colleges do music production courses, quite a few do, but make sure they do it the way you want to try.” (DarrellW)

  • “Assume you know you got an honorable mention in the comp- you’ve done great! :) The melody is strong, the story is solid, and you play and sing it well. The chords are interesting too and the melody fits well in it. I could mention maybe having a bit more dynamic changes between the verse and the chorus (like I so often do!) but otherwise, it’s very well done. Presentation wise, maybe just lifting the camera a little would help, and if you decide to record more, then learning to multitrack and mix and all that would be the next step!! Very well done!” :) (Justinguitar)

(These comments are from V2, which is posted in above link)

This is a re-do of the song I wrote and had in the July contest. Per advice from close2u, I rearranged and I added an extra verse and a bridge. Still working on presentation, emotion, dynamics…

  • “The issue with voice / guitar balance is probably to do with microphone position. The way your set up on the video is arranged the mic seems to be lower than your mouth level and the guitar is angled so that the sound hole is pointing almost directly at the mic.
    Try with the mic a bit higher up and off set towards the headstock end of the guitar if you see what I mean.” (MrBumble)

Aug 19, 2017


I’m thinking this may be an old classic. Possibly written the 1700s. A folky gospel song. Lots of stuff written about after a Google search. Lots of artists have sung it. Burl Ives, Emmy Lou Harris, Johnny Cash to name a few.


  • “ Couple of suggestions/observations if I may… The fan behind your head and the guitar case behind your shoulder were a bit of a visual distraction for me. Also, if you can work on resisting the temptation to look at your fretting hand, I think that might improve the connection with the audience.” (davidvac)

  • “Well sung and well played and nice production, though the overall level was a little down, so if you’re in a DAW (reaper) then maybe putting a “compressor on the master bus” might help - check and see if there is a preset or something? I don’t know Reaper but both Logic and Tools have Master Bus Compressors.
    Performance solid, and like someone said - would be cooler if you stopped looking at your chprd hand, you don’t need too - it’s just a ‘security blanket’! :) well done!” (Justinguitar)

Sep 17, 2017
ANDY’S SONG, Resubmission

Barend, Thank you. This was Andy who passed away in 2013 after 14 precious years. We now have 2 pups. One is 4 and our rescue is guessed to be between 2-4. One or both of them usually make a cameo in the videos I share with the forum [Community], Hehe!

From comments from forum members and from Justin himself, I was told to enhance by adding reverb, compression, (I used presets) and additional strumming patterns, to help with dynamics.


  • “Only thing I’d tweak would be to not look round the room…focus on [the audience] or on the guitar worked best.” (DavidP)

Sep 26, 2017

This is one of the first songs I learned when I first started practicing guitar. I have kept it in my repertoire of songs Please forgive my dog’s “tambourine collar”. I never even noticed until I was completely through working on the audio/video file.


“Personally I think the tambourine collar adds to the mix. It makes it feel like a natural performance, as though we’re there in the room. If we were there we would not notice it. ” (MrBumble)

“I agree, tambourine collar almost sounded like another musician … pretty sure nobody will call you on a rules violation for collaborating with your dog :)

Loved the way in which you were stretching yourself in terms of the bass notes and rhythm of this piece, throwing those little pauses.

Singing was smooth and relaxed, lovely voice.

Your performance in front of the camera was also spot on. You came over relaxed, comfortable, engaged with your audience thru the lens and loved that smile at the end … I think you could’ve held that for a second or two before fading out, as the final chord rang to silence.” (DavidP)

“Excellent performance Pam, enjoyed this lovely old classic very much - they don’t make them like that anymore!” (DarrellW)

DavidP, you gave me a chuckle when you said I was collaborating with my dog . Hehe!

Much of my recording style is thanks to you and other forum members. Thank you and the others for all the encouragement and critiques.

Thank you, DarrellW. You are right. I have a few of these in my lineup because I wanted to play for my grandson, i.e., Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star; Row Row Row Your Boat; and a few others. His latest kid song he likes & I learned is Do You Know the Muffin Man.

“The dog collar thing was confusing me until I read the comments, and yes compression will have bought it up in the mix a bit.

This kind of lullaby works real nice using your fingers rather than pick, which sounds a little hush sometimes. Thumb plays the bass and strum with one oif your fingers.

Watch out for the low E ringing out when you play your C chord, it doesn’t sound bad, but better to keep it clean imho. and seeing the video, try to keep your fingers up next to the frets, especially on the G chord, it’s not making a problem yet, but get in the good habit !”:wink:

Nov 5, 2017


“A really good tip I had on fingerstyle was to anchor the heel of my palm on the bridge. It felt uncomfortable for a few weeks but now it’s really natural and much more solid as my picking hand no longer “floats” over the strings. Might not work for everyone but that really helped me.” (Garfield)

“Perhaps for futuer references have the mic a little lower, just so it can pick up the guitar a little more; or also as suggested if you have the ability to plug it in, then thats good too. (Chix2)

Dec 5, 2017

Wow! Oldhead49. Thanks for the compliment! I had dual tracks - one, vocal/guitar, and two, guitar. That seemed to help the ability to
raise or lower the guitar volume.

:cowboy_hat_face: “Hi pkboo. Hey that made me smile with your groove thang and your country lilt and cowgirl twang ha ha. Definitely a change up from the rather earnest and bland versions that often get sung. Good playing and singing and well done all round.“ :D (Close2u)

Hehe, thanks Richard. I try to take that accent out, but I don’t “thank” it’s gonna happin!

Feb 3, 2018

This is one I’m continuing to learn & want to keep it in my list of songs to keep. I used a preset template. It seems that there may be some drag in it in places and still need a cleaner copy when I get the chance.


“In the spirit of constructive criticism, it sounds a little slow here compared to the original. Or am I just imagining that? So speeding up the tempo could be something to work on.” (phx1973)

“The beauty of playing this song as a solo piece accompanying yourself is that you can deviate from a rigid tempo to emphasize part of the story, extend phrasing, rush through for a dynamic etc. You have some of that going on and when you are in control of it it is very effective. Of course there are times when it is controlling you with some minor fumbles which others have commented on.” (Close2U)

Thanks Close2u. Yeah, I tried it with a metronome & wondered if it can actually mess up that part of what you were talking about. It seems it may interfere with some of the emotion of the song. On another note, I just today figured out that the “distortion” I was hearing in this song was my own voice. I’m dragging out the vibrato too much unintentionally. Hopefully practice will iron that out.

Feb 24, 2018


“It sounds like you’re just diving into recording. As a suggestion, maybe add another vocal harmony (oohs or ahhs) in the background in the final chorus to let the song keep building.“ (AdamT)

Apr 9, 2018
THANK YOU, Version 1

Yeah, I love the lyrics of this song. Even more than the melody.

Jan 6, 2019
THANK YOU, Version 2

The earlier version was from my own attempt and personal interpretation of the strumming. Then Justin made a new lesson on this song, so I did my best to go by his instructions. I recorded two guitar tracks and panned one hard left and one hard right (per instructions from LBro)


Your Bm is improving I struggle with this too. I can play it up the neck easily but struggle on the second fret. A tip I heard was to tuck your elbow in so that it’s nearer your body. It gives your hand and wrist a better angle to make the chord. (Garfield)


On the clipping. Here’s my super simple understanding. Let’s say you have adjusted the levels of every track so that the balance between tracks is exactly as you want it. But you are getting clipping on one of the tracks.

You don’t want to pull the fader down on that track as it would mess with the balance. If it is just an occasional transient peak then you could try putting on a compressor with a threshold that turns compression on only at those peaks without make up gain so as to retain as much dynamic range as possible. You have to be careful with compression that you don’t compress so much as to lose all the dynamic range between loudest and softest parts.

But if it is consistently clipping then you may be better served by pulling the level of the whole track down. So than another option would be to select every track and pull all the faders down until the peaks on the one track are no longer clipping. And you have retained the overall balance.

But now you may find that on the master bus the whole song is too soft. You could then push up the master bus fader, while taking care that the peaks don’t clip on the master.

Another way to achieve overall increase in volume is to put a limiter plug-in on the master once you are happy with the mix. I do this right at the end and adjust the limiter so it is boosting the overall volume without having to limit too much, too often. Limiting means not allowing the volume to be any louder than a defined threshold by just cutting the boost at the threshold. But must stress, this is my last step before rendering the final song; you don’t want it engaged when mixing the tracks.

That is effectively another form of compression, and if the limiter is kicking in to limit consistently you’d be losing dynamic range, which is generally undesirable. So I watch how frequently it comes in and if it is just occasional transients I’m happy.

Generally I would not think that EQ is in play for taking care of the clipping. My understanding is that EQ will effect tone. If you are boosting the level in a given frequency band then you are going to make the track and song louder, and cuts would make it softer but I think this would not be the major influence on whether or not you are clipping on a track or the master. Unless you are doing great big boosts on many frequency ranges on the track. And unless that was done for some very specific effect, I don’t think it is a good strategy given what I think you and I are generally trying to achieve ie best possible, natural recordings of our acoustic playing.

Another good thing to do is to manage the level of each of the dry recorded tracks with the fader in the neutral position ie not boosting or cutting. As a dry recorded track before plugs are added I would suggest that you target average levels between -18dB to -12dB. This is apparently an optimum level where many plug-ins deliver the best quality results and leaves plenty of head-room once you start mixing to boost and cut volumes.

You can achieve this firstly by sound-checking levels before recording and adjusting the gain on the AI accordingly. Then once recorded, you can boost or cut the actual dry signal in the DAW. I have a volume button on every track in Reaper that as I make adjustments I can see the wave form get bigger or smaller. Not sure how you’d do it in your DAW. Some people call the process of getting every dry track to the desired level before starting to mix as gain-staging.

Dear me, that became a lot longer than I expected. I hope it makes sense and is helpful. It is based on my studies and experience, so hopefully is all technically correct. (DavidP)


If that was five years ago, I’d love to see your progress since then. Your strumming was definitely strong and confident back then.

I await more!

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I love the slower, kind of stripped down vibe your playing and vocal give this song.

Glad you’re sharing your music Pam. I’d love to hear more.

Thanks for sharing that, Pam, are happy trip down memory lane, remembering how one of the ‘class of 2017’ got going. Your singing and playing was in a groove from the outset. Looking forward to more memories.

Hi Mari. These songs show off the very attractive tone both your voice and guitar have. All sounds great. The rhythm playing was good as well. It pushes both performances on nicely.

Hi Pam, great to listen to some of your back catalogue again.

I’ve said it to you before but with that Texas accent you’re half-way there before you even start.
“Aw no I was doin’ gooowed”. Love it! :smiley:

@endureth, I’ll be posting here some more with more recent songs, so come check this feed out again soon if you wish.

I’m pretty methodical in my practice, so I’m probably a bit slower than average. But we all move and improve at our own pace.

@J.W.C, yeah there is no way I can sing/play like the original HEY YA. I put in a lot of my own interpretation and it is still my favorite and most fun to play.

@batwoman, @DavidP , & @Willsie01, thanks for your nice comments; and David, I love the “class of 2017” comment. However, it’s been since 2015 for me. :wink:

@ sairfingers, LOL! I love that you love my accent; and I love yours too!

Once again, thanks to each of you for commenting. You’re the BEST!

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Hi Pam,
I don’t recall “Bad moon rising”. So I gave that a spin. Very nice job on it. Vocals, great as always and your playing seems good. One thing I did notice is that like me, your fingers on some chords like the “D” could be closer to the fret(s). I keep coming up short on that and it has become a tough habit to break. Mind you I don’t hear it in your play though as notes seem to ring out true.

Glad you like your Music Man. I only know the upper end of them in having the Reflux model. Yet it is a great goto guitar for me. I love it. I got mine used for about $900 and it was worth double that!

At any rate, great job and I look forward to 2022, where I hope to hear more from you!

All the rock’n best to you in 22’!

Hey LBro,

Yeah, fingers close to the frets needs practice. I am enjoying the Music Man, but as I think I have stated somewhere before, I have nothing to compare it to. So far, so good though.

I currently don’t have anything new I feel worthy of posting - not to say I don’t like the song, just don’t feel it for me. I’m going through the BSB II Songbook and the Acoustic Songbook. I liked the song FARAWAY VOICE by Katie Malua, but no way can I sing it!

Nice to hear from you. See you around in this New Community!


Pam, really enjoyed your Bad Moon Rising. New guitar looks and sounds sweet, congrats on the new “toy” :slightly_smiling_face:. Well played and sung, can’t go wrong with some CCR :sunglasses:

Thanks, Sweed. Glad you liked it; a fun one and pretty easy. I kept it for my repertoire.

Not sure how I missed this Pam but great to see you brought your old catalogue over. Some great songs in there, highlighting your progress. Looking forward to you rockin the new house down. :sunglasses:

Thanks Toby,

I’m glad you found this. Looking forward to the new possibilities.

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