Rmking60 - March 2023 - Can't Find My Way Home (Steve Winwood) + Eli's Coming (Laura Nyro) + So Damn Lucky (Dave Matthews)

Hi Robert, I didn’t know the song and I had to listen to the original first and I would say, your version really has the vibe of the song. It’s no easy song to cover, but I think your rhythm playing transports this very special vibes very well. Also your voice picks up that certain mood… I really like that. Maybe there were some flubs, from your point of view, but did it hurt? No! You transported the message and the mood of the song, that is a real important factor. I’m sure, with time, you’ll reach your own goal to play it without those flubs, you mention. I liked the song, it’s an interesting one, liked your strumming, the pattern was quite ambitious, and your singing with the high voice fits the song very well. Thumbs up!

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Ha, this is lovely. And thank you as your track gave my partner and I an interesting conversation over our morning coffee!

I like Dave Matthews but did not know this particular song. Having had a listen to the original, thoughts on the original are that -

  • There is a dynamic that puts an emphasis on the first beat of every bar, which also coincides with high notes / a fast run of notes.
  • The rhythm of the strumming is quite continuous and fast, almost running away with itself.
  • Then the drums are behind the groove which creates a tiny bit more space in an otherwise frenetic sound

In comparison, your version seems to have -

  • a different rhythm - there is a slower pace, then a different strumming pattern. This gives a more relaxed feel rather than the urgency of the original.
  • a dynamic that shifted away from the first beat of the bar, which has perhaps taken it away from the high notes to lower notes.
  • space found through the use of actual pauses in playing - this adds to the relaxed feel of the slower pace.

As a stand alone piece I really like your version over Dave Matthew’s (!) so much so it has become an earworm and I’ve been humming your version as I’ve been going about my morning.

Thanks for the inspiration - I would love to arrive at having your ability in the future.

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Tips that might help:

  • in your head, distinguish betweenplaying/performing a song and practicing it (even though it’s all “practicing” at this point)
  • if you are “performing”, and it goes wrong don’t stop. Try to at least keep your strumming hand going, and keep hearing the song playing in your head. This will help you recover, and the listeners may not even notice…I certainly didn’t!
  • if you keep making the same mistake, switch to practiicing mode. Zero in on the trouble spot, slow it down, play it in a loop, and pay close attention. Is there excess tension in your body? Is this one of your more difficult chords? Are you unsure of the rhythm or the melody? Get clarity, smooth out the trouble spots, play it over a beat, and speed it up till it flows, and then go back to “playing” it

You are playing at a way more advanced level than I am…my first reaction was “wow - I don’t see a problem here!”. But hope this helps anyway.

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Hi Robert, don’t know the song, but I thought that was a fine bit of singing over a complex strumming pattern. Well done :smiley:
I’m well behind you on the curve, so it’s more a question for my benefit than criticism/suggestion, but my understanding is that (insofar as possible) we should keep our strumming hand moving at the same rhythm throughout. Sure there are times when you make exceptions when you need to do a double-time strum. There are a number of times you double the strumming speed for consecutive down-strums. Is that because it sounds better that way, or for a different reason?

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Hi Robert- great rendition of the Dave Matthews song. His rhythms are immensely complicated but you did a really good job with it - not easy to sing along with that either!

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Wow Pamela, yes I studied on DM, wrote all kinds of struming patterns out on paper in my own code - I can not read music. Then went for a feel; I guess mine own of sorts. Thank you so much for listening and for your critique. Me, I just wish I could play something that has magic. I learn from you. R

Hi Brian, yes to your point, the double strum down in my experience is a count move to stay on beat. It is not for melodic tone, but to keep cadence. But, do not listen to me in all senses for I am self taught. I can not read music . My play is from what I feel. By keeping your strumming hand moving in an orderly constant pattern, the reality is that the song becomes alive, especially when you add yourself to the music! -R

Wow! Much appreciated. I’m not here to take from the original, in fact I love that you heard me and then sought out the real artist DM. I’m self taught and labor over it all, especially rhythm. Thank you for the thoughtful critique. I learn from you. R

I don’t think you took from the original at all. Yours stands in its own right - you’d made it your own whilst holding the essence of Dave Matthews’ unique style of strumming and singing. Interested to see what you do next.

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Thank you Helen! I appreciate your comments. It’s motivating and you know that how I can learn. Send me yours!!

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Nz, yes what is perfect? And is perfect really the best, correct. Thank you for your view point because it helps. I learn from you. Send me yours! R

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Sound, working on more. I appreciate the shot of cofidence for sure. R

Work, challenge, relaxation, worry. So a slide show of pics - fancy commercial develpment (pizza parlor during Covid days; tall music arts building at UNC Chapel Hill), tree challenges provided by Mother Nature, and The Lowcountry (shrimp boat leaving Rockville SC), which is where I’m from. It’s a live recording of me singing and me playing my 1986 Alvarez; a cover of Old Man by Neil Young. Opening shot is my son, Nathaniel, who I have lost. He’s alive but I haven’t spoken to him or seen him in the past seven years. Broken but if I’m not playing into a camera, I play better. Why is that?? OM Harvest NY - YouTube