Sweet Virginia - The Rolling Stones

I haven’t posted an AVoYP for ages so here goes. I got the idea for this one whilst reading Keith Richard’s autobiography when I was on holiday in France last month.
Sweet Virginia is from the Exile On Main Street album which the Stones recorded in France whilst on tax exile from the UK.

It should be easy I thought. Just 4 chords. Two verses and a chorus that’s sung three times.
Mmmm. Well there’s the intro bit and the note picking embellishments between the chords. Then there is singing it and playing the picked notes at the same time.
It’s ended up being the most difficult song I’ve played and sung.

As it’s a Wednesday I went for a one take. I’ve played it better and……… well, you know the drill by now!

Edit : I’ve been messing about with a video editor today (Thursday). It’s the same video as before but I’ve added titles. Thought I should up my game to keep up with the rest of you lot! :grinning:


Absolutely brilliant Gordon! This is on my list to learn and you nailed it. I could listen to you play and sing this all day. :+1:

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Gordon, this was an amazingly, exquisitely delightful treat :slightly_smiling_face: Your playing looked so effortless … I could listen to you sing and play all day. l :slightly_smiling_face:

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It also ended up being the most impressive performance you’ve turned in :smiley:
Happy to see you back in the saddle, compadre. (I was wondering whether you were going off the idea of sharing songs)
The two stand-out aspects for me were the relaxed grooving strumming action of your right hand as well as the ‘twiddly fills’, which gave me a sharp intake of breath within the first bar or two :open_mouth:
The song itself
Bravo & vibes :sunglasses:

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Ooo my …Sweeeeeet Gordon :scream: :clap: :clap: :sunglasses:

I believe this is your best performance, and there have been some really good ones already (so in any case shared first)… you play relaxed …strumming is smooth like silk …with nice fills as said above, and I absolutely envy your voice on this song…
It should be easy… :joy: :upside_down_face: yes i know that one … good joke :blush:
Thanks and greetings… :man_bowing:

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I love this song Gordon and wow what a great cover you’ve done! The hammer ons are so good, the extra embellishments really make your performance shine. Great job singing and playing this one, tricky indeed, but you make it look effortless. I’ve had it in my mind to learn this one to try the harmonica bit. One day!

And as always I love your 1-strum ending to the song :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi Gordon,

this was just amazing! :clap: :+1: What a beautiful rendition, it was a delightful and most enjoyable listen. :smiley: Picking out these lovely embellishments even while singing must have been quite tricky, but you mastered this and made it seem to be effortless.

Also the singing was great, like the icing on the cake. All put together just worked out so well, great mood in it. Thanks for sharing this pearl with us. :slight_smile:

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Well that was a OTW scorcher ! Nailed it Gordon. Some fancy footsteps on the fretboard for sure, impressive seeing as you are singing as well. I’m with the Scouser, that was one of, if not your best recording to date sir !


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@Eddie_09 @JokuMuu
Thank you both so much for listening and for your kind comments. You’ve both said you could listen to me all day. Even my wife wouldn’t say that. :joy:Unfortunately, perhaps fortunately, I don’t have enough songs to play all day so you’ll have to make do with one every now and again. :smiley:


@brianlarsen Thanks for the listen and support Brian, much appreciated as always.
No, I haven’t gone off the idea of posting songs, I just hadn’t learned any that were different enough to warrant posting.
I felt this one, because of the fills, hammer-ons etc was a bit different so I went for it today.
As for my best performance? Thank you so much for that comment.

@roger_holland Thanks for listening and taking time to comment Rogier. You’ve also said it was my best one yet, so it must be true!:grinning:

Yes as I said in my post I thought this song would be straightforward. Little did I know. Nothing to do with learning a song is easy is it.

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@Mari63 Thanks so much Mari I’m pleased you enjoyed my version of the song. The fills and embellishments took a bit of work and practice. So much so that I’ve got a blister at the base of my index finger from sliding it under the guitar neck to get the thumb over bass notes. Oh how we suffer for our art. :joy:
Yes the harmonica intro on the original is great isn’t it. Hope you get round to learning it one day.

I never really mean to do the one strum end to my songs. I think perhaps it’s just relief that it’s over! I find it quite difficult to get a good ending to songs. The originals often fade out or finish with a drum beat or whatever. In this case the original finishes quite abruptly but with multiple guitars and harmonies.

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@Lisa_S Thanks for the listen and lovely comments Lisa. I’m glad you enjoyed the song. It maybe came across as effortless but I can assure you that singing and playing the fills at the same time took a lot of concentration. When you think ahead to which chord/fill is coming next you forget the lyric and when you’re thinking “is it the chorus next” you mess up the guitar! :grinning:

@TheMadman_tobyjenner Thanks so much Toby. You’re another one who’s said it’s my best to date. This’ll be going to my head! I probably practiced it more than some of my other AVoYPs and I still made mistakes.
So long as things keep improving, I must be doing something right. Thanks again for your support.


Wow Gordon, I want to say it in the Aussie way but that kind of language is banned on the community… so I’ll just say it was AWESOME. And it looked easy for you.

Seriously good performance, would not be out of place on stage or busking. I’d be chucking some money in your hat and asking for more songs.

Nailed it.

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Thanks for sharing this Gordon. A song that is fun to play though more difficult than it looks with the fills and so on, good one, I enjoyed listening to this.

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That was pure dead brilliant, Gordon, the cat’s pajamas. You made it look effortless. A very impressive performance, one of your best yet. If I remember correctly it was your son that set you off on this guitar journey, he must be very proud seeing the progress you have been making in your AVoYPs.

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Simple song structure does not equal simple song. There are plenty of things like the bass walks and chord embellishments that require skill, and you nailed them.

I don’t believe I heard much difference compared to the original - take that as a compliment. Hats off to you!

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Hello Gordon, and thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful rendition with us :hugs:.
I’m very impressed by the way you played and sung it, and I absolutely love the fills, hammer-ons and other embellishments you added, making listening to the song so interesting and enjoyable :blush:.

Can’t believe, it is a one-take :astonished:. Makes the whole recording even more impressive :+1::clap::star_struck:.
This was absolutely worth all the time and effort you’ve put into it :smiley:.

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You are definitely improving each time you perform, in all aspects.

I always love to listen to you play and sing. Was happy to see you back on here.

I don’t know the song, but really enjoyed it and enjoyed watching you sing and play and embellish… and all. Good show, Gordon!

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Nailed it Gordon, superb! :ok_hand: :ok_hand: :ok_hand:

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