The sound of silence

A few months ago I posted my first video in the beginner’s safe space (same song) a very encouraging experience. However, @Richard_close2u also kindly suggested to get better at it, so few months later I’ve recorded my latest attempt. Mostly practiced it more and looked up some tabs to get some of the chord transitions more accurate.

Now only to research/figure out the magic/melody Paul Simon is doing on the G chord.


Good stuff Michiel. The tempo was particularly great, very consistent (at least to my ears). Also great dynamics, building up more energy as the song goes by.
Not a “complaint”, but I get the feeling you’re holding back on the vocals. Don’t get me wrong, you sound great! but specially when you strum harder, try to really go for it, see what happens.
Crazy that this is only your second video as you say it. Keep at it, you’re doing a brilliant job.

That was great Michiel. Very pleasant to listening too. Sounded very good.
As Kevin said… your voice is great, but i get this feeling you hold back. Just go for it!!
Keep it up! I am impressed its just your 2nd video.

That was great. One of my favorite songs.

Really enjoyed that Michael, some great energy going on there. Not easy to keep the rhythm going at the intensity with the pumping 8s but you did a great job. As other have said with the vocals, relax and let go, you have some good vox. I had to laugh at the last comment. I recently did a at the last Open Mic combining the original and the Disturbed version. When I went back to the S&G recording I realized there was a heck of a lot going on in the studio and I suspect more than two guitars ! So good luck with that research, there a whole lot of twiddly bits in there for sure.

Lovely to hear someone else record this song. Well done.


Kudos for taking the previous feedback and working up to a second recording, Michiel. I had a look at the first minute or so of the first rendition and can see the improvement in the playing, singing and the two together … far more fluent. The video looks similarly better (not that that is important).

Maybe now you can explore a second strumming pattern that makes use of up-strums as well as playing all down-strums. That would give you an additional feel to play with. Kind of like a middle gear on the way to high energy of all down strums from the picked first verse. Or maybe something to mix up to keep it interesting based on the energy/emotion of the lyrics in a particular verse.

Bravo, look forward to your next share!

Very nice, Michael. I can see your improvement from the two videos. You have nice vocals and I was impressed with your changes between strumming and finger-picking. You seem to be a fast learner. Well done!

Thanks everyone. Holding back on the vocals might definitely be true. I’m still very much in the ‘what if someone hears me’ stage there… (got past that somewhat for the guitar playing)

@TheMadman_tobyjenner The Disturbed version is how I learned about this song years ago, love that one as well. For the twiddly bits I refer to The Sound of Silence live by Paul Simon SOLO, Paris 1965 - YouTube I can hum them along, so I guess it should be achievable at some point, might be time to get going with the Grade 3 transcribing lessons that I’ve been dragging my feet at a bit.

@DavidP interesting suggestion, I actually started to do the strumming this way because I couldn’t use a pick to make the transition from fingerstyle to strumming work and at the time I could not do an up-down strumming pattern without a pick without getting my fingers stuck :wink: Just tried it and should definitely work, just can’t fit the C-Am-C walk with that yet. Still struggling with that even with just downstrums (didn’t really get that in the video either with the singing and recording going on)

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Hey Michiel,

Well done mate. Enjoyed that rendition.
A quick review of you first video, and I can see definite improvement in the rhythm, chord changes the transition from picking to dtrumming, and the vocals.
So you’re kicking goals across several areas.
Lookin forward to some more.
All the best.

Cheers, Shane

Well done, great intro into performing in front of the dreaded red button!
Keep going, you’re doing fine!

I know that feeling, Michiel. I tend to put my thumb and index finger together, almost like holding a pick, for just down-strumming without a pick and use my thumb for patterns with down-up. I’ve not made much progress developing ability to strum with just the index finger, which would be good to blend with thumb playing bass notes. Like everything … practice practice practice

Congratulations, Michiel :clap: :+1: . That was very well sung and played. And progress from your last AVOYP is definitely there. Lots to love. Really great. Keep on the good work :smiley: .

Hi Michiel,

Very good job. I thought you really grew into the vocal, especially when the chord strumming came in.
Solid playing throughout. Nice transition from the picking to strumming and back again.


Love this song and you did it well. :clap::clap::clap:

That was a great version Michiel and you did a super job of it. Nice and consistent with the temp, your switching between fingerpicking and stuff was nice and I liked the vocals too.