In the tradition of greats such as @alexisduprey and @jkahn, I’ve decided to play through an entire songbook. In my case, I’m starting with Justin’s Easy Guitar Songbook and its 101 Easy Songs. Once I’ve worked my way through this one, I plan to move on to the Beginner Songbook, Vol. 1. and Vol. 2.
The first few modules, at least, are already pretty straightforward for me, but, I figure I can learn something from practicing any song. So, let’s begin!
Links To Each Song’s Post:
- “Give Peace a Chance” - John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band. (Posted 2023-06-25)
- “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” - Waylon Jennings (Posted 2023-06-30)
For my first performance, we have “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band. I was practicing the songs from Module 1, the easiest of songs, tonight, and found this one requires a non-standard tuning (de-tuned by one semitone). So, instead of de-tuning and re-tuning my guitar, I decided to bang out a “performance” of this one while my guitar was properly de-tuned.
So, this may be a bit rough. Any constructive criticism is welcome. One thing I found, as I played this through a few times… for some reason my count gets off during the second time in the chorus. I don’t know why that is… if there is something odd about the second time through the chorus, or if there is something odd about me. lol.
Yeah, I think, one way in which this whole thing will help, is that I’ve gotten into a rut where I practice all of the skills that are included in my current lesson, and I practice my handful of songs and riffs that I keep as my little repertoire, but I haven’t really tried to play a new song in a while. I think that by learning new songs, even if they are simple ones, it’s a good way to keep working on my rhythm and strumming.
Also, with that song in particular, I played the simple, D D D D strum. If I want to get closer to the original, I would be doing a B D B D B D B D (bass note, then strum the higher notes on the ‘And’). I tried that, but at that speed, I kept slowly transitioning into just playing all down 8th note strums… and I guess that makes sense since all down 8th note strums that was a skill in the Module 8 practice, so I’m more used to that. So, I could do some practice on the B-D strum.
A good effort there Todd. To me you did lose your tempo a few times but it did get more consistent towards the end.
I think the best thing you can do to improve your rhythm consistency is when you are listening to music tap/move your feet to the beat, feel that rhythm, get that groove in to your body.
And some might say, practice your 4 beat strumming, slowly, with a metronome. Start real slow and then build up speed over time.
“Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” by Waylon Jennings. A very simple song, alternating bars of A and D, quarter note down strums. Capo on 2nd fret to match the original recording.
Two songs down, 99 to go!
Hello Todd, oh wow, big plans . 101 songs?!
I’m sure you’ll learn lots of good stuff along the way and I hope, you’ll have lots of fun, too .
I’ve got the Beginner Songbook, Vol. 1, but use it only sporadically and only play the songs I really like .
I’m looking forward to hearing more from you and your Songbook project . Great idea !