TRJ - November 2022 - It's nobody's Dirty Business + The Needle & The Damage Done

Electro - Acoustic Guitar and Voice

I did the Solo Blues exercises (it seems now) ages ago, After that I decided to try and learn more fingerstyle / country blues, and got myself more learning material. It is easy to get hooked on this style.

It takes me a very long time to learn a piece like this. Especially becuase I try to sing and play simultaneously.

Often, the playing and the singing do get in each others way, and I never seem to nail it - all kinds of accidents happen, like dropping a verse, forgetting to start a new verse, or getting , my fingers in a jumble. The one thing that I am trying to internalise, is to keep moving, and catch up later, either with the singing or with the guitar playing. My music making friends do keep telling me, never mind, your audience won’t notice…

This is the first Video that I uploaded, and I made it out to be unlisted rather than public in Youtube.

I hope that is the correct way to do it.

A second video this month:

Neil Young - The Needle and the Damage Done


Nicely done Tjeerd good steady thumb and rhythm. Singing and playing done very well as well.

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Really nice Tjeerd. What a great first post! Your playing sounded beautiful and your voice really suited the song. Keep it up!


This was excellent and agreed, impressive first video!

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Bravo! Very nice piece! Your voice suits this playing style very well.

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Hello Tjeerd, this was really, really enjoyable :hugs::clap:.
I like the fingerstyle pattern, and your voice suited the song so well :star_struck:.
Playing (fingerstyle in particular) and singing simultaneously is so difficult, you did an amazing job :+1:.

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Pretty cool Tjeerd, some nice picking going on there sir. I also admire anyone who picks and sings, something I aspire to. Like you I am in the midst of the Solo Blues Course right now, amongst other things but it has also whetted my appetite to revisit fingerstyle be that folk, country or Travis. So good to listen to some one excelling in this area !

Good share.


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Nicely done Tjeerd.
Picking was steady in time and very clean.
Great song and you sang it well. :clap::clap::clap::clap:

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Nicely performed, Tjeerd!

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Yeah well done mate. Enjoyed that alot. Good picking and well sung. Looking forward to some more.

Cheers, Shane


Hi Tjeerd,
Great first video,… ,:sunglasses: :clap:,…Nice guitar too :sunglasses:

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What a great debut AVoYP Tjeerd. Well done. I loved the Country style picking technique and your vocal suited the song perfectly.

Singing and fingerstyle is not an easy combination but that was a super performance and I look forward to more from you.

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What a wonderful first AVOYP, Tjeerd, your playing and singing was fabulous. Picking and singing is hard enough but to be playing a blues pattern like that is next level.

Your musician friends are right … the audience won’t notice if you just keep playing, singing, and avoiding signaling a mistake with some kind of unhappy expression on your face.

Your recording and share were done well and correctly. In fact, given the quality of recording and performance, you’ve no reason not to just make the recording public.

I’m curious as to whether the guitar was acoustic or amplified, irrespective it sounded good.

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Hi David, thanks for the nice feedback, of course to all others thank you as well. As to David’s question, in a moment of folly or inspiration I got myself a Fender Acoustasonic Player, technically it is an acoustic, but I played it (as it expects) through an acoustic amp, in my case a Schertler 100. The acoustasonic can pretend to be a small or large body acoustic, or (a somewhat thin) telecaster with or without some distortion.

The reason is that I bought it, is to try and be able during Jams (where typically the fingerpicking makes less sense) to do both rhythm and lead. Also it would be a nice instrument for looping. That said, she is not my favourite guitar (yet)

I would have played with my favourite acoustic, but the binding happened to come loose, and it needs to be repaired.

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Hi Toby,

the Solo Blues lessons at Justin’s were my jumping off point. I did the Rhythm course, oh about 2014. I tried the lead Guitar / Blues Riffs courses, but it just did not seem to make sense to me, as at the time I did not have people to Jam with. So I moved to the solo playing. Then I moved to Stefan Grossman’s courses, to get closer to actual songs. Around 2015 I started playing with other folks, playing songs from the song books, mostly strumming. I also joined a club that is devoted to Harmonica playing here in Germany, mostly doing Blues Shuffle a 2nd or 3rd guitarist.

When I retired in early 2020 I invested much more time in country Blues, and the singing. The guitar playing is mostly self taught, for the singing I am lucky that I found a good singing coach. (I would never have learned the singing by myself).

Progress comes slowly though, all in all the 2 journeys have taken over 8 years in parallel. And as said, it takes a while before I can play any song in this style, get it in muscle memory.

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Well its definitely working ! I was like you with the Blues Lead but got some good stuff “elsewhere” that has improved things no end on that front. Fingerstyle was in the schedule at the beginning of the year but drifted into the shadows but hey there’ll be a new year in not so very long, so it’ll get kick started again. My issue has been Justin creating the Grade 3 courses and the BC additives, so there been a fair bit of revision and learning stuff that would have been handy 5 or 6 years back. Such is life.

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Hello, I think this sounds very very good and I enjoyed it :blush:

Soo relatable :woman_shrugging::slightly_smiling_face:

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Congratulations on your first AVOYP posting Tjeerd, that was excellent playing and singing. I didn’t notice any errors. Nicely done.

Very nicely played and sung Tjeerd
I appreciate how difficult learning a piece like this is as i am working on freigh train by elisabeth cotton at the moment and it is taking ages but I figure the rewards will more than outweigh the effort.

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Freight train is a such a lovely song! Just imagine that she played it left handed on a right handed guitar, i.e. the melody with the thumb and the bases with the fingers, which makes for the specific style. Another nice song, that lessens the learning curve is by Mississippi John Hurt : Hey Honey , right away. Real simple text too, and wildly ironic if sung by a man. Just Google Scott Ainslie’s version of it.