Twistor59 - Aeptember 2022 - Sylvia by Focus

I remember this tune from when I was a kid, so quite enjoyed having a go at it now. I always thought it sounded quite upbeat and jolly. It’s got some pretty fast (for me!) major triad changes, which are good for practice, and which I fluffed a bit in the video in some parts. Also I overbent the very last note a bit, but couldn’t be bothered to re-record the whole thing, but it does grate a bit when the ending note is a bit off :rofl:


Amazing once again! You make it look so utterly effortless (I’m sure it’s not) and another great song choice (it has yodeling, that makes it a song, right?) I remember this very well (I still have the '45 that I bought when it came out) :slight_smile: Bravo!

The Dude has not only a gift for guitar instrumentals, but also an exquisite taste in music :sunglasses:
Very cool performance. Drawing the listener’s attention to a ‘tiny’ overbend at the end simply underlines how on point the rest is. Jan Akkerman would approve :smiley:
I’ve been lucky to see them play twice. Once in the Philharmonic, once up close in the sweaty Cavern Club. Thijs van Leer is still mad as a box of frogs. (His bizarre antics remind me of some other Dutchman without mentioning names :laughing:)
I don’t think there’s’ any yodeling on the original of this @Gonetoearth (although some vocals)
Are you thinking of this outrageous performance perhaps?
Keep up the good work, Phil :+1:

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Enjoyed this Phil, thanks for sharing.

ah yes, @brianlarsen there’s lots of la-la’ing midway isn’t there - perhaps Thijs wasn’t up to full yodeling on the day :slight_smile: Still a fabulous tune!

You sound great! Thanks for sharing. Very inspirational. Bravo and thank you !

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Thanks, not effortless sadly - I always have to concentrate really hard playing the guitar. How people can do it while prancing around the stage is beyond me! I had the '45 too - I got rid of all my vinyl a while back though.

Thank you Malz!

Thanks Brian. I’ve never seen Focus in the flesh, although I have a few DVDs. Both Van Leer and Akkerman were great musicians, the stuff on Focus III and Hamburger Concerto albums was my favourite from their catalogue. Akkerman was very versatile - Jazz, rock, classical, it’s sad that he can’t perform any more - I vaguely remember it was a car accident?

Nice solo playing skills!!! Quite enjoyed it!

That was incredible Phil. I have never played electric but one day I would love to be able to play like you. Superb!!!

That was excellent Phil. Really great playing that I have come to expect from you. You make it look so easy.

Another excellent play-along, Phil.

From my own well of curiousity … you consistently showcase a high level of ability in this productions, what are your current medium ot (maybe) long-term goals and aspirations?

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Thanks! It’s still just a copy of someone else’s work though. I wish I could compose my own. Maybe one day!

Thank you Eddie. I’ve never played acoustic! I think I’ve hardly even touched an acoustic. I get the impression that notes are harder to fret on an acoustic (?), so I think the transition from acoustic to electric would be relatively painless - I would bet the main problem would be stopping strings from ringing out in the wrong places the first time you pick up an electric, but that is soon overcome.

:joy: Maybe the elevated heart rate and blood pressure isn’t evident from the video :rofl:

Thanks David! I’m really just a living room guitar player, so I’ve no ambition to perform in a pub or something - 63 is a bit old to start that!

I do have a goal though - I’d like to be able to pick up a guitar and noodle tunefully like you see some of the youtube guys do - not playing rehearsed stuff but improvising melodically in a way that you can hear the chords going by. At the moment I’m trying to commit to memory the CAGED major chord patterns and the major pentatonic scale boxes that fit around them. Next I’ll try to memorise the minor versions. That way, provided I know what chord I’m on I shouldn’t get lost on the fretboard. I’m still a long way off mastering this though.

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Thanks for sharing that, Phil.

I’d say you have more than sufficient technical ability to do that.

From a theory perspective, you have covered a lot of ground in your summary there. I think all I could add would be triads :grin:. So that is a long term project to learn the theory and be able to make music with what you learn.

Just based on your reply, I would highlight Justin’s recommendations, summarised in this lesson: When NOT To Learn Scales... |

Maybe this is a good place to start: Major Scale Maestro 1 | You could also look at Essential Blues Lead Guitar |

Do you have a looper pedal? If you do and have learned a first pattern of a scale, then I think you are ready to create a simple backing progression, could simply be the root chord, and then start making some music and sharing progress videos.

Apologies if I am (for the second time this morning) preaching to the converted. If I am all that is missing is the sharing of some progress videos :grin:

Thank you for the recommendations David, all suggestions gratefully received.

I have a looper in my amp sim, but it’s not particularly easy to use - when you play over the loops it’s tricky to get the levels right to avoid clipping. It might be worth buying an external one.

Enjoyed that, took me back a good few years. You do make it look effortless, even if its not a good trait to have.