Venus - by Shocking Blue - A cut finger and a fun learning opportunity - SteveL- 29May2023

I cut my fretting hand index finger (finger 1) and had trouble fretting with that finger without pain so I had to adjust to what I could play, since I was going to record an updated recording for “Fortunate Son” and couldn’t play a power chord.

I knew that I could play an Em chord and an A chord with fingers 2,3 and 4 and while going back and forth between those 2 chords I realized that those where the main 2 chords for Venus by Shocking Blue.

Here is a video of some of the issues adapting the song to my hurt finger. It has a summary of the chords used and the recording details. You can skip if not of interest, since it is 6 minutes:

Venus adaptive chords and recording info

Here is my recording of Venus, recorded while listening to the YouTube video on an earpiece:
(note: ignore my futile attempt at soloing halfway through the song. This is just something I played to avoid an awkward silence. The focus here is on the chords, rhythm and tone)

Venus - Shocking Blue - SteveL - 29May2023

This is the first song that I have recorded with more than 1 barre chord, so I had to play at 3/4 speed in order to maintain decent tone and rhythm technique. Also, I only started learning this song on May 18, less than 2 weeks ago, so I had to do a lot of practice in a short amount of time. I also had 4 different recording sessions for this video to try to get a better recording than my first electric guitar song recording “Fortunate Son”. I played this song from memory, so I missed a couple in entrances to sections and had to start on the 2nd chord or the 2nd measure to keep in time with the background song video I am hearing in the earphone.

I also decided to not sing for this recording. Here is an earlier recording to prove my point and to give a sample of my singing for this song and how it affected by playing and how my playing affected my singing :slight_smile: :

Venus - earlier rough take with some vocals - SteveL - 26May2023

To hear what I am listening to on my earphone, you can go to the YouTube video and play at 0.75 speed::

Here is the official approved video on YouTube:
YouTube - Venus - Shocking Blue (Official Video)

I looked up the background on Shocking Blue and found out that they were pare of the Nederbeat or Nederbiet movement in the Netherlands that was a response to the British beat groups of the mid 60s.

Just for fun, look at this video from 0:40 to 0.45. Doesn’t the drummer (the late Cor van der Beek) look a lot like Justin Sandercoe. Perhaps a distance relative :slight_smile:
Also kudos and a tip of the hat to anyone who can identify the guitar that Robbie van Leeuwen is using in the video. Couldn’t find in cursory search on internet. Note: I looked again and identified (I think) in as 1967 Danelectro Coral Longhorn guitar.


Didn’t think I knew this song then as you started playing I recognised it…BANANARAMA! :slightly_smiling_face: I was an 80s child and it seems they did a cover of this in about 86’.

I thought your playing was good and I’m sure with more practice (and some healing of the injury, ouch :persevere:) you’ll soon have it up to speed :+1: it would also be great if as you progress, we could also hear the backing track your playing along to. Keep at it Steve and hope the finger heals quick :v:

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Varying “standard” chord fingering is a useful technique that I have to do sometimes but not only because of injury. Sometimes I have to with certain chord shapes.
It seems to me the song is coming along nicely, Steve. Listened to some of the last link to hear you sing and play. I don’t think you’re very far away from getting it together. It was only the transition, moving from open position to playing a tricky barre chord that seemed to put you off. I think the usual advice would be to practice those transitions a lot.

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Hi Steven,
An iconic song with a very recognizable sound … also how it is performed by you :sunglasses: and with the vinger problems :grimacing:, but I expect to hear a version with more instruments in time who accompany you… but for that you are of course working on the right speed first I look forward to the end result with great anticipation,

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Lee, thanks for watching my video and for your encouraging comments. I had forgotten to mention that the song was covered by Bananarama in 1986, probably because I prefer the original version. The electronic beat of the cover is very 1980s, but the simple garage band sound of the original makes it easier to play and more timeless to my ears. I didn’t play the YouTube video that I was using as a backing track because I wanted you to know that I was playing the guitar for real and not air guitar. I don’t have a true backing track yet for Venus, so I guess a future project is create my own backing track with drums and bass :slight_smile:

John, thanks for your kind words and thanks for looking at my videos. I think that I have a lot more practice to be able to sing with playing songs with a lot of barre chords. I have no problem with singing while playing any open chords, but I have years of experience doing that. Justin is right that you have to practice until you can play something without thought before you can easily sing to your playing. I will get there some day.

Rogier, thanks for watching my video and for your words of encouragement. I hope in a future project to create a backing track with drums and bass to play and sing along to hopefully on my DAW.

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@Richard_close2u @DavidP Richard or David, sorry to be a bother, but I seemed to have posted this AVOYP to the main or root community recording level, instead of the AVOYP subdirectory. Is there a way that I can move this new post to the AVOYP section? Thanks.

You’ve got off to a good start with this one Steve and I’m looking forward to seeing how this one grows. As @roger_holland Rogier has said, I think a backing track would life this one quite a bit.

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@Richard_close2u Richard, Thanks for moving this post to its intended location.