You Can Close Your Eyes renditon

Hi to all.
I’m back at it again. Trying to make music that is.

This one took me forever to get it together. I think I’ve been working on this song for a good year and a half at least.

While this has a mistake in it, I’m gonna run with it anyways.
I’ve tried so long to get it just right, but alas, this seems to be about as good as I get at it.

This is one of my favorite you tube videos I go watch. It was James Taylor and Carlie Simon singing this song in what looks like a at home produced video. It brings tears to my eyes near every time I watch it. Anyways, this is my rendition of that song.

About the best I can hope for with this rendition is to let others see that when your playing a song and make a mistake, the thing I do is to try to just move forward and recover best I can from the mistake.

Other than that…

I recorded this one different than I’ve done before. This one is just that one mic for everything. I’m just not plugged in. There are no effects added, no reverb, no nothing. Just me and my guitar.

Any insight for a better way to do this song would be appreciated.
Thanks for watching.



Enjoyed it! Your picking is good with so many quick changes going on. Two suggestions: play it just a little more slowly; try projecting your voice a little more, singing beyond the microphone.


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Thanks for the listen @beejay56 Brian.
Appreciate the comments.

Agreed, on the music I got it at 69bpm. I’ve not tried to see how fast I was, but I suspect your correct, it’s a bit fast. Should have used a metronome to keep me in line.

I like that comment. Singing just ain’t my long suit imho. Projecting is hard for me to do as I don’t want anyone to hear me…
That said, I feel like I’m constantly working on just what your saying. Project, project. Perhaps I need to do some more songs. :wink:
Practice makes perfect I suppose.
As for sing beyond the mic? Any chance you can elaborate on that. I’m not sure what you think I need to do. Project, I think I understand. Beyond, I’m not sure how to do that.
Anyways, thanks for the kind comments. Cool that you think my picking is good and that your main comment is on my singing. That makes me a HappyCat!
Thanks for the listen and comments Brian.

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‘beyond the mic’ is an imagination / visualisation trick. You have to think about your voice landing on the audience member farthest from you (or when performing solo having it land on the farthest wall or door). I know it sounds a bit daft; I used to sing as a chorister and later in life did a lot of public speaking: thinking about getting my voice into the room helped. It may not work for everybody.


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Hey Jim!

Great to see you posting a video here.

Sounding really good.

As far as the guitar playing — James Taylor is a real bugger to try and play because he is so creative with his fingerpicking/ hammer on/pull off patterns. Not sure there’s much I can tell you that @beejay56 hasn’t mentioned — slowing down a bit — another thing I noticed (I went and had a listen to the YouTube video of James and Carly you mentioned) was maybe to try and emphasize the bass notes in the progression/ changes of the song. People tend to want to focus first on what James is doing with the thinner strings but for me it’s always the bass line that really outlines/defines the melody. Not sure if that comment is all that clear but it’s what struck me about that rendition of the song — bigger bass sound.

As far as the singing — @beejay56 is right about projection and singing beyond the mic. It’s a confidence thing and it takes time but singing and playing in time is a great start.

The key, as you mention in your post about playing, is to not care if you make a mistake either with singing or the playing. If you try to hit a note you’ll see very quickly whether or not you can do it. If you can’t you’ll pretty soon figure out why and sort it out or come to the conclusion that it just ain’t in your voice to get there.

We often forget that the voice is like another instrument and can be trained and needs attention and focus to get right.

Putting them both together takes lots of time and practice, but you know that already.

Great to hear from (and see!!!) you. Look forward to more as and when it’s right for you.

It’s a rollercoaster. . .enjoy the ride!!!

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Well played Jim … :clap:
The thing with JT is you never know what you’ve let yourself in for until you start learning a song.
He’s a master at squeeziing every ounce of melody out of his songs with all his H/O and P/O.
That said, it’s worth the effort, eh ? :sunglasses:

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Thanks Brian @ beejay56. I understand what your saying now. Whether or not I can do that is debatable at this moment. I will look at this as a challenge to be overcome. Thanks for the clarification. I think I understand now what your getting at. A really good comment for me too that I really need work on.

While I love James and Carly’s version of this song. I didn’t go look at it and try to replicate it. No idea if I even came close, which I would doubt that I did. I just love the song so learned it best I could doing it at whatever skill level I’m at only trying to make it sound like that song that perhaps is recognizable to others. Perhaps the next time I will try harder to be closer to the original song.
As for the bigger bass sound. I believe I could easy overcome that by plugging in that guitar to the interface. I get much better bass response by recording that way. I will take this notion into consideration though, as I mostly play this guitar unplugged, as it is in the video. I love bass lines myself, so will work on this when I’m unplugged. I really hadn’t considered this thought, so another great comment for me to consider. Much appreciated.

:slight_smile: confidence in singing I ain’t got. I feel for sure I’m at the “great start” point. And under no illusion that what I do is great in any sense of the word. I guess I’m gonna look at it this way. Before I got to this forum, I played my guitar, really I didn’t sing at all. Then someone (she knows who I’m talking about) persuaded me to sing. I did that always on a second track, never singing and playing at the same time. Now I’m here and am trying new things like singing and playing at the same time. A whole new game for me. Hard, yes. Making me a better musician, I’m thinking perhaps so. Having all these helpful comments is giving me much food for thought so I really thank you for your help Jeremy.

Thanks for the kind words @Elixir1253 . I know I’ll never play Like James Taylor. But I just really like his music so had to try one out. A year and a half of trying was worth the effort, even if it didn’t come out perfectly. I gave it the 'ol college try and it is worth the effort.
Making any kind of music makes me a HappyCat!

Thanks for the listen and kind words, encouragement, and comments to help steer me in the right direction.
I Thank You All!

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Hi Jim,

I really enjoyed your rendition, well done! :smiley: JT songs are definitely not on the easy side, but all the effort you put into clearly shows. There are lots of fast chord changes going on all while fingerpicking and singing on top! That’s something you cann really be proud of. :slight_smile:

Great advice has already been given with regards to slowing it down a little and also towards the singing, so it’s a little repetitive. But I basically agree that your voice is also like an instrument that’s getting better with confidence and confidence comes with practice and usage and a little bit of “letting go”. When it comes to singing, lots of folks - myself included - tend to overthink, worrying too much. Sometimes we just need to let it go and ease up. :slight_smile: But actually, you already have a good foundation for the singing as well, so just do it more often - and share it more often - I really enjoyed to listen. :slight_smile:

Very nice Jim! Fingerpicking is the best isn’t it? And it’s all about the journey and enjoying to learn playing a beautiful song. Learning and practising a song we love is the best excuse to play it again and again :wink:

I enjoyed your version, it has some nice runs in it, and it is recognisable!

If you want to make it sound even better I suggest work on your pulse and get it as regular and “on the beat” as much as you can. In the video you start with a nice and regular pulse, but then the singing + complicated chord changes come in and it is getting a little bit loose at times. The more regular you can play the more you signal to the listener that you are in control.

Lovely song Jim!
and I thought your fingerpicking was terrific.

Thanks for listening and the kind words Lisa. Your positive comments are always so kind. Along with your words of motivation as to how I can do it better. As for confidence in my singing. I’d say I pretty much have none. While I’m glad others find it ok, I am my own worst critic. Whatever singing I do is self learned w/o any instruction as to how to sing. Instruments, I took music classes for many years ago, never took one class in how to sing. + I have interest in instruments (guitar). Only mild interest in singing but I will surely agree.

I just haven’t looked at it that way.
Thanks for the inspiring words and listen Lisa.

Thanks for listening and comments on my rendition Molly. Very kind words and great suggestion about

Agreed. I’ll go back to using my metronome. :wink:
I know this about my playing too, but seem to have forgot this time. I tend to vary my timing and need that metronome to keep me steady. Thanks for the reminder.
I for sure love this song, but after a while I just wanna move fwd. onto something else. I think I may have been there with this song after playing it over and over.

I seem to be leaning that way. Seems like many of the songs I like are finger pickin songs. I just find them pretty to my ear.
I am kinda new to this idea of finger pickin so it’s a work in progress for me.
Very cool that you can recognize my version of this song. That is one of my goals. At least have whoever is listening recognize the song, so this is a win for me. Thanks.
I’ll work on getting a little tighter as I agree. I was getting loose. If I’d just use that metronome. It really helps and I know it does. I just forget to use it sometimes.
Thanks for the kind words and insight Molly.

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I listened to your lovely version and then I listened to JT & CS and then I went back and listened to yours again. Even though JT is incredible in all his embellishments, I thought you did the song great justice. I was impressed with your fast chord changes. I also think your vocals are fine. Good job!

Hello Jim, I’ve never heard this song before, but I really enjoyed your rendition :blush:. The picking and chordwork seem to be quite tricky. So congratulations from my side for playing it so well AND singing along simultaniously :clap::clap::clap:.
Very well done :+1:. The time and effort you’ve put into it, absolutely paid off :+1::+1:.

Thanks Pamala @pkboo3 for listening and sharing your thoughts on what I did. I just love that JT &CS version. For whatever reason, many times that version near moves me to tears. My version don’t do that to me…
I thank you for the kind words on the fast chord changes, the Bm was the hardest one for me to get. But after trying for so long, I think I finally got it. As for my vocals, ‘‘fine’’ might be a stretch imho but I surely appreciate your kind words. I think I’m just a shade off pitch more than I’d have liked. And my timidness for singing. I will just keep working on this.

Thanks Nicole @NicoleKKB for listening a commenting on my attempt at this song. Vert cool, I put you onto this song. I’m obviously a JT and CS fan and both of them make some really great music. This one just happens to be one of my favorites.
Thanks for the kind thoughts on my picking and chordwork. The chords themselves are actually pretty straight fwd. chords that we generally know. They do go by a shade quick though.
While I got a plenty more work to do on the finger picking thing. The sounds I’m getting are many times what I hear in my mind when I think of guitar. For whatever reason, I seem to like melodic types music, as opposed to head banging type music. :wink: . Thanks for the kind words on singing and playing at the same time. My oh my. Doing that sure opens up a whole new game for me. One that mostly I am liking. Sure gives me something to work towards anyways. I’m finding it quite challenging at best so really appreciate the kind words.

Thank you both for the kind thoughts and listening to my version.


I love James Taylor. His songs are difficult to sing for me because of the range and timbre of his voice. Very difficult to measure up to anything he performs. So it’s best not to and concentrate on what you can do.
Your finger style is pretty good, and your singing is actually not bad. You are singing the melody, it sounds good, but not great. The quickest way you can improve I think on this track is just slow down a fraction. I know other people have said it but it really will make a difference, and the biggest improvement will be in your vocal performance. And that would have the biggest positive impact overall.
You have no reason to feel uncomfortable about your singing. It’s easy for me to say and harder for you to believe but just accept that actually, you are not half bad vocally! I’m telling you you are ok, but even more exciting is you have potential to be better. Just try it at 65 or 66 bpm. Don’t think too much about your playing, just experiment a bit with your vocals, see where it takes you.
Sorry this turned into a ramble, I could have just said “great job” but I think your effort deserved something a bit more along the lines of constructive criticism, hopefully it’s what I will get if I ever get round to recording another song or two for posting.

Well, done, Jim! Not an easy song at all, and it is easy to see how much time you’ve put into this. We appreciate that! I’ve always liked James Taylor. May have to try something soon from him on the more basic side🤣

Thanks for taking the time to listen and comments Michael @mikemycroft

I’m down with your critical review. That’s actually why I’m here. To get feedback as to where I need to improve.
I sit here and read ‘slow down’. I for sure agree with this. I’m remembering back to when I played in band, high school ya know (mid 1970’s). I’m remembering my teacher repetitively saying slow down, or your speeding up. I just feel I’ve had this issue for a long time. The metronome is the answer. It was then, I’m assuming it is now too. Worse yet, I’m pretty sure I had 68bpm written at the top of the music I was using. More proof I can’t read.
Thanks for the positive comments on my singing. People keep saying that. While I don’t think that, I will have to start to believe folks as they keep saying it. Hopefully there not just being nice. My biggest disappointment about my singing this song is. After listening back a few times. I think I’m off pitch too much.
I will just keep working on this. I’ve never had any schooling in singing period. So singing is truly something new for me to do.
I’ll just keep working on it. I thank you for motivating me to move fwd. and your critique as to where I could do better.

Thanks for the listen and comment Tosh @ToshS

For sure man. JT makes great music that make my ears happy. It was worth that year+ to get even this close to doing that song.
While I got a long way to go imho for my playing and singing. I’ve now been at this for 4 years+ since I got back into it. I think I’m starting to note that I am improving. Just still got a long way to go.
Look into playing some JT tosh, he really does write some fun music that’s fun to play.
Hate to say it, but I was getting tired of practicing that song so needed a break. So I’m learning a new song.
More JT… :wink:
It seems to be coming along faster than this one did.

Thank you folks for the kind words and some heads up on ways I might improve.

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Give it another go, I did a rough check with a tap tempo and I think your playing at about 76-77 bpm. Just slowing down to 68-69 will make a massive difference, give you so much more time on your vocal phrasing and stuff.
Keep going it’s really good now, will definitely be better at 68-69 bpm!

Hi Jim. This is tricky, very fast chord changes and picking. Some fast recoveries as well. You did really great, I enjoyed it! :smiley:

Thanks for the extra motivation Michael. With your motivation I am considering another try. My only delima is that I’m a shade burned out playing this song over and over. I need a break, as in a new song to learn. Which I’ve found my next song to learn so am kinda getting off on that. But I’m thinking your notion is correct and I should really give it another go. Now, to get motivated to go back to doing it. Time will tell.

Thanks for the listen and kind words Boris. Ah, so ya caught my mistake in there ay? :wink: I know it’s there. Cool ya think I recovered good. Ya sure see me make the quick change (fumbling) from the wrong chord to the right one.
I want to think of it as, I can just shrug this off, I’m not a pro and only do this to learn and enjoy what I’m doing. + I had me a boss once that told me. If ya ain’t making mistakes, ya ain’t doing nothing. Since I’m always making mistakes, that comment resonated with me.
Still, it’d be nice to do it w/o mistakes all the way through, which is for sure my goal.
Thanks for the kind comment man.