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1.5 years update - a few songs

10 Posts
6 Users
Posts: 103
Estimable Member
Topic starter

hi everyone. i have now been at guitar for 1.5 years (bought my first guitar February 27, 2007) so i thought I would record a few songs that i've been working on and link them here. They are 32-20 (+ a solo that my teacher wrote), baby please don't go, and deep river blues. no editing (i'm sure you'll notice that) except for cutting at the beginning and ending of the song. i recorded it using the br600 and the boominess comes from not being too familiar with this product yet, although i've had it for a few months.

hope you like them. deep river blues is the most difficult out of the three for me and the most recent of the three that i've been given so there are more mistakes in that one. the other two are about as good as i can play them right now.

thanks for listening and let me know what you think.

32-20 + solo:
Baby Please don't go:
Deep River Blues:


Posted : 01/09/2008 5:44 pm
Posts: 91
Estimable Member

Paul, they're great!

A year and a half? Wow :shock:

There are too many songs that have an 'F' chord in them.

Posted : 02/09/2008 4:44 pm
Posts: 103
Estimable Member
Topic starter

Thanks Simon! I appreciate it!


Posted : 02/09/2008 5:14 pm
Posts: 628
Prominent Member

Hi Paul

That's brilliant - you must be really pleased with what you have achieved in a year 'n half.....

It's nearly a year in 18 days that I bought my first guitar and started learning - only via internet and bits of paper, but i'm way behind you in terms of ability...

How many more songs are in your repertoire? I only ask because I often wonder that if I hadn't moved from one tune to another and concentrated on, maybe three or four, they would be pretty much note perfect now as opposed to playing lots of tunes - all of which are a bit 'messy'.

Love the blues - been trying to learn a couple of numbers, but there we are - yet another hop to something else instead of concentrating.

Rock on!

D 8)

I'm nowhere near Chicago. I've got six string, 8 fingers, two thumbs, it's dark 'cos I'm wearing sunglasses - Hit it!

Posted : 03/09/2008 10:02 am
Posts: 103
Estimable Member
Topic starter

Hi Dylan:

First, thanks for your comments! I appreciate them.

I sense a bit of frustration in what you've written so let me do my best to address that first as best I can. I don't want to say anything trite as "this is supposed to be fun so enjoy yourself and don't get down" or "it's a lifelong journey" as those have been stated a number of times and, while there is some value in the statements, they are, in and of themself (and of course IMO), too simple to help each person.

I'll give you an example with myself. Right now, I'm extremely frustrated with guitar playing and practice. I've been taking lessons for a little over a year and while they have been helpful and I've seen progress, they have tapped into an area of my life that states that things need to be perfect. I would go to a lesson and my teacher would say this needs work or this isn't quite right, and while that is his job, I have become someone who hears (and listens for) every mistake that I make in my playing. It has stopped being fun and I stopped taking lessons yesterday. Someone once wrote that your life will influence your guitar playing and your guitar playing will influence your life, and that certainly is true. Other factors in my life right now are difficult so that my capacity for dealing with inevitable frustrations that come from guitar as you learn new things is not there.

Now to your question - I do know a number of songs, although none perfectly. Some are better than others. I know dust in the wind, and while it was difficult at first when i learned it, it now is just a matter of concentration in order to get the piece down well. Scarborough Fair is another that I am pretty good at. Here comes the sun is not bad for me. Then there are other pieces, like you, that are ok or a bit better than that, but require an amount of practice on them individually that i would not have been able to work on new songs. Blackbird can be good but can also be very frustrating. Classical Gas - the same thing.

I remember reading someone saying that he teaches his students and wants them to learn 3 new songs so that they are performance ready. I just don't know, within 1.5 years, if these types of songs are in my capacity for that level. Certainly, the strumming songs with minimal chord changes that you start out with are possible, but the songs that i've mentioned above are pretty difficult (at least for me). The Blues songs that I posted are in the same category, and the blues on acoustic is difficult to play well. However, they have helped me learn different parts of guitar while helping emphasize, again, what needs serious work.

I posted these songs in order to see what others thought of them who understand what it is like to learn guitar, and maybe to get some encouragement. it's difficult when you play in front of family or friends and they listen and their response is "hmmmm" or "I'm sure you'll get better" (unfortunately, that is what some families are like).

I'm not sure if this helps you or not (I've rambled a bit) - perhaps someone else will read it and it might help them. While some direction seems lacking in what you've described, if you do go on the road where everything needs to be perfect and structured, it is possible that it can end up where you don't enjoy playing the guitar. There is a happy medium. Once again, thanks for your comments and thanks for listening.

Best of luck.


Posted : 03/09/2008 4:48 pm
Posts: 155
Estimable Member

That's great progress for 1.5 years! Nice blues picking too. Impressive... seems like you ar diligent and are working on a good program. Stick to it cos it's working :)

Posted : 06/09/2008 8:21 am
Posts: 3995
Famed Member

The comments that I got after my first acoustic recording were more or less that it is important to play the correct notes and also avoid the noises. It seems you are controlled it!

Keep recording. Your playing will be more fluid.

Great job! :D

Thanks for sharing.

Posted : 06/09/2008 9:42 am
Posts: 103
Estimable Member
Topic starter

Thanks Nuno and Kachman. I appreciate the comments!


Posted : 06/09/2008 11:20 am
Posts: 5
Active Member


I usually just lurk here but I had to log on to say that I think your playing is excellent. Amazing, really for the time you've been playing. I started exactly a year ago and I can't touch your rhythm, or the smoothness in your style. I've been working on fingerstyle versions of Let It Be, Malaguena and Amazing Grace lately and I just can't get it smooth at all. Very choppy. But improving, and like you said, it's fun.

Whether it was through the help of your instructor or more due to your own perseverence, your skill shines through in your playing. I hope you don't get too discouraged because clearly the talent is there.

Agreed, though, about family feedback being less than inspirational. I've been told "Hey, that actually sounded like music" and "When will you start playing songs?" after I'd thought I had been playing songs from the beginning. I now make it a point not to play around the family!

Congratulations on your accomplishments.

Posted : 07/09/2008 1:39 am
Posts: 103
Estimable Member
Topic starter

Thanks Ryler for your post! With regards to your playing, I would have to say that I noticed a large difference in the 6 months following the 1 year mark.

I can't recall exactly but the first part of learning (which took most of the first year) is the more simpler things (at least they are simple now - they weren't when i was working on them!). The first two (maybe three) months were just strumming techniques and chords, and then we went on simple picking exercises. Then Travis Picking exercises. This took a while. For example, just Roll patterns with the thumb took probably a couple of weeks. I think it was right around the 10 month part where we really started working on songs (not just accompaniement like travis picking). That takes a lot of time, especially if you are trying to learn how to read at the same time (not using tab). However, I wasn't starting from scratch with reading though as I had a few years of piano growing up. The last 6 months were spent learning songs while polishing technique and going for smoothness and tone.

Lessons, without a doubt, have contributed to my playing. However, I also have practiced pretty hard. As far as family goes, I will still play in front of them but just need to lessen my expectations of what they will say after I'm finished (probably good advice for playing in front of anyone). I think that it takes people who have played guitar (or another instrument) to know how much work it takes to get to this position. Anyone else probably is comparing me to Tommy Emmanuel, James Taylor, or Doc Watson - I'm obviously not going to win on that comparison.

Thanks again for your post!


Posted : 08/09/2008 10:21 am