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Need feedback: 'Greensleeves' and 'Speak softly, love' in fingerstyle + what's next

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#1 prancingnotes

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:21 AM

Hi Everyone,

I go some good feedback from Kirk, Stu, Karcey and allthumbs on the two videos that I had uploaded (will post links to the videos as comments). Link to the other post:

So I started working with the metronome software and and (as Karcey mentioned), it's a pain to try and play with all the clicking going on in the background. Counting 1n2n etc (picked this from some guitar tutorial pdf that a friend shared with me) also does not work well. For now, I'm using VLC to slow down the pace of the original songs and play along with them, and it seems to be working fine (and is fun too).

Now what would love to know is what other songs would sound good on fingerstyle. I've been trying to learn 'Bouree' and have all the notes in place, but it's gonna be a while before I can get that speed at which it sounds catchy. Other that this one, I've been looking at:

-- Love Story theme (Where do I begin) <<<< anyone got fingerstyle tabs?
-- Titanic theme (my heart will go on) --> youtube user simplyluo's video makes it really simple

I understand that there are tons of posts on the internet about easy fingerstyle songs, but it would be great if you could suggest some based on your personal experience :-)



#2 prancingnotes

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:22 AM


#3 prancingnotes

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:23 AM

Speak softly, love:

#4 karcey

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:14 AM

Well, firstly my compliments on having a shot at this after we gave you that load of varied advice last time. I'm always impressed by someone who is determined to get it right, and I believe you are.

Your efforts on "Speak Softly Love" are paying off. I noticed though that you've found an extra beat in there somewhere. That's bad. You can't go adding an extra beat into music, even if it seems nice at the time. Music is very mathematical. We have a fixed number of beats in each measure, and a fixed number of measures in each part of the music. When someone adds an extra one, or even leaves one out, the whole balance of the music is lost. The drummer will go berserk! But your execution of the song is good.
There's a trick that marching bands use. They don't just tap their feet in time, they actually tap left, right, left etc. If they don't end the music on the right (they always start on the left) they know they've added a beat or lost one somewhere. You're playing this one so well, I want you to get it right. It is important. And don't doubt, I'm not being hard to get on with, just honest.
Now to Greensleeves. I'm not sure what to say here. It's not as close as Speak. In fact it still has that same basic problem as it had before. Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my comments before. Greensleeves is a tune and a song. It's played without words as a classical piece of music. With words added it can be the 'original' version of Greensleeves or the Christmas carol 'What child'. If you play it as a classical piece you're bound to respect the mechanical structure of the piece. That is, you need to follow the music with the correct number of beats per measure, and the correct number of measures in each part. Yes, it's a very formal piece of music. If you choose to play it as a song, either version, you must be able to play it so someone can sing along to it. The singer has an expectation that the music will follow a methodical, mechanical, mathematical pattern. You can't digress from that structure. If you do, the comments will not be favourable.
So where to go next? Well I reckon you've got the fingering down pat. What you need now is to make it foot tapping basic. Set the beat as slow as you like, and make sure you follow that beat playing each bit where it needs to be. No long pauses while you change chords, no going fast through the bits you know well. The whole piece has to be predictable if someone wants to sing along. And believe me, when you play a piece like this, everyone starts to sing along. If you don't hold the structure of the original music, then people stop listening.
I'm not sure you'll understand what I mean when I talk about the structure, but if it's still a mystery to you, then get back to me about it. I want to make sure you get this one sorted out. We can't afford to miss out on the obvious talent that you have.
(And in the future, when you're a famous entertainer, you'll remember this site and the folk here who wanted to help you succeed.)

Keep in touch.
"The music matters more than the instrument on which we play it." Jason W. Solomon

#5 prancingnotes

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:22 AM

Thanks, Karcey!
Your comments are well taken, I guess we all need a kick in the backside every now and then to come out of counter-productive inertia :)

You're right, there is one extra beat in the first line of Speak. Greensleeves, however, is completely messed up.
I think I'll go back one step and work on perfecting these basic tunes first. Once I get a knack for the feel of the songs (counting still remains a pain), only then will I move on to newer pieces.

Thanks again. I'll upload a newer and better Greensleeves soon.


#6 karcey

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:32 AM

That wasn't a kick in the backside. It wasn't intended to hurt.
We get a lot of beginners here. Not many have your potential, and so many don't come back.
I sort of wish you lived somewhere close to where I am. A few jam sessions and we'd have those tunes sorted out, you're so close.
Listen to Greensleeves over and over again. Get to know it so you can hum along. You Tube is good for this. Forget being expressive in the early stages. Just playing it straight, dead boring, but even tempered, will bring it together.
By the way, it happens to be one of my favourites, the one I can play even when I'm drunk! I love it and I want to hear you play it.

You haven't told us, do you play from notation or from TAB?
"The music matters more than the instrument on which we play it." Jason W. Solomon

#7 prancingnotes

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 06:11 AM

I totally understand, was just implying that a firm suggestion like yours will get the job done. Your suggestions are really really valuable, there aren't many experienced players who take such keen interest and give this kind of feedback.

To be honest, I listened to the actual Greensleeves song (and Speak.. too) for the first time today. The carols are not so popular where I live (India). I picked these two pieces because they sounded really good and soothing.

Most importantly: Greensleeves is already in my playlist and I'll attempt this one again only after I can hum along with the song myself. I went through youtube user licknriff's video tutorial for Greensleeves and also downloaded a pdf for the tabs (attached). One major flaw was that I tried to combine both of them (melody from licknriff and filling notes from the tabs).

I was wondering if you know of any good tabs that might help me with the next take of Greensleeves. This also bring up another question: Do you think it'll be helpful to invest some time in understanding how the music notations are read, or just reading from the tabs would suffice? (one immediate thing that comes to mind is that tabs most often don't show the rests, but that can be figured out if we know the song..)

I hope to come up with a version that's time-bound and one which can make you proud of your suggestions!

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#8 prancingnotes

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 06:13 AM

wrong tab added, apologies!
The first thing I did after reading your comment was to delete the pdf which I referred for the filling-notes. The one that I have attached above is the one I intend to use for the next attempt.

#9 karcey

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:37 AM

I'm no lover of TAB. For me there's just not enough information. I can read TAB, and I've used it, but only for tunes that I already know, that is, the ones I could already sing. If you have a song in your head, if you can sing it, if you can feel it, then TAB gives you the places on the fretboard where you can find the notes to play it. Millions of players use it very successfully in that way. If you aren't really sure about a song or a tune, then TAB doesn't really contain all the answers. Notation has the answers. It's a language in itself. But in all fairness, there so many great players who don't use or need notation, it would be wrong to insist you learn it, except maybe if you wanted a career in an orchestra, or a serious band, or playing concert type music. And there's so much modern music that's never been written out in notation that for many players (maybe even most players) it would be a total waste of time to learn it. The music that comes out of your guitar is judged on what it sounds like. Doesn't matter what technique you use to learn it, as long as it sounds good to the listeners.
I shouldn't have asked what you're playing from, except that I was trying to get my head around a good next step. I think you should just use the knowledge you have, keep playing, and keep in touch.
"The music matters more than the instrument on which we play it." Jason W. Solomon

#10 Doug


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Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:28 AM

Sounds really good, PN.

It's interesting that Karcey mentioned that TAB is good if you already know how to sing the song. I was going to mention singing the song in another way.

With fingerstyle guitar it is easy to create a bit of a hodgepodge of sound - lots of notes that can compete a bit.

So, what I suggest is to sing the song in your mind as you play. Even if you don't know the words, you still know the notes that make up the melody. Keep those melody notes in the forefront of your mind and play them louder and more clearly than the others. It takes a bit of effort to do this - you have to learn to control the dynamics of the guitar as you play.

Think of playing the songs as two instruments - the singer and the accompaniment. Watch some youtube videos of good guitarists accompanying a singer and watch how they never compete with the singer - they add a harmonic backdrop as the singer sings and then add fills when the singer is not singing. Try to do that while playing finger style guitar. The melody is king - keep it clean and clear. If you play them at the same intensity, the listener gets slightly confused and it sometimes comes across as tentative.

hope that helps.
"we don't see things as they are, we see things as we are" - Anais Nin

#11 eddiez152


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Posted 24 April 2012 - 03:25 PM

I agree with all that's been said. If you are going to work with tabs or are new to them, check out the tune or music to become familiar with what you are about to learn.

Your doing well, and its great that you are trying various stuff.
Nothin sweeter than the sound of music comin out of a 6 string box - EZ me Music / ASCAP "Music is a social act of communication, a gesture of friendship,the strongest there is"-Malcolm Arnold

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