Justin Guitar Community

Competition + Performance Area (Audio / Video of Your Playing) => Audio or Video of YOU playing :) => Topic started by: Barend on April 02, 2018, 01:28:52 pm

Title: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: Barend on April 02, 2018, 01:28:52 pm
Hi All

Here is an "in progress" version of Sound of Silence. I have been working on it for months and want to share the progress.

A lot of the elements of this fingerstyle & strumming version proved challenging, but I really enjoy the song and want to do it justice.. one day :)

Firstly, the quick chord change with change in finger picking pattern between C and Fmaj7 followed by a walk up between C and Am and Back to C is especially challenging - I still struggle to get this fluent, especially with slightly higher stress levels when recording.  This happens at the lyrics .. "brain .. still remains".

Secondly, where the finger picking moves to strumming, I move from Am to the alternative G shape. This G shape is required to enable one to hit the C note with the index finger on the up strokes. Was difficult to get quick movement between Am and alternative G while index plays the C note without some of the notes buzzing.

I developed the habit of strumming with only my thumb in this section as I prefer the softer sound produced by the side of the thumb. Any comments on this anyone.. a bad habit maybe?

Thirdly, figuring out how to combine the timing of the guitar finger picking with the lyrics proved very very challenging. A lot of the words of the lyrics starts one or 2 quarter beats later than the actual chord changes. With the finger picking one has to be quite precise with the timing of the chord changes and lyrics. I spent a lot of time with the sheet music and recordings of the song to figure this out. The reason for me singing is mostly to demonstrate this :) Apologies for the less than perfect vocals.

Fourthly, towards the end, strumming with the index finger lifting or pressing the C note (1st fret 2nd string) was new. The strumming pattern was also new, especially with some chord changes taking place on the up stroke of the strum.

Other new elements was learning the Dm7 and Fmaj7 chords and the finger picking pattern at the start. Of all the challenges, the finger picking pattern proved the easiest.

The final challenge was to sing and play the difficult parts together. I tend to forget about the vocals as I concentrate on the finger picking and chord changes.  Putting everything together fluently needs more work. Also need to practice the vocals separately.

It was (and still remains) a fun challenge. I will continue to work on it and hope my left-hand dexterity and speed improve such that one day everything happens automatically. 

Thanks for listening.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nS3Wbag9PQ
 






Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: DavidP on April 02, 2018, 04:35:36 pm
Tip my hat, Barend...you've obviously worked hard, learnt loads and improving your technique through this project. And you are well on the way. Keep at it.
Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: redrhodie on April 02, 2018, 05:33:03 pm
I think the changes from finger picking to strumming work great. As Justin says, if it sounds good, it is good, and I think it sounds good.

Look forward to hearing your progress. It's a hard song.

Sent from my Moto G (5S) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: DarrellW on April 02, 2018, 05:35:21 pm
Not a bad attempt at all, just one observation maybe it’s not quite the right key for you to sing in, a capo and a bit of experimentation would help maybe. Bear it in mind you might be looking at putting a capo higher up than you think!
Your guitar is pretty decent and practice will definitely make it as you want it to be but don’t make a chore of it, enjoy it!
Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: oldhead49 on April 02, 2018, 08:58:16 pm
Barend, This sounds good.  I like the sound of it, and really admire the fingerpicking and singing simultaneously.  Impressive!  Sounds like you mounted a lot of challenges doing this,  and overcame them.  Good job.  It's really good to push ourselves to learn and go go further than where we are. Nice job!
Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: batwoman on April 04, 2018, 03:40:50 am
You have every reason to be proud of this Barend. Your sensitivity of touch and interpretion have produced some lyrical, emotion charged, meaningful passages in this piece. 

Your singing? It's a little hard to tell just yet, just what kind of voice you have. I can hear little phrases that are appealing in tone and quality. It sounds as though you aren't opening your mouth enough, so some of your sounds are swallowed. You may not need to change the key, but rather, gain confidence, breathe deeply, open your mouth and project your voice. It can be harder to sing quietly, with sensitivity and be pitch perfect, but yet project the voice so it reaches the mind and heart of the listener.

If you're still following tab and/or lyrics, once you've committed these to memory, it will free you.

You are well on the way to making this a fine piece of music.
Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: bickb on April 04, 2018, 06:53:48 am
Nice one, Barend. Singing & playing at the same time is difficult as it gets :) Keep on practising  8)
Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: Loefgren on April 04, 2018, 01:58:40 pm
Really good effort Barend. I havent tried this song but I know its really difficult playing fingerstyle and sing at the same time. Beyond my skill set.

Transitions between strumming and fingerstyle works well. Some pitch issues in the singing as other has mentioned, but it will get better with more practice. Well done!
Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: Barend on April 04, 2018, 06:53:09 pm
Loefgren, Bickb, Redrhodie, Oldhead49, Darellw, Batwomen and David,  Thks for all the positive feedback, encouragement and suggestions. I enjoy the sense of community here.

Batwomen, thanks especially for your kind words re touch and interpretation. I see solid evidence of strong song-writing skills in your reply :)

DarellW, I assume the use of a capo will make the tone of the song higher, so did not consider it before. I generally struggle with the higher notes, will play around though. Your comment on Fun vs Chore duly noted :)

Happy guitaring you all!


Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: DarrellW on April 04, 2018, 08:25:54 pm
DarellW, I assume the use of a capo will make the tone of the song higher, so did not consider it before. I generally struggle with the higher notes, will play around though. Your comment on Fun vs Chore duly noted :)
The use of a capo although it makes things higher can also make things lower when you play the lower strings of the chord, remember about octaves!
Take a look at this, he’s playing with a capo to match his vocal range.


Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: batwoman on April 05, 2018, 04:13:40 am
Batwoman ... I see solid evidence of strong song-writing skills in your reply :)

That's so nice of your Barend. See what your music did for me?
Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: DavidP on April 05, 2018, 11:44:10 am
The use of a capo although it makes things higher can also make things lower when you play the lower strings of the chord, remember about octaves!
Take a look at this, he’s playing with a capo to match his vocal range.
I also wrestled with this, Barend, after somebody suggested trying a capo when things got a little high and strained.  Seemed contradictory ... how will playing higher address the melody being too high.  Eventually I think I got it, maybe I am wrong and will be corrected  ;)

Using the capo means you are transposing the song into a higher key.  When singing in the higher key you drop lower rather than going higher, so effectively singing in the higher key but an octave lower than when singing in the open chord key.

Hope that makes sense

Hope that I understand it correctly.
Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: Barend on April 05, 2018, 05:51:48 pm
I also wrestled with this, Barend, after somebody suggested trying a capo when things got a little high and strained.  Seemed contradictory ... how will playing higher address the melody being too high.  Eventually I think I got it, maybe I am wrong and will be corrected  ;)

Using the capo means you are transposing the song into a higher key.  When singing in the higher key you drop lower rather than going higher, so effectively singing in the higher key but an octave lower than when singing in the open chord key.

Hope that makes sense

Hope that I understand it correctly.

Thks Dave - I follow what you are saying. I will be singing an octave lower than the notes played on the guitar.
Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: pkboo3 on April 06, 2018, 03:21:50 am
I thought you did very nice. There was a lot to learn in that piece. Good job.


Sent from my iPhone using JustinGuitar.com Forum
Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: LBro on April 06, 2018, 12:03:41 pm
Hi Barend,
I liked this and your effort here. I have a hard time of being “on key”. Something that helps me is to pluck the single notes and harmonize to pitch those very notes… Not sure that will help but might be worth a try!

All my best!
LB
Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: Barend on April 07, 2018, 08:01:10 am
Thks Pam & LBro.

A behavioural challenge that presents itself constantly is the temptation to start working on something new....

Current temptations are: 
develop fingerstyle a bit more or
work on barre chords a bit more or
 tackle Imany' s song "Don't be shy" or
read and understand more music theory or
start developing my vocals or
Setting myself up to record vocals/ guitar separately and mix it
Or
learn to play a wider variety of justins beginners songs.

I am trying my best to focus my quality practice time on finishing the BC.... nice to have all the other temptations lingering around though. Life is fascinating!!

Happy guitaring!
B


Sent from my [device_name] using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://JustinGuitar Community mobile app)

Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: DarrellW on April 07, 2018, 08:22:41 am
Such are the joys of learning guitar, it’s very easy to get side tracked - been there got the badge, so it’s important to prioritise what you want to learn and work through it systematically. In a way you need blinkers on, it sounds a bit extreme but it works, however cutting yourself a bit of slack to mess about occasionally doesn’t do any harm providing it doesn’t take over 🤣
Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: Sweed77 on April 07, 2018, 01:52:43 pm
I liked this Berend. You're doing a nice job on the guitar and I don't think it will take much more practice to have it nice and smooth.  It's not easy to combine the guitar and vocal on a complex piece but it will come once the guitar is on "auto".  I think the vocal is off to a good start though I'm not sure if it's in a hard key for you or is it simply the guitar playing taking too much of your concentration?  Not that it's bad mind you, it just needs more projection as I'm sure you already know.  As you get  more comfortable with the song you will figure out if a capo will help or not.

As others have noted the capo will change the key but just because the guitar sounds higher doesn't mean you have to follow with your voice to the same octave.  You can simply drop an octave or two lower and it will sound great.
Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: Garfield on April 07, 2018, 07:34:55 pm
Good job barend. I was interested in the strumming with the side of the thumb with the fingers anchored. I sometimes use the side of the thumb but the hand is free. I think I'd find it hard to keep the rythym if I was just wiggling my thumb. I looks wrong but you're doing it and it sounds fine.

These paul simon songs are tricky. I'm at a similar stage with the boxer I've been working on it for a while now. I'm hoping to be able to share something soon.

Sent from my [device_name] using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://JustinGuitar Community mobile app)

Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: Barend on April 08, 2018, 05:38:40 pm
That's so nice of your Barend. See what your music did for me?


Sent from my [device_name] using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://JustinGuitar Community mobile app)

Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: Barend on April 17, 2018, 09:31:58 pm
Thks for the comments Garfield, Sweed77 and DarrelW.  Good luck with the Boxer Garfield.

Sent from my [device_name] using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://JustinGuitar Community mobile app)

Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: embishop on April 29, 2018, 09:45:20 pm
Very nice guitar arrangement here, quite enjoyable.
Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: pkboo3 on April 30, 2018, 04:48:34 pm
 Concerning your previous comment to me & LBro, I’m having the same challenge. I actually asked a question similar to your comments in the General Discussion forum. Take a look at it. I got some good tips. Also, I just finished this same song in the Beginner Course last night. Want to go back to it in time and perfect it as you are. You’ve done well.


Sent from my iPhone using JustinGuitar.com Forum
Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: Barend on May 01, 2018, 05:11:59 pm
Very nice guitar arrangement here, quite enjoyable.
Tx Mari.

Sent from my [device_name] using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://JustinGuitar Community mobile app)

Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: Barend on May 01, 2018, 05:16:59 pm
Concerning your previous comment to me & LBro, I’m having the same challenge. I actually asked a question similar to your comments in the General Discussion forum. Take a look at it. I got some good tips. Also, I just finished this same song in the Beginner Course last night. Want to go back to it in time and perfect it as you are. You’ve done well.


Sent from my iPhone using JustinGuitar.com Forum
Will take a look Pam.
After writing that I bumped into a fingerstyle arrangement of "Send in the clowns".  I fell in love with the song and am dedicating half my time on practicing it. Have to follow the heart sometimes.. 

Sent from my [device_name] using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://JustinGuitar Community mobile app)

Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: Matek on May 01, 2018, 05:55:37 pm
I missed this one.
That sounds like it is a tough one to get right. Difficult picking while singing at the same time.
You did well.
Title: Re: Sound of Silence... in Progress
Post by: Barend on May 02, 2018, 01:05:46 pm
I missed this one.
That sounds like it is a tough one to get right. Difficult picking while singing at the same time.
You did well.
Tx Matek!

Sent from my [device_name] using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://JustinGuitar Community mobile app)