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Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head - Fingerstyle BJ Thomas

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Postby JoeHempel » March 3rd, 2010, 2:25 pm

I'm thinking of using either this, or Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain as the opener to my gig on the 27th. Depends on which one I feel more comfortable with, there is a slight timing issue when switching to that Dm chord shape on the 5/6/7th fret that I can hear plain as day that I need to get out. What do you guys think?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7vKYyXlLvg
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Postby lue42 » March 3rd, 2010, 6:32 pm

A little problem my inexperienced eyes are seeing and ears are hearing is the lack of your notes being held and ringing out. It looks to me like you are doing a little too much unnecessary movement with your fretting hand.

You seem to be doing exactly what I am doing too much and that my teacher is trying hard to help me to break. You are using your ring finger when you should be using your pinky on a lot of notes. For example, right at the beginning, you are playing the C chord and lifting off the C to fret the (D?) note on the 3rd fret with your ring finger. Everything seems to be so staccato'ed. If I a not really explaining myself, listen to the audio example at the bottom here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staccato

Play it again and before leaving a chord formation (or lifting any fingers), make sure it is really necessary and see if your pinky can fret the note. Only move a finger if absolutely necessary and only at the last possible moment. If you get the notes ringing out more it will sound even more fantastic. My instructor must be sick of saying "Picky!"... but she is so right.

Honestly, I feel a little silly making any suggestions, as you are way more skilled than I am. But, I am seeing that exact problem in my own playing and over the last month or two since working on it my playing is sounding so much better. Now that I am getting my notes to ring out more, I am also throwing in little trills here and there too... which only work well when you get them really ringing out.

One more... it may be my little tinny laptop speakers, but it sounds like your high notes are overpowering your bass notes a bit. Try plucking a little harder with your thumb, or consider a thumb pick.
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Postby JoeHempel » March 3rd, 2010, 8:40 pm

Hey man, thanks for the feedback! I'm happy that you said something about the Staccato, it's because it's the EXACT feel I was going for.

Here's why:

When I play it like you stated, let all the notes ring out longer etc, I feel like I get more of a "crooning" feel with it.

But when I play it Staccato, I get the feel and image of being happy, bouncy, and care free, splashing in the rain puddles. My hand should look like it's "bouncing" along with the music. I'm guessing it just looks like a mess by your comments, which isn't the look I'm going for. But if you'll notice in the 2nd part of the song, the notes do ring a bit more because the tone of the song kind of changes, and that needed to be reflected in the music.

I've tried playing this with a lot of slow strums, and letting things ring more, and letting things even go shorter, and I think I found a happy balance with this version.

As far as the chords in the beginning I'm going from a C, to an F, to an open E to that D in the beginning.

And to the concern about the bass, I can hear it, but I did turn it down when mastering because most of my stuff seems too bass heavy. But my laptop speakers aren't that great either, so I listened to it in headphones.

I think all this comes down to is personal preference.

Oh, and don't ever feel silly for making a suggestion man, you are more "trained" than I am, since you have a teacher. I don't technically do things the "correct" way, but I play how I feel comfortable, and that's good for me. I think if I ever started taking lessons at this point I would just get frustrated with the teacher because I have my own way of doing things and they seem to work for me.
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Postby Nuno » March 3rd, 2010, 11:44 pm

You could use this one (now I don't remember the other song), you seem very comfortable with.

For the timing issue really I don't have any new comment. When I am in similar troubles I practice that part slowly (probably you already knew that, isn't? LOL!)

Perhaps you also could slow the tempo, by playing slowly (I think the original song is slower). It could help with the tricky parts.
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Postby JoeHempel » March 4th, 2010, 1:31 am

Thanks Nuno! I wonder how it would go if I played this and the other back to back...hmm....something to think about when building my set list I guess.

Yeah, there are a few songs that I need to slow down to get that muscle memory fast. I'll keep plugging at this and several others LOL.
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Postby Nuno » March 4th, 2010, 2:40 am

Good idea! I like when several songs are played together and these have a similar style. I'm really bad in that but I don't know if both follow the same measures (Measures? Rhythm? Suddenly I forgot the correct English word!). I mean, Raindrops seems a 3/4 to me and the Falling Rain a 4/4.

BTW I remembered the song Falling Rain. I must tell you when I replied it was early morning (around 8am) and my neurons were not completely activated LOL!

Independently I like very much the idea!
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Postby JoeHempel » March 4th, 2010, 4:14 am

Nuno wrote:BTW I remembered the song Falling Rain. I must tell you when I replied it was early morning (around 8am) and my neurons were not completely activated LOL!


LOL, I know the feeling all too well.

I would have to figure out a way to lead them into each other....maybe some quick strums leading up to a G barred and go into the song it starts out what a barred 3rd fret hammering on to the 5th fret on the high e. It would have to segue well, I don't know if I've got the time to noodle with it like that...but we'll see.
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Postby daven » March 4th, 2010, 6:56 am

Very nice Joe,
Man, your way ahead of me! Could you switch that Dm to the open form xx0231? It appears that the switch of open to barre, different shape, and distance between the two chords on the neck combine to make that change difficult. That voicing may not work but I'm all about simplification. Now if anyone can show me how to form A/C# without growing a sixth finger I'd Appreciate it! :D
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Postby JoeHempel » March 4th, 2010, 6:59 am

Thanks man....the shape I am playing at the 5/6/7 is the open Dm shape, it goes from the 5th fret of the high e, to the 3rd fret, then some open strings, which gives me time to make the switch, I think it's a matter of the action being higher at that part of the fretboard that is killing me.

I'm good with it sounding this way live for sure...mom and them won't know 99% of the time.
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Postby Nuno » March 4th, 2010, 10:17 am

daven wrote:Now if anyone can show me how to form A/C# without growing a sixth finger I'd Appreciate it! :D

x4222x?
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Postby daven » March 4th, 2010, 10:38 am

Thanks Nuno, I'm working on that one but for now, at least, it"s impossible. I just can't get a finger up to that C#. I'm sure it's just a matter of stretching and practice like all else guitar. :)
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Postby Nuno » March 4th, 2010, 10:49 am

Are you using a barre in the 2nd fret and your finger in the 4th fret?

You could also use x42225 for a different voice (the pinky in the 5th fret for playing A) and you wouldn't mute the 1st string.
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Postby daven » March 4th, 2010, 11:19 am

Now that one I've got to try, I tried the barre on the 2nd but couldn't get the high e to ring and I didn't think of muting it. Thanks Nuno!
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