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I'm just going to use the song I'm teaching myself as an example.

I've been learning Rylynn by Andy McKee for months now, and I'm not very far, because I'm trying to get each part perfect.

^ That is the video I'm working off of and at about 42~ to 49~ seconds is where I'm having trouble. I have the speed OK I think, and it actually sounds alright, but it's not nearly as smooth as how it's being played on the video. I also looked up a couple of cover versions:

Those are just a couple examples, but as you'll notice at around the same 40~ second (50 seconds on the first one), the progression is very smooth.

Any tips on being able to sound like that? To me it sounds like they're letting the strings ring a lot, but I can't tell and also don't know how they'd be able to do that with the tapping and such.

Here's my sample, so you can see what I mean:

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I don't know how you practice (you may already do this) but slow it right down to half speed and and focus on your accuracy. Practice the chord changes without the melody lines and go back and forth between each chord very slowly until you can do it without thinking, gradually bring the speed up again. Don't worry about rhythm just yet, all you want to do is get the chords real clean. Then when you have that down you can start to (slowly) play the melody lines between the chords.

Also as far as how smooth you can play it compared to the videos it is possible, though I can't tell from your video, that your action is a little high making it harder to get a smooth transitions?

It sounds good though, you've got a solid foundation there, keep working on it.

PS. In my opinion there is no need to worry about getting everything perfect straight away. Keep working through the song because once you can play the whole thing through you will be in a much better position to perfect all the parts. In my experience perfection comes when I've been playing a whole piece for years not parts for months.

  • Thank you! I'll try and do that - work through the whole song and go back perfecting it. – GloatenFree Nov 28 '14 at 1:16

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