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Trying to teach myself Fast Car by Tracy Chapman

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Oct. 5th, 2013 | 04:35 pm

When someone I like tells me what their favorite song is, I sometimes get it in my mind to learn it on the guitar or piano. It's just an inspiration point. It helps if I already appreciate the song.

Today, it's "Fast Car". Here's a video if the late 80's were a blur to you. So here I am sitting on the bed, my Taylor alternately beside me (a partner I'm trying to engage with more, or at least neglect less) or astride my leg, and the tab on a (browser) tab. Now it feels like a conquest.

It's one of those songs that sounds easy, but is actually oddly tricky to play, at least if I'm going by this version of the tablature. That said, when I listen to Chapman do it, she's clearly doing some sliding that would be nigh impossible using this particular tab. The fretting is awkward on my hands.

Blast, I should be past this awkwardness! I've been playing guitar for twenty-three years; I can play freaking Classical Gas!

It's always strange to encounter an unexpected challenge in a medium you thought you were competent at. But at the same time, I'm a multi-instrumentalist and I've always been casual about my playing (not overly regimented in learning, unless I was inspired to be obsessive about it. Then it didn't feel like "practice", but indulgence, to play over and over). So it's possible I sometimes overestimate my grasp of a particular instrument, even my primary two.

(Huh. Is "primary two" an oxymoron?)
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Comments {5}

not a beautiful or unique snowflake

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from: nothings
date: Oct. 6th, 2013 08:27 am (UTC)
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That seems pretty implausibly hard (in part because the author decided to incorporate the bass part, rather than stick to the recording). This one looks more likely to be accurate, though I haven't tried to play it along to the recording to check for sure.

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from: savorie
date: Oct. 8th, 2013 10:13 pm (UTC)
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Bugger, I can't figure out where I put my capo!

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The Libertina

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from: savorie
date: Oct. 8th, 2013 10:17 pm (UTC)
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(Part of why I chose the tab version that I did was because it didn't require a capo. Also, I do like the idea of bass integration, to give it fullness.)

I spent a little more time and got the basic hang of it. Then I tried singing on top of doing that fingering, and I got sloppy all over again. The singing has such an arhythmic, conversational quality, that I generally can't anchor my words very well on a downbeat. I can normally sing over my playing all day long, but this was obscenely challenging.

Will try your linked version if I can find my damn capo (or procure a new one).

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et alia laughing and weeping

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from: tristissima
date: Oct. 8th, 2013 09:37 pm (UTC)
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I absolutely ADORE that song!!!!

That's all I have to say, really, since words are more my thing than music, but still . . .

I absolutely ADORE that song!!!!!

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CR!ZZLE.

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from: heartxri0t
date: Oct. 12th, 2016 02:59 am (UTC)
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savorie

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