Now is as good a time as any, I suppose, to repeat once again what the point of this cover song exercise is: I’m here to learn. I have skills to improve, new techniques to learn, new technologies to understand, and a need to practice and refine the skills/techniques/etc. I already have. I’m not posting these (often embarrassingly bad) songs to demonstrate my genius. I’m posting up my homework, and sometimes it deserves a low grade.
Today’s homework is all about learning a new technique: Travis picking. Right hand technique on the guitar has always been difficult for me. It’s VERY different from bowing, where I’ve got that lovely stick to manipulate* and a lifetime of practice at doing so to build on. I’m slowly beginning to learn things like palm muting and the sound differences generated by different pick weights. I occasionally even manage to do some picking on individual notes — someday, playing a lead lick won’t be impossible for me (maybe). I have no finger picking skills whatsoever, so my bandmate Josh suggested that I learn some — in this case, that I learn Travis picking. He showed me how to do it and suggested a song to try, so I had at it.
In retrospect, it’s possible that I should have started with something a little…well, easier. :) Still, I didn’t make too horrible a mess of Iron & Wine’s Naked As We Came. I ended up doing a radically simplified version — I don’t walk the bass line around the way the original version does, and there are a whole lot of ornaments and additional notes that I just can’t do. Still, I think I caught most of the bits of it (more or less). It’s the kiddie version! :)