In less than 24 hours, via a google doc and some messaging, friends have helped me produce produce a song cover. Quite some time ago, Giulia Forsythe suggested I should do a cover of 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover for the 50 Web Ways to Tell a Story site.

At one time I looked up the guitar tabs, and was dismayed at the bizarre chords I found, like Cmin7dim9sus4/F (I exaggerate). A few nights ago, I caught on TV a very old episode of Saturday Night Live starrring Paul Simon, and as I watched him play the song, I was astonished. The chorus was a simple G- Bb – C progression! I found a simpler set of tabs (well except for that weird B7-9 chord), and started practicing.


I decided last night, because the ripping asunder of our social fabric was so depressing, to try rewriting the lyrics to fit the 50 Web Ways mindset. I even found a site that generates chord diagrams so put them together in a google doc.

I shared it with Giulia, who helped fix the wording, as as with music and education gurus David Kernohan and Vivien Rolfe. Fresh off of a transatlantic site, I was delighted when David shared a link to backing music (bass, drums, rhodes, clavinet, strings and percussion).

Their track sound so good, and was rather intimidating to try and record me accompanying on guitar and vocals. I recorded this in Audacity, with the backing track playing in my headphones.


I’v never played to a backing track before, and have to say.. well I suck at at and that it’s hard. There was juggling starting the recording and flipping to the words in the google doc, and being able to scroll that mid-song. I did maybe 6 recordings before I got close. And when I played it back, OMG I was off beat so much! I did some tiny nip and tucking in Audacity to line my warbling up with the background track.

Anyhow, for what it’s not worth, here’s the song

Thanks David and Viv and Giulia for a collaboration experience.

I have a lot of practice to do. David make it look waaaaaaaay too easy.

Practice, practice, practice. I told someone today that the only way to be comfortable in the online space as spending time being in the online space, that no one makes a home made pizza by staring at the oven.

Gotta get the hands in the dough.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. I love it!! It takes guts to do that, and of course there is the tech, and the practice! Every musician who reads your post will be smiling when they get to the ‘practice, practice, practice’ part 🙂
    It makes me think of a first year class about pedagogy and repertoire that I used to teach, and part of the assessment was to remix a song so that it was a good teaching tool – e.g. focus on certain techniques, make bits extended, change the accompaniment… it took thought and practice. Then Microsoft came out with a programme and I used the advert to break the ice, because it was hilarious.
    Really, the point was with some thought, and figuring it out, these things were possible… and now there are all sorts of fun things out there. I have a friend in Hawaii who tested a looping app, and the fun that can be had is amazing. 🙂
    Sorry for the rambling comment, but this post got me leaping up this morning. I think it’s great!

  2. Well, don’t quit your day job (whatever THAT is?!), and keep practicing this song because it could be a really great way to begin a conference unsession.
    Totally fun collaboration story! You are a true Hermes archetype.

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