Posted by: docdenbow | March 30, 2013

Adventures In Home Recording Part 1


I know that you, my fans, are eagerly awaiting the unveiling my first recordings. I told you some days ago that I am starting to put my magnum opus, nay meisterwerk, together. To that end I have taken the first faltering steps towards that conclusion, I can hardly call these steps strides as they’re not strides they are, as I said, itsy bitsy steps.

I have collected my equipment together (known in the music business of which I am now part as “gear”) looked at all of it and returned it to its’ respective flightcases. (cardboard boxes) My next itsy bitsy step has been to take my guitars out of their cases, lie them on the bed and look at them. Then strapping on my ivory coloured Ibanez Les Paul Custom I did the essential Guitar God poses for the benefit of me and the wardrobe mirror, bashed out a few chords and set it to one side.

I then picked up my Tobacco Sunburst Stratocaster, my very own Stratocaster, which cost a price that I am ashamed to admit I paid. It’s an absolute beauty of a guitar from its’ basswood body through to its’ alder neck and rosewood fingerboard. It sings like a bird, gives that beautiful tone so associated with Strats the world over and offers such sustain that even Nigel Tufnel would be impressed. Even the tremolo allows me to go up a whole tone and divebomb downwards and stay bang in tune.

I then sat this next to the Ibanez, picked up my old Kimbara electro-acoustic and idly strummed a few chords whilst I considered my two electric guitars. The words of Harry Hill were running through my mind,

“I like the Les Paul….I also like the Strat…but which one do I like the best?”

I’ve owned the Les Paul for 30 odd years (bought off a mate in Wolverhampton for £110) and these guitars still fetch reasonable prices on Ebay and suchlike (£200/£350), whereas my Strat cost me £45 and really was a steal. As I’ve already said it’s a little cracker of a guitar and I love it and to be honest, for me, it’s a more playable guitar.

To try to get back into playing to some musical standard I have, over the past week or more, sat and played over and over scales and chords – anything to get going again and it’s slowly coming back. It is over 10 years since I have played more than a few chords, but the magic is still there.

Well, in actual fact the magic isn’t there. It never was. In my musical solitude over the years I never actually really improved at all. I could play most major chords in the first position, but minors and 7ths were always largely beyond me. Yet in the 10 years since I played regularly my listening skills have improved manifold and we now have YouTube where guitarists around the globe are ready, willing and able to share with you tips and tricks and teach you how to play both licks and entire tunes. If you are an aspiring guitar player you must look at Justin Sandercoe’s YouTube Channel, a genius of a teacher.

I’ve also realized that in the past my basic technique sucked more than a squadron of Dysons. I could never understand why my shoulders would begin to ache after 40 minutes of playing. This time around I have thought and analysed why that may be so. I now know the answer. It was a case of trying too hard. simple as that really.

Difficult to explain if you don’t play, but I’ll have a go. When you press down a string onto the fretboard to make a note, you only need to press sufficiently hard to make the note, and no more. Me, I was pressing with such force my knuckles usually turned white and beads of sweat would appear on my brow commensurate with the number of chords or notes played. I held onto the neck of the guitar in such a manner you would think me fearful of theft.

I’ll leave it at that with the thought that when I do get down to recording, my skills as a guitarist will not be the essence of I’m trying to do. It’s the creative process and the desire to make a piece of music using little more than a guitar that I will not be ashamed to share.

Ciao For Now Music Lovers



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