Sunday, 19 June 2011

After the harpsichord...

...comes the the string quarter playing Pachabel's canon. Well OK almost Pachabel's Canon - just the same chord sequence but as block chords rather than all the fabulous counterpoint. And almost a string quartet too - each sound is really an ensemble sound. This is all about having a chord sequence - and this is a pretty famous sequence. Also it very neatly moves into the next section, as the first melody I'm going to use there has the same (almost) chord sequence.

The drums prevail and the strings play the sequence one. Acoustic guitar and electric bass join and it's played again. Then twice at double sequence speed (each chord takes half as long). Increasingly the feel becomes bouncy and the strings are phased out. Over the whole thing is floated an electric guitar doing vague pentatonic noodling.

The guitar is worth talking about. I tend to use a lot of classic "crunchy" guitar sounds when soloing - I'm quite a fan of that distortion. However, I have been looking for a satisfying "clean" sound, something a little like the classic Santana sound would do me - compressed and sustained and clean. I think I have finally found it in this. Also I had an interesting moment. Sometimes when I want a line (often I can hear in my head what I want) but it seems too fast for me to play reliably, I play at half speed and double speed it up. Well this time I had such a line, and when I tried to double it up it just sounded...wrong. My trickery was unhelpful. So I tried several ways of playing it and eventually found one, and learned it and did it at normal speed. I did use a bizarre little technique though (never used this before but will again) - I was playing high up the neck, and to stop open strings ringing and getting in the way, I draped a jumper over the lower part of the neck to act as damping. Now I think I need to invent the damping capo - it would be really useful.

I have been having lots of problems with cubase in this project - something keeps causing to go into an "unstable state" and it invites me to save out under a different name. Anyway I seem to have finally taken all the individual ideas and aggregated them into one nice track.

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