Friday, 19 December 2008

Song 20 in F sharp major

Song 20 in F# major (mp3 file)

Solo steel string guitar.

This song sort of embodied the idea behind the project. I wanted to write a song for solo guitar in F# that brought out sounds that you would not hear in any other key. I came up with the first chord: F# on the 4th string, C# on the 3rd string, open B string, and A# on the 1st string. It's sort of a sus chord, except both the third AND the fourth interval are included in the chord, maybe F#add4 (or 11, whichever way you want to look at it) is a better name. You could get that voicing in other keys as well, but the open B string adds a nice clustery ring to the proceedings.

Then I did something that I very rarely do: Sort of Chet Atkins solo guitar with alternating bass. I never really got into playing that style, maybe because it resembles classical guitar in that it requires a lot of discipline, and leaves less room for improvisation (unless you're really good at it, like Australian Tommy Emmanuel, who is a monster at this style.) The first part was not so tricky to get working once I practiced a little bit. But then I wanted to bring it up an octave for the second part, and that resulted in some very awkward fingerings. DAMN hard to get right. I could probably get it 100% right if I practiced for a few months, but... I had to settle for just getting by. Needed to record that part separately and edit it in. The whole track is made up of three separate takes: the first half, the second part where it goes up an octave, and then the outro. Should not be too hard to spot the edits.

The tune is perhaps not all that original, but it brought out a different side of me, and I think it has a sound and timbre that is a little unusual. Wish I could have nailed it in one take, though!

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