Thursday, 4 December 2008

Song 4 in F# minor

Song 4 in F# minor (mp3 file)

Two steel string guitars.

Okay, it's time to turn up the heat a little bit! This one has a decidely non-authentic latin flavor to it. (I make no claims to being an expert on Latin music. Maybe someone can tell me if there's even a name for this style?) It was written expressly for this project. I came up with the main riff while fooling around last week or so, and the melody was done by using that old songwriter's trick called "sequencing", where you just take the melody and move it up and down the scale, like in that old chestnut "Autumn Leaves". The middle section which goes in E major I probably stole from someone.

It's not really a good idea to record something just after you're written it, unless you're just doing it to document your ideas. To get a good performance, you should work on the song for a while and let it sink in. That's a kind of luxury I can't afford while doing this project, so it took a few takes to finish this! I'm happy that I managed to do it in continous single takes for each of the guitar tracks, so I didn't have to start splicing and editing. Sometimes that takes longer than just doing a new take...

I also snuck in a little improvised solo. I've been focusing on songwriting lately, so improvising has gone on the back burner. And as is often the case, Per the composer came up with some tricky chords for Per the improviser. The first part goes F#m to D (sort of), which is simple enough. But then it goes D6 to Dm6, F#m to F#m6, Ddim7 to C#7, rather quickly too I might add. Not my best solo ever, but since I wanted to do the track without a lot of editing, I found it acceptable.

The initial riff certainly came about because I was fooling around in F#m, but then I changed the fingering. The F#m to D chord change sounds pretty good in this key, but the rest of the tune doesn't really have a "typical" F#m sound I think.

Soundwise, I rather liked the rhythm guitar, but the lead guitar was a little tricky to get to sound right. Seems a little harder controlling the frequencies on a steel string than a nylon guitar, especially when you start hitting it harder. My nylon guitar has a little more even frequency response I think.

All in all, considering the circumstances, I rather liked the results. I definitely wouldn't have come up with something like this if I hadn't started this project. Wether it will have any lasting value remains to be seen.

Comments are welcome!

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