Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Guitar Vinci Guitars #2

Track 2: Raven's Eye Pt.2

I knew since writing Raven's Eye Pt.1 for the Leap Of Face album in 2006 that there would be a part two some day - ten years down the track, and there I was in the studio, seeing what I could do to complete the musical narrative and give the raven a 'second eye'. As with Pt.1, I used the GG7 for all the electric parts, utilising the extended lower range of the seventh (low B) string to play a middle section in low C#. The only other guitar used on this track was my Ibanez AI307CE seven string acoustic, with which I doubled the clean electric guitar in the arpeggios at the start of the song.
Having a little extra wood in the neck to accommodate the seven strings helps to give the GG7 a beautiful, singing sustain, and this influenced my use of long notes in the main theme. I also loved the thick, meaty tone that guitar had in the offset rhythm patterns of the middle section. I have found that it feels good to not have to solo all the time, and to be part of a piece of music without overriding everything else. Flight Of The Kelpies and The Odd Dervish (track 5) are both cases in point, and both great fun to play.

At the end of the day, I was really happy with how Raven's Eye Pt.2 turned out. The chugging middle section wrote itself when I got to it, and I feel it makes a fitting partner to Pt.1. It will be interesting to see how they go together in the live set!


Monday, 30 January 2017

2017 EP Promo Video

The first official promo clip for The Guitar Vinci Code, featuring footage by Pat Parent and art/video editing by Donna Greene. Please enjoy. (The guitar featured here is the Ormsby GG6FG)

Monday, 23 January 2017

Guitar Vinci Guitars #1

Track 1: Flight Of The Kelpies

Flight Of The Kelpies is the opener, and one of two tracks on the EP that have no guitar solos. I originally had intended to have the guitar playing the main melody, and put a rough string line in as a 'place holder' while I recorded the rhythm guitars. The tune is in the key of Gm, and uses a low Eb chord under the main theme. I mention this because it meant that when I played the Eb on the GG6 - which is in standard tuning - I couldn't use the low E string as it was a semitone sharp, and just used the A and D strings to play the chord. After laying down left and right rhythm tracks, I switched guitars to the GG6FG, which lives in drop D tuning, and doubled the existing tracks using the low D string to play a full Eb power chord at the first fret. As well as adding a new tone, the Drop D tuning added some meat to the overall sound which I found appealing. I should add at this point that when I play the tune live, I use the GG7 so I can use all the normal chord shapes and still reach a low Eb. Thus, all three of my guitars are involved in the creation of Flight Of The Kelpies in one shape or form.

By the time I had finished the rhythm parts, I had really grown used to the sound of the violins taking the melody, and had come up with additional parts and embellishments while playing guitar. I had a quick think about it, and decided that the guitar didn't necessarily have to take all of the melodies on the CD. I then got to work arranging strings and horns, and wound up throwing in flute, tympani, Irish bouzouki, bodhran and harp for good measure. I had a ball mixing it all, and clarified some points on orchestration along the way. I think it makes a great opening track, and may use it to open the live shows, mainly because it's so much fun to play!