Monday, December 01, 2008

12 Jangly Mien

Guitars are on my mind these days as I am "casting" the sounds for the next Donna Beasley record. Some tunes need Teles, some need Les Pauls, some Casinos, some a combination of whatever. One stand-out sound that almost requires you to play in a certain style is the electric 12-string. I have a Danelectro model, a cheap made in Korea guitar that sounds amazing and plays great. I've owned Rickenbackers in the past, but their necks are a little too narrow for me. The Danelectro feels like the Jerry Jones models that I really want, but for less than half the price, the Dano suits me fine. I blogged about it a couple of years ago here.

We're going to track with just bass (Steve Mackey), drums (Paul Griffith) and acoustic guitar (Scott Neubert), with Scott overdubbing some mandolin, banjo and dobro. I'll play more guitars and all electrics at home. This will allow me to concentrate more on the takes than trying to listen to the take AND play guitar at the same time.

One of the things I learned from making the last record is that producing is best done - in my case at least - by listening and giving direction from the other side of the glass. I might venture out to give an example of what I want, but I'm going to try to stay in the control room most of the time.

I had been following a strict "no demos, only masters" attitude for a while, and I think that approach can work. On this record, however, we found it easier and more efficient to demo the songs quickly in GarageBand, giving the players something to listen to and get ideas from. The demos are not something I'd want anyone to hear - out of tune at times, out of time occasionally, just a fast and easy way to get the basic feel down and e-mailed to the players. Of course, there are a couple where the feel is so good we may have a hard time beating it in the studio, but overall, they are more "worktapes" than real demos.

We rehearse tomorrow afternoon for a gig that night, playing most of the new record, then go into the studio on the 12th to track it.


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