Electric Animals: Guitars


All songwriters involved with electric animals agreed that lead guitars had the potential to be an excellent addition to the song. We had initially recorded a short and simple riff on the B string consisting of F# and G#. This was used as draft to help feed ideas. The draft on its own was mundane and I personally did not think it worked. We then agreed further to develop these guitars into something more vibrant.

I turned to “Lets Dance” by David Bowie for influence. The overdriven guitar sound on the lead riff was an objective I set at first, not to simply imitate but as a foundation of what sound should be achieved. At 1:41 in the music video I’ve posted is the sound I’m referring to.

We experimented with the tone settings on the amp and at first we tried lows, mids and highs at all the setting at five. There was clearly not enough mids and highs so we moved the mids up to eight and the highs up to around seven. We then lowered the mid by just one and lowered the highs down to six. We made an executive decision that these were the tone settings we were going to keep. It didn’t sound exactly like the tone of “Let’s Dance” as we decided to keep it at a clean tone rather than slightly overdriven but it definitely had the sound we all believed worked best with the song, considering the tools we had as an overdrive pedal wasn’t available.

The lead guitars are played in a G# blues scale with an added G. Upon Evaluating the recording my colleagues who were present felt that the lead part was played with precision. Reflecting back on an earlier blog where I was addressing becoming stressed in a recording environment, and how becoming calm in this environment boosted productivity, I feel this experience validated what I suggesting. I remained calm during the recording as I had begun to become use to the environment and therefore produced a piece of guitar played with precision. The producer of the track had also said that he was incredibly happy with what I had composed. This suggests to me that I was providing a solid contribution to the project.

I had researched different tools that could have been used to help achieve a 1980’s sound on the guitar. Reflecting on the guitars we had recorded, although more than satisfactory, I would have certainly liked to have experimented with certain pedals and amps etc. For example, it would have been interesting to hear how an Ibanez Tube Screamer would have sounded on what I had played. According to an internet article on http://www.guitarworld.com titled “Totally Gnarly: Five Modern Effect Pedals That Recreate Gritty ’80s Sounds” The Ibanez Tube Screamer “dishes out some truly warm overdrive, sounding very much like a gloriously overdriven tube amp, even when you’re not playing at eardrum-splitting volumes, providing strong sustain and mids along the way.”  Hearing the tone at 3:29 in the review I’ve posted below, I would have certainly liked to have heard what that tone could possibly add to the guitars.




Reference List:



Damian Fanelli

Posted 02/13/2013

David Bowie-Lets Dance

Posted by emimusic (2009)

last viewed on 22/5/2016

Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini Review

Posted by Best Guitar Effects (2015)

Last viewed on 22/5/2016



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