5. Seasons

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Greg: Apart from playing and singing, the only embellishments that Mike wanted for this was to make the intro and outro riffs sound “bell”-like. Duncan called on his list of effects plug-ins which gave a complete range of metallic overtones to whatever Mike played — it was just a case of choosing somewhere in that range which didn’t take us past the point where it started to sound synthetic or plain silly. Perhaps the biggest heart-stopper for Mike was, having started to lay down his guitar backing, Duncan rushed in to say that all the strings were “clicking”. Mike uses a thumb pick and Duncan felt this was creating the unwanted clicking. I could tell Mike was becoming very annoyed at this stage because he wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary and could envision a wrecked session. I commented that it sounded OK and Mike completed, although he must have had some lingering doubts about the outcome. (As it turns out, even Tommy Emmanuel’s records have this sound - it’s just a feature of acoustic recording.) Having finished, Mike decided he wanted some accompaniment to “fill out” the middle part -- it’s a long song of five identical parts and there is no chorus. He plays this in open D tuning with a capo on fret 2. So, using the methods for transposing explained at the end of this book, I thought some ephemeral higher sounds would provide some contrast. I put my capo 2 frets higher (fret 4). If he played D I played C, his A was my G, etc.. I played in standard tuning but the concept is the same. Because there is no musical change or lyrical twist at the end, I suggested that we fade my guitar out before the last verse, to refocus on Mike and the words. Mike says he is very pleased the way it turned out.


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