Thursday, 4 December 2014

After a lesson, the boys light up

Since the "issue" from the other day, I found another couple of hours I could spend with the guitar.  A quick test to see if I could re-record some audio, nah, "tone" won't be back for another week.  So, what have I got to work on?  Hmm...

I've been asked by several people after playing "Reckless" "Do you know any other Australian Crawl?"  I don't.  My mate Jono, when we catch it usually ends in a few beers, maybe a whiskey or two, he sings and I play guitar.  Last session he was super keen for more Crawl, particularly "The Boys Light Up". "I have the whole internet here on my phone, let's look up the chords."  After strumming, with some embellishment, I mentally noted it was a good fingerstyle candidate.

So here I am, "The Boys Light Up"

First challenge was putting the chords into fingerstyle - Bm, G, A.  Pretty much the entire song.  Hey, it's 80's Aussie Pub Rock, keep it simple.  I didn't like the idea of having to do stuff while hanging onto a Bm, so I shifted it down two steps to Am, F, G.  Better, I could work with that.  It is a seriously backbeat song, which made it both challenging and interesting.  I developed a pattern quickly, bass-pick-rest-pick, similar to my current standard, but with a rest instead of body slap.

Harmonica solo at the start.  I pulled apart a midi file I found on the internet for ideas for the whole song, there wasn't much in it but the harmonica solo was pretty clear.  It went easily onto the pattern.  No problems there.  The verses were slightly problematic, 'ole Reyney sings pretty radical (nobody has deciphered some of his lyrics) and the melody was difficult for me to work out.  But it seemed essentially in chords so I just winged it, trying to sing it in my head.

Sadly still, the melody is midrange, which puts it smack bang in the backbeat chord fragments I was going for.  If it was up high you can put it up there out of the way, but in the middle, again, makes it more challenging.  The whole song being down two steps from Bm to Am it also sounded "flat".  Capo on the second fret, ha ha, back to normal, still with open chords, yah!

There are a lot of lyrics in the verse structure, which makes it kinda boring for fingerstyle.  So I aimed for "variation" to not bore the audience too much.  There's a little bridge which follows the verse structure which is signature for the song and very cool, then it is chorus, which is same as verse.

It was just about a wrap!  A nice easy one, bit of interest, very simple phrases to remember.  I was sad to put aside some of the groovy bass and distorted guitar, which didn't immediately fit, but I slipped in a nice bend on the beat before the start of the main phrases which made up a little bit for the loss of the groovy bass.

Not my best work, but an easy three minute song to fit into the repertoire, and it is 80's Aussie Pub Rock, a personal fave.

Here, have a listen to the demo I just recorded:

Never heard the song?  I love this super-early recording where they stuffed up the backbeat for the first 20 seconds, even Reyney looks back "what the heck are you doing?"

Or, much more recently, and this one has cowbell!

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