|August 28th, 2011|
Recently some colleagues at Disney gave me a few gifts in thanks for giving a talk to some folks internally. Apparently Warren Spector picked out one of the gifts: a harmonic capo (he knows I play guitar, you see; been a few years, but we’ve jammed together). This little beastie sits on the 12th fret and presses down very lightly on the strings with rubber feet. Unlike a regular capo, though, it does not depress the strings all the way — instead, it sits lightly enough to cause an open pluck of that string to play a harmonic note — those bell-like tones you hear sometimes out of a guitar. But you can play under the capo, and still get standard notes. The result is that you play a regular chord, and any time you play an open string, you get a harmonic instead.
Well, I had to try it out. Beautiful on the Baby Taylor; didn’t fit on my Blueridge (the heel on the neck is too thick)… and just barely fit on the 1962 Gibson, which is what you’ll hear if you click the link. Because once I had it, I started to noodle about in open G, and, well… got this done in the last couple of hours:
Hope you like it!
Tech notes: I cheated and sped up the recording a bit; I haven’t learned the piece well enough to play it at speed yet — just wrote it after all! In fact, first time into the chorus I go off on some weird little excursion that shouldn’t be in there. It could be played without the harmonic capo, of course. It just would sound quite different, I suspect (haven’t tried yet).
The guitar is miked with three mics and is also running a direct line from a Dean Markley Pro Grand. Direct is panned to one side, and a cardioid condensor pointed at the 5th fret is panned to the other side. Another condensor aimed at the 12th fret is panned to the back with some reverb, and a large diaphragm studio mic is panned smack in the center. This was the second take, after playing it maybe six or seven times. The guitar is tuned in open G — DGDGBD.