Sorry Dave



This is a recording “from my vault” that I recently made available for the amusement of a few friends but even so, has registered a significant number of visits.  I am therefore making it more accessible by posting it as a blog.


The recording was made fairly soon after beginning guitar lessons and when practising guitar in my lounge nearly 25 years ago.  I cannot remember what exercise had been set by my guitar teacher (Robert Percy) but in making this recording I was having fun as well as practising. 


It is a one-off recording with all guitar improvised against a sequenced backing track –


“Sorry Dave” – guitar practice c. 1995


The exercise took this form because I had acquired a floppy disk of public domain, 16-bit samples for the Commodore Amiga computer.  A set of Sci-fi samples caught my interest.  Using the Amiga with OctaMED Soundstudio, I sequenced a simple backing track (more fun than a metronome) and added some of the samples including Star Trek phasers, transporters and sliding doors.


At the time I did not possess a multi-track recording device and I was using a 4-track mixer (Radio Shack/Tandy 2 x 2 stereo) loaned by my friend and collaborator (Patricio Gonzalez).  I first used a Spanish acoustic to play along with the sequence and recorded this to Nicam stereo VHS tape.  I then played the recording back and added a background electric guitar whilst mixing the results to cassette tape.


Because I was also experimenting, I placed the electric guitar in the background.  This was partly to be perverse but also because I had watched a live Fleetwood Mac video in which Rick Vito had played some lead guitar at the back of the mix to add to the overall sound of the band without distracting the listener from the vocals.  


The guitars used were:

1.  Zambria G-43 Spanish acoustic  [soundboard pickup through Vestax DDX delay pedal]

2.  Jackson Stealth Pro electric  [through Korg A4 guitar processor]