(photo courtesy of Honky Tonk Merry-go-round)
Did you hear me mention that I've been using my cajon? That's more of a modern touch. Old-time Bluegrass aficionados will not be happy with this as you will see from this interesting snippet I was reading on Sound on Sound:
"The Grand Ole Opry didn't allow drum kits on stage until the late '50s, and even then they often had to play from behind the curtain. As a result, acoustic guitars were what kept the time for country music, even in the studio, a tradition that continues today." ~ Dan Daley
(photo courtesy of Etsy)
Guitars are very much the basis of my music at the moment. I strive for full track recording rather than slice/dice and looping (though I do this too sometimes). My theory is that this allows a truer live sound which is what I'm striving for. I've dumbed down my playing to simple chords and focussed more on the strumming style. That doesn't mean that I can't pick when it's needed or experiment with a little slide. When I do slide, I don't tune open chord, but will stick with standard guitar tuning.
And of course, you know that I'm heavily into banjo at the moment. In fact, all my songs of late have been banjo-based. I'm playing the rarer open D; it's the only tuning that's really clicked with me. I will use a capo if pressed, but actually I far prefer to play without.
(photo courtesy of Collectors Weekly)
One last comment on recording effects before I leave you.
You already heard that I'm using insert effects on recording. What I learnt this week is that effects are pretty much frowned upon with Bluegrass recordings. It's that live sound-thing again. Compression, reverb, in fact even EQ is considered bad form. Of course, there can be no rules, only guidelines. I've limited myself to reverb, EQ and a hint of compression on final mixdown. Will it work... you'll just have to wait and see!