So this was sort of a minor song for David Bowie, but obviously Nirvana made it fairly popular with the MTV Unplugged In New York concert. In fact, I think Nirvana did a much better job with the song. My version is mostly based on the Nirvana acoustic version although I used David Bowie’s lyrics and sort of went for more of his vocal sound.
This has a lot of guitar in it (well, technically just one guitar but I played lots of parts with it). I kept going back and thinking— you know, I should add that part in and eventually ended up with a cut and paste version. One thing I learned is why studio engineers write down the settings they used when they record. I went back and had to fiddle quite a bit to match up some of the parts. I think it turned out okay.
Oh, the guitar is tuned down a half step (Eb).
As for the playing— the hard part of this song is the strumming pattern. It has both mute/ghost notes and open playing. I think I got it pretty well here on the rhythm guitar part. For the solo, I never noticed how “sanded” your fingers get on acoustic when you slide up-and-down 8-9 frets over and over. My fingers got a little abused toward the end and sadly it shows a little bit.
For the acoustic runs in the chorus they turned out to be easier than I thought so I added them in. I tried to find a good bass part for this but alas, the internet didn’t really have anything and I don’t think it really needed it. Some drums would have been nice, though.
Vocal processing was pretty involved. I EQ’ed down the low end (it didn’t do much), add Compression, Tape Delay (cheap version of ADT), Flanger, Reverb, and Stereo Spreader. I have no idea what David Bowie did, but it seems in the ballpark.
I’m currently still working on learning to read standard notation (more classical but starting to get into independent bass and melody notes). Also, just started “Johnny B. Goode” which seems like it is going to be a real tough one.