Re: Dylan "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" cover
- From: "Carl" <crothman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2011 17:11:30 -0400
"Carl" <crothman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in messageYou are right. I wrote my post when I didn't have enought time to read
Generally, I've not been a big fan of Dylan's Nashville Skyline LPIn general, I'm not a great lover of commercial country music
(or of country music generally) but I've been thinking that this
song has potential as a more bluesy, upbeat tune. So I gave it a
This is a pretty rough cut in terms of having a limited number of
takes and very little in terms of post-recording processing: there's
some EQ and compression on the bass, acoustic guitar, and vocal
tracks and that's it. The only other "effect" is a volume pedal on
the guitar track that's panned left. You'll hear the volume-pedal
effect on that track in the bridge and the instrumental break.
I may beef up the mix a bit with more post-processing but I wanted
to get some comments first.
Instruments: Gretsch Tennessean (panned left), Custom Hamburguitar
(slide; panned right), Seagull Artist Portrait Acoustic (2 tracks,
one fairly low in the mix); Rick 4001 bass.
Drums: Superior Drummer 2, Custom & Vintage add-on.
Constructive criticism welcome! Thanks in advance.
either, but I'll have to qualify that Nashville Skyline was one of
my favorite Dylan albums and that song, one of the best tunes. I
don't think Dylan's style makes him sound "commercial country" in
any way in any case. The idea was that he was paying hommage to
Nashville country roots, not to "be" country.
With all of that, I have to commend you on attempting your own take
on an already classic song. You get a lot of credit for that and did
an admirable job.
I am not the consummate musician, nor am I either a bass player nor
an arranger, but since you asked for suggestions, I hope you don't
mind mine. I would like to see you shed that simplistic I-V bass
pattern with its stop-and-go style which makes the song sound choppy
to me. If you want to experiment, try adding a 4-to-the-bar walking
bass line more like what a jazz player might do and I think you'll
have something that will sound more crossover than what you've
accomplished by just adding a few blues licks as fills.
Or, just ignore me like my wife does and forge ahead... :-) Good
job. Thanks for posting it.
Thanks for the comments, Carl. This is precisely the sort of
commentary I was referring to by "constructive criticism."
I tend to lean toward two types of things when I record music: nearly
"note-for-note" covers, with a few twists added on my own, and
entirely original music where I am completely free to follow my own
muse. So this effort was different for me, it demanded a certain
level of arrangement skill yet insisted on some degree of fidelity to
Anyway to get more specific, you'll note that in my response to Tony's
"bouncy" post I used the term "choppy"! My choice of words was made
before you wrote your post, and I'm sure from the context of what you
wrote that you didn't see it. So I find it interesting that someone
else, presumably independently, came to the same conclusion that I
In retrospect, I agree about the bass part. I was sort of thinking
on the fly as to what the final arrangement might sound like as I was
laying one track on top of another, and that bass part was one of the
first parts I recorded. Once the final arrangement was in place, I
should have gone back and thought through it again.
I think, looking back, that that "choppy" feel is made worse by the
staccato-ish electric guitar track in the verses that's panned left. I'm
not as dissatisfied with that track in the choruses, bridge, and
instrumental break, where the same guitar uses the volume pedal and is
The other thing I'm not happy about in that particular track is the
single-note part at the end of the song. My Tennessean is used on
that track, and with it's Bigsby it's notoriously unsuited for
bending a note while another note is being played (the other note
gets de-tuned). Besides, that little bit at the end has a "plinky"
aura which I think is unsuitable at that point.
All food for thought. Thanks!
through the others and I did come to my conclusion, and the use of the word
"choppy", independently of you. I'm glad to see I have some ability to
target musical things that well! :-)
I'll not get into analyzing the other parts as you've started doing that
well enough on your own. But, as an extension of my bass part suggestion, I
am also suggesting that you avoid starting measures on the root note
altogether. With the exception of perhaps the first measure, the bass
pattern should walk through either the scale or arpeggios and move up and
down without hitting root notes regularly, especially avoiding beginning
measures with root notes.
I think you'll find that will not only reduce the "choppiness" but also make
the tune more contemporary, more interesting, and more unique for you.
I can't wait to hear the resulting track... ;-)
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