It would be “I’m All Over You,” by A.C. Newman, of course, or “Take Me Over” by Otis Redding. I like to have the right material because you learn the chords better when you have a melody. I also like songs that I can play without any practice, songs that work well on a guitar. If I played “Take Me Over” on a piano I would have to work very hard for rhythm to play it at the same pace. I like easy songs better than hard ones, like “Take Me Over” and “Take Me to Wherever You Call Me” by Otis Redding. They’re easier to learn on a rhythm guitar if you know the chords; you don’t have to practice the melody. But if you know the chords you have to do some practice at it.
You have a songwriting background. What kind of work do you do for composing? I’ve always been able to write, whether it be for a recording or for a solo project. On the recording side of things what matters are the arrangements, the melody and harmony, the lyrics and lyrics. It’s the melody I want the music to have. In the studio I’ll play around a little bit, like I’ll try out some ideas for things that we might want to add that would be fun, things that are cool. On the solo end, what’s nice about the solo work is that you can learn stuff for a solo record and a session solo, or you can learn things for a group or a duet. With my solo record, I used the same songs over and over and over again in order to get all the elements in your head in the right place. That’s been the best experience, to find out what makes a music work for you and what doesn’t. I think it’s always been about finding something that’s fun and appealing. Sometimes if you get the right elements or you have the right melody and it’s a very interesting thing.
Do you see an interesting dynamic in mixing your own songs? I mean, you put some of what you’ve learned on that guitar tape in for that session and just make the guitar sound right for the session and let the song dictate itself. It’s a lot of sitting back and listening and working with these people and trying to figure where it’s going to go and finding things that really help out the sound or that make the song sound good.
Are there elements in your playing that I haven’t considered?
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