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Lars68

A Hummingbird (and The Apple Garageband String Quartet)

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I got to borrow a 2016 Hummingbird for a few days from a friend. I have only played one in a music store briefly a few years back. So this is my first chance to really get to know one. I have played it extensively over the weekend and it sounds wonderful. Less boomy compared to a D-28, and not as thumpy as a J-45. It is a thing completely its own. Words that come to mind to describe it are sweet and smooth. I only do rudimentary fingerpicking, but this guitar made me feel like giving it a try. I think the tone is great fingerpicked, much better than my Martin, that is for sure.

 

Here is a song I recorded over the weekend. If you happen to wonder about the "string quartet" in the backgound (which you might need good speakers or headphones to pick out), it is me playing "strings" with my thumb(!) in Garageband on my iPad. A pretty cool feature actually, and one that suits the sweetness of the Bird very well, I think. By the way, the guitar might be for sale...

 

https://soundcloud.com/lars1968/an-invisible-hand

 

As for the song, it is the most recent one I have written, and it is about (sort of, and among other things) the decline of smalltown life around where I live. Maybe you can relate, but that is a whole different thread, I guess. The title "An Invisible Hand", is a reference to the 18th century economic principle, by the way.

 

Side note: Em7, I'm trying to work my way up to "Type 2" land, but not quite there yet, huh? [biggrin]

 

Lars

Edited by Lars68

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The guitar sounds beautiful Lars, and is recorded well.

 

There are a few pitch issues with the song ( we all have those), but regarding the lyrics... English is not your native language I know, so the phrasing is a little awkward at times... I'll go back and try to give you a solid example of what I mean later when I have more time, but I am brought back to a comment that Duluth Dan made to me a while ago - about economy with words. Less is almost always more. Less syllables, Less explicit story telling and more imagery.

 

As an example of that, there is a Chris Stapleton song that has the lyrics "I drink because I'm lonely, and I'm lonely cuz I drink." That one line paints a picture that a paragraph or book chapter could not hope to.

 

Now... how to do that? That's a great question! There are reasons some people are such amazing songwriters. I often sit down when I try to write my own songs and think of horseshoes (love - hate, good-evil, outgoing - lonely)... contradictions and dichotomies that are far apart and yet close together. 90% of the time what I write makes it to the trash bin. Ain't easy. It kind of comes or it doesn't.

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The guitar sounds beautiful Lars, and is recorded well.

 

There are a few pitch issues with the song ( we all have those), but regarding the lyrics... English is not your native language I know, so the phrasing is a little awkward at times... I'll go back and try to give you a solid example of what I mean later when I have more time, but I am brought back to a comment that Duluth Dan made to me a while ago - about economy with words. Less is almost always more. Less syllables, Less explicit story telling and more imagery.

 

As an example of that, there is a Chris Stapleton song that has the lyrics "I drink because I'm lonely, and I'm lonely cuz I drink." That one line paints a picture that a paragraph or book chapter could not hope to.

 

Now... how to do that? That's a great question! There are reasons some people are such amazing songwriters. I often sit down when I try to write my own songs and think of horseshoes (love - hate, good-evil, outgoing - lonely)... contradictions and dichotomies that are far apart and yet close together. 90% of the time what I write makes it to the trash bin. Ain't easy. It kind of comes or it doesn't.

 

Appreciate the input, Sal! Yes the guitar sounds fabulous. The best recording of an acoustic guitar I have managed to put down to ones and zeros, and something that speaks more about the virtues of the guitar than my recording skills.

 

I don't pretend to be a good singer or songwriter, and I'm continuously trying to improve. So your thoughts about the song are very welcome. If you could possibly find the time and be so kind and point out some specifics (as for the worst pitch and phrasing offenders), it would really help me move forward.

 

Lars

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John Hiatt once called the Hummingbird the ultimate rock & roll acoustic. I had a 1967 HB in the house on loan from a local music store for a week or two. The sound part did not matter though as I could not make peace with the neck.

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It sounds a bit more like a Hummingbird Standard than a Vintage?

 

 

Nice guitar.

 

 

 

JC

 

Good ear, JC! Yes a Standard 2016 model.

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Beautiful stuff, Lars...that tumbling arpeggiated part in the bridges really reaches out and squeezes the heart of the listener. I can hear Prine and Springsteen in there, great song!

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Beautiful stuff, Lars...that tumbling arpeggiated part in the bridges really reaches out and squeezes the heart of the listener. I can hear Prine and Springsteen in there, great song!

 

Thank you very much, means a lot. Really does.

 

Lars

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More than nice - you are really gettin' somewhere. The track has depth and lots of tzoul.

As Sal notes, your style is a bit awkward, but that's a quality in itself.

 

I was just goin' to say "you are no Springsteen, but that's the point", when I read Jinder's comment. OK, guess he talked the story-telling way of songwriting.

So I continue by claiming that the vein you represent is quite counter-pointish.

In fact the anti-heroism and alternativeness glow from the iron core. Kind of like an ultraviolet halo.

'Xactly this virtue must polished with awareness. Which of course is what's already happening.

 

Besides I think a Nordic undertone can be heard in both the melody and the melancholy.

You know how Scandinavians are forced to face'n'defeat the cold wet darkness to keep it from gettin' them in the long run - eeehhh, and how many fall while trying.

Almost sure you comprehend the layers in this and won't bend under. No reason things shouldn't keep rolling further down the road you travel.

 

The route to the desirable, bottomless and (nearly) ever intriguing category 2, yes (to stay 3 seconds in our newly established code-language) ;-]

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Some good feedback old chap.Your guitars always sound beautiful.You record and play them well.Vocals - are a work in progress.

Songwriting - again there's stuff to like.I agree that you have a tendency to cram a lot of words in sometimes which can detract from things.

You use the negative spaces in your guitar playing well...try it a bit more in the lyrics.

Always worth a listen though!

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Thanks everyone for helping my journey move forward!

 

JC, I don't have this particular song in Swedish. I have only written three songs in Swedish so far. I have tended to use my own language for the songs that are geographically connected to where I live, with specific local names and places etc.

 

These two are probably the ones most closely related to the song above:

https://soundcloud.com/lars1968/den-ha-r-stan-1

 

Then I have the one below, which is the song of mine I'm most pleased with (as far as the potential of the song, not the performance, that is). I need to re-record it and do better.

https://soundcloud.com/lars1968/stugan-pa-kullen-1

 

Lars

Edited by Lars68

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Thanks everyone for helping my journey move forward!

 

JC, I don't have this particular song in Swedish. I have only written three songs in Swedish so far. I have tended to use my own language for the songs that are geographically connected to where I live, with specific local names and places etc.

 

These two are probably the ones most closely related to the song above:

https://soundcloud.com/lars1968/den-ha-r-stan-1

 

Then I have the one below, which is the song of mine I'm most pleased with (as far as the potential of the song, not the performance, that is). I need to re-record it and do better.

https://soundcloud.com/lars1968/stugan-pa-kullen-1

 

Lars

 

Lars,

 

 

Great performances.

 

Lovely to hear the Swedish language .

 

 

Most of the people here know I am a fan of country music and Sweden has some very good country artists:

 

 

Thanks

 

 

 

JC

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Good link, JC.

 

Jill Johnson is our best known and most commercial country artist. I like her a lot, but my taste usually goes a little more towards the alternative side of things. Here are some Swedish favorites (singing in English):

 

 

I think Americana music and Swedish folk music are very related. So Swedish artist singing in English are often drawn to this genre. It makes them feel right at home. Also, there is that feeling of melancholy often felt in country music, that we Scandinavians feel very at home with. It's just in our psyche, which I can very much relate too, as mentioned earlier in this thread.

 

Lars

 

By the way, I have done a little house cleaning on my Soundcloud page, so some of the song links earlier in this thread are likely gone.

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I have not listened to your recording, but I did want to chime in about the Hummingbird. I recently purchased my first bird and I can't say enough great things about it. It's everything I want in an acoustic guitar. I had a Martin D-28 Marquis - no slacker, but I ended up selling it because the Hummingbird is just perfection to me. The greatest thing about it to me is the tone. It's a rich sounding guitar and each note plays with such clarity. The Martin sounds beautiful, and can be LOUD if you want it to be, but the Hummingbird tone is just amazing. My martin had a modified V neck which I could play, but never loved. My HB is a 2000 model - not sure what neck shape they call it, but it's perfect. I also like the width at the nut - not quite as wide as the Marquis, but wider than a D-45 for instance, which I find too narrow. Finally, the thing is beautiful to look at ! That cherry sunburst, the black head-stock with the Gibson inlay, and the double chevron's - it's a piece of art.

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I have not listened to your recording, but I did want to chime in about the Hummingbird. I recently purchased my first bird and I can't say enough great things about it. It's everything I want in an acoustic guitar. I had a Martin D-28 Marquis - no slacker, but I ended up selling it because the Hummingbird is just perfection to me. The greatest thing about it to me is the tone. It's a rich sounding guitar and each note plays with such clarity. The Martin sounds beautiful, and can be LOUD if you want it to be, but the Hummingbird tone is just amazing. My martin had a modified V neck which I could play, but never loved. My HB is a 2000 model - not sure what neck shape they call it, but it's perfect. I also like the width at the nut - not quite as wide as the Marquis, but wider than a D-45 for instance, which I find too narrow. Finally, the thing is beautiful to look at ! That cherry sunburst, the black head-stock with the Gibson inlay, and the double chevron's - it's a piece of art.

 

Yes truly great guitars! I love Martins too, so there is a flavor for everyone. The Hummingbird that I borrowed is still with me, some of my money is not... [biggrin]

 

The song where I play it is now here:

 

Just very basic fingerpicking, I'm no virtuoso.

 

Lars

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Absolutely! I'm with Hummingbird. Don't know now why it took so long [biggrin]

 

Lars

Okaaaay, , , , wondered if this could happen when I heard the track 10-14 days ago.

But sure, they are mesmerizing guitars. In a rather different way than the slopes, aren't they. .

 

Welcome to the voliere, 68.

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Okaaaay, , , , wondered if this could happen when I heard the track 10-14 days ago.

But sure, they are mesmerizing guitars. In a rather different way than the slopes, aren't they. .

 

Welcome to the voliere, 68.

 

Yes, as I mentioned before, the Hummingbird (2016 Standard) turned out to be for sale. Under the circumstances, and with the quality of recording gear I use, this particular guitar has so far given BY FAR the best recorded tone I have managed to capture. It sounds terrific in real life, and easily competes with other guitar I have. Very different, which matter a lot too. However, the recorded tone is one I haven´t been able to find until now with other guitars. Inspiring in so many ways!

 

I will try my best to do it justice and keep improving my abilities as best I can. This is inspiration that fuels my fire to continue. It comes with "tulip tuners" already installed! How could I turn it down?

 

Lars

 

By the way Em7, as my unofficial quality control filter, how does this recording sound to you? [biggrin]

This is a Martin D-18, not the Hummingbird, but I might try to re-record it...

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