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Hotel California


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Almost a year ago I posted this thread in the Gibson Custom forum about the ES1275 I borrowed from my guitar shop.





I had the guitar for three days, so I started a cover of Hotel California by recording the ES1275 part in both audio and video. I wanted to duplicate all the guitar parts acoustic and electric. I'm not a good lead electric guitar player so it was a TERRIFIC challenge. I had to record the lead guitars in segments after practising the licks over and over and over again. I never get it right of course, but half the fun is exploring the complexity of the parts. There are SO many guitar layers in this song! The project ended up taking ELEVEN MONTHS to complete.


There are about 20 separate tracks in this recording. Of course, I'm using KaraokeVersion backing tracks but I've replaced all the guitars, the bass and the lead vocal with my own recordings. I recorded the double-neck last January as well as the 12 string acoustic (my Taylor GA3e-12). I used my son's Gibson SG for the lead guitar parts. I used my SJ200 for all the six-string acoustic parts in the intro and the strumming during the choruses.


My son is a bass player in a metal band and I asked him to learn and record the bass track for me on his new Rickenbacker 4003. We actually learned the bassline by playing it together and helping each other. Then he recorded the track. That was SO MUCH FUN!


After eleven months of recording, editing and mixing and listening and remixing ad infinitum, here is the final mix for the track.


Hotel California <- SoundClick link.


I did a YouTube video a number of months ago showing the guitars from the intro, thinking I would video me playing the lead guitars as well, but I never got good enough at even faking playing the lead in a full take so I've just replaced the old video's audio track with the new mix. So you get to watch the 12 strings for six minutes (or FFW).



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You seem to have the bass cranked way up in the mix compared to the Eagles studio version. Is that on purpose?


I like the whole concept of what you're doing here.


Yeah I like that bassline. I also fattened it a bit because the Rick is so trebly. I might pull it back before I'm finished with it.

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I've always wanted a double neck until I got one. It's for a much younger version of me.

I had this one for a while. I imagine that Gibson is even heavier.


The probably close to 15 pounds of guitar hanging around your neck. No thanks.

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I've always wanted a double neck until I got one.

Quote of the week.


. . . or, if you need a sig line for your posts.



Gibson says the body only weights 6 lbs. How is “body only” helpful?

All of those gold Roto's probably weigh that much.

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I appreciate what you have done here. I think it has come together very nicely. With zero recording background, I cannot get my mind around how long this must have taken. I am saving this for future inspiration. Thank you, Sir.


Thanks, George! That means a lot. One of the things I enjoy about covering a song like this is the deconstruction of the original. You gain a greater appreciation and respect for the musicians that created it in the first place. Plus it gives you a better "ear" for hearing the nuance and texture within a recording. There is no way to do justice to the original recording but that isn't the point. I guess it is just an academic appreciation from an amateur.

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