Friday, December 30, 2011

Song Insight: "Gonna Get High"

Composer: Greg Hintermeister, ©2011
Arranged: Greg Hintermeister
Performed by: Greg Hintermeister
Recorded: 2011 in Hint of Light Studios
Emotions: Passion, Love, Community, Magic of life!

Listen and Watch:              Other song insights

It all started with an inside joke referenced in a post, "Just got pics of my new guitar from my PRS Supplier".

It ended with a surprisingly passionate and uplifting song.

Here are the pics I posted:

I assumed everyone in my friends list knew that I joke regularly about my "addiction" to my guitars...that, for me, my passion for my guitars, and the music/worship/relationships that resulted from playing them are so core to my life that I can't imagine living without their influence (you know, small things like meeting my wife, traveling the world, life-long friends, leading others in worship, ...all directly resulted from playing guitar)

Naturally, since I found a guitar dealer who over the years I've grown to fully trust, and who helps me build an outstanding specimen (he seems to have a secret tunnel into the PRS factory, where he sets out the best wood and chooses the best builders), I can honestly say I have a supplier for my PRS guitars. This dealer, Jack Gretz, knows the kind of music I play so he offers suggestions as to what options and wood choices I should make to get the most out of my guitar.

I have purchased three PRS guitars from him: My PRS Hollowbody II, my PRS Swamp Ash Special, and now my PRS Tonare Grand acoustic (I have a fourth PRS, a Starla, that I won at the PRS Experience event in 2008).

Surprisingly, some comments in that original post made it clear not everyone was 'in' on the inside joke. I actually removed the post since I started to get some concerning comments about how I shouldn't take a scourge on society like drug addiction so lightly. 

My first thought?

Write a tounge-in-cheek song using all the drug-use metaphors I could think of about how I'm addicted to this new guitar (you know, lyrics about breathing deep, holding my breath, holding my addiction between my fingers, seeing places I've never been, and, of course throwing in the suggestive comment or two about gliding my fingers across a g-string).

What did I end up with?

A surprisingly passionate and uplifting song that I completely adore.

I think I found a way to communicate what I feel when I play guitar...a sense of wonder, passion, exploration, and excitement that fills every fibre in my being...especially when I'm playing a new, freshly written song.

I hope I can live up to these lyrics in songs to come. and I hope you get a glimpse into what it feels like for me to play my guitar.


Technical Specifics:
Recording Unit: Cakewalk MIDI software, Soundscape DAW
Drums: Roland XV-5080
Acoustic Guitar: Paul Reed Smith Tonare Grand Custom
Guitar Amp: Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Acoustic Guitar Mics: 12th fret: CAD E100, 3ft back: Rode NT1
Electric Guitar Mics: close: Shure SM57;  3ft back: Rode NT1
Keyboard pad: XV-5080
Bass: RD-500

Recording Specifics:
The first version, acoustic-only, was the first one I recorded so I could see how the guitar sounded on its own. Here's the acoustic-only YouTube video:

Once I recorded that, I felt there was a lot of un-tapped energy I could release if I added more instruments. The version at the top of this post is the full version with drums, bass, and electric guitar. I could have added even more vocal harmonies, guitar solos, but I think this is a great blend of instruments to squeegee out the passion I wanted to convey without making the song too hard-rock. I really wanted to keep the acoustic a driving instrument through the song.

The tuning of the guitars was unique:  C# - G# - C# - F# - A - C#      

However, this let me chord on the 3-5th strings with normal fingerings, yet have the 1, 2, 6 strings ring open for much of the song, which gave it the full acoustic sound I was looking for.

Verse 1:
Gonna breathe in
    breathe deep
Slowly let out my breath
Go places I've never been

Gonna find love
Gonna find pain
Gonna find there's a secret for livin' this life
and I'm holding it in my hand

Gonna get high
High on this guitar
Gonna dig deeper
Down to the depths of who we really are

We'll play songs of laughter and tears
we'll play songs to lovers and friends we hold dear
and who knows   what we'll find...  when we're high

Verse 2:
Gonna sing out
Gonna sing loud
Sing with all my breath
with feelings I can't speak out

Sing about faith
Sing about peace
Sing from the depths of my inner most dreams
I might even have to scream

Gonna get high
High on this guitar
Gonna dig deeper
Down to the depths of who we really are

Lets touch our soul through these strings
Let this wood carry our heart when it rings

'Cause who knows what we'll find...  when we're high

Let's close our eyes

Verse 3:
Gonna breathe in
    breathe deep
Slowly let out my breath
See places I've never been

Gonna find truth
Gonna find grace
Gonna find we're all here for a reason tonight
Lets all raise our hands and say

We're gonna get high
High on this guitar
Gonna dig deeper
Down to the depths of who we really are

The thrill of a lifetime is here
It's you and it's me and what we believe
and Who knows   what we'll find...  when we're high

Gonna get high

Gonna get high

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