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  #1  
Old 01-22-2021, 10:49 PM
Shortfinger Shortfinger is offline
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Default Which one ya gonna use to do "Willin" solo?

The absolute epitome of all takes on this great Lowell George tune is from the live Waiting for Columbus album. The tempo, rhythm, syncopation, vocals, harmony, and that trademark teensie Feat lag makes it, IMHO, Little Feat's greatest.

So you've practiced and practiced and found a way to sing it solo.

What guitar ya gonna use to do it right?
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Old 01-23-2021, 02:16 AM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is online now
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To be honest, I think that you could get use a $200 slightly out of tune Yamaha Fg800 and sound exactly like the guitar in the video. And get away with it..... If you have that voice!
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Old 01-23-2021, 02:31 AM
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Peter Z Peter Z is offline
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But there is also this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il9VFC6-Inw

That sounds like a dry old Martin through a Vintage Neumann and a lightly saturated Neve preamp. Not a cheap signal chain.
LOVE that song!

But, Shortfinger, I wouldn’t worry too much, the power is in the song and not in the type of guitar. Listen how different the guitar sounds in this sample and the one Robin posted.
I’ve been playing and singing the song since many years in different versions. It’s the song!
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:07 AM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Z View Post
But there is also this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il9VFC6-Inw

That sounds like a dry old Martin through a Vintage Neumann and a lightly saturated Neve preamp. Not a cheap signal chain.
LOVE that song!

But, Shortfinger, I wouldn’t worry too much, the power is in the song and not in the type of guitar. Listen how different the guitar sounds in this sample and the one Robin posted.
I’ve been playing and singing the song since many years in different versions. It’s the song!
I agree. That's a lovely dry old Martin dreadnought sound in the recording. And I also agree that you wouldn't need to spend that sort of money to play the song beautifully or, indeed, to get close to that (expensive) tone.

Just from my observations, I'd say that some new guitars with plywood back and sides (which trends towards a dryer more focused sound) can sound closer to a vintage guitar than an all solid wood new version of the old model. But no one is going out to search for a second hand Recording King to find the tone they want rather than buy a new D-18 (and wait 60 years for that tone to arrive)
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Old 01-23-2021, 04:55 AM
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Peter Z Peter Z is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin, Wales View Post

Just from my observations, I'd say that some new guitars with plywood back and sides (which trends towards a dryer more focused sound) can sound closer to a vintage guitar than an all solid wood new version of the old model. But no one is going out to search for a second hand Recording King to find the tone they want rather than buy a new D-18 (and wait 60 years for that tone to arrive)
Funny, I never thought of it that way, but there is a lot of truth in it. I always thought the other way around: In younger days, when I only had very very cheap equipment, I wondered why on some famous songs (I donít dare to name any here) the old acoustic guitars sound like a cheaper laminates.
BUT, before I get killed here, I want to say I changed my opinion. Love the sound of the Willinī recording very much.
Still ... there is something similar .... 😁

All in all, itís still the song!
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Old 01-23-2021, 05:23 AM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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I play and sing it all the time. When my jam groups were going, it was one of the songs that everybody loved. I play whatever guitar I'm playing at the time. To me, the guitar makes no difference.

I agree that it's the best thing they ever did. Legend has it that LG wrote it while he was in Frank Zappa's band and FZ kicked him out of the band. Either for writing a drug song or because the song was so good that LG should start his own band!
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Old 01-23-2021, 07:33 AM
J Patrick J Patrick is online now
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....Iíve known the song for over forty years....and Iíve played it on a bunch of guitars.....I like playing it best on a Gibson or Gibsonesque slope shoulder Jumbo...I just played and sang it last night on a newly acquired Santa Cruz VS....in drop D tuning...souunded swell...I ainít never tried to sound just like Lowell though...I just try to channel a bit of him when I play a song of his...
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Old 01-23-2021, 07:40 AM
Italuke Italuke is offline
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Yes, WFC is a great live album. But your question is a little off because if you're doing it solo then you're not really doing it like the live version or even the studio for that matter.

But use any guitar that's not a small body.
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Old 01-23-2021, 08:21 AM
varmonter varmonter is offline
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This song has been on my setlist for 40 some years. I've played it on
All sorts of acoustics and even an SG.
It is the song.. not the axe.
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Old 01-23-2021, 08:24 AM
musicman1951 musicman1951 is offline
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My general impression from the video is just about any guitar, put a set of EJ 10's on her and crank the treble on the mic.
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Old 01-23-2021, 08:24 AM
Goodallboy Goodallboy is online now
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I donít think it matters at all which guitar you use.

Itís the user.
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Old 01-23-2021, 08:50 AM
Shortfinger Shortfinger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodallboy View Post
I donít think it matters at all which guitar you use.

Itís the user.

My thoughts exactly, and I started this thread. But we've this here forum, and nothing better to do than chat about it.

Its a dry old topic, ain't it? Which best for this, which best for that, what am I hearing, a jumbo or a slope, bronze or rosewood, adirondack or alpine, blah blah.

It's the tempo, the beat, the syncopation, and most of all, the vocals.
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Old 01-23-2021, 08:54 AM
RRick RRick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin, Wales View Post
Just from my observations, I'd say that some new guitars with plywood back and sides (which trends towards a dryer more focused sound) can sound closer to a vintage guitar than an all solid wood new version of the old model. But no one is going out to search for a second hand Recording King to find the tone they want rather than buy a new D-18 (and wait 60 years for that tone to arrive)
This reminds me of the Beard Deco Phonic "Highball" (with Finnish birch laminate b/s) I read about recently.

https://www.beardguitars.com/deco-phonic-highball

Found a video from Ian Meadows for it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kMqMOovqM4
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2021, 09:37 AM
Scotso Scotso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Z View Post
But there is also this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il9VFC6-Inw

That sounds like a dry old Martin through a Vintage Neumann and a lightly saturated Neve preamp. Not a cheap signal chain.
LOVE that song!

But, Shortfinger, I wouldnít worry too much, the power is in the song and not in the type of guitar. Listen how different the guitar sounds in this sample and the one Robin posted.
Iíve been playing and singing the song since many years in different versions. Itís the song!
Not so sure on that Martin. I saw the band 3 or 4 times back in the day and he always played a Gibson- most often a square shouldered j-50.
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Old 01-23-2021, 09:50 AM
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I've been playing Willin' since I first heard it in 1971. At that time I played it on my Gibson Hummingbird. Since the old 'bird has been retired for the last decade, I play it on my Martin J-15. Both provide terrific accompaniment even if they offer different tonal flavors. Great songs can sound mighty good regardless of the brand of guitar used. The magic is in the fingers.
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