"Can You See Your Dreams" - Bluesy Americana

A Canadian singer/songwriter named Brad Curtis sent me this bluesy Americana song called "Can You See Your Dreams". You can hear the guitar stems below.

Brad had demoed out some guitar parts for me to listen to, but he also gave me freedom to do my own thing. He specified that he wanted 4 tracks...an acoustic rhythm track, a couple rhythm electrics, and a slide guitar part.

Track Breakdown

Here are the individual guitar tracks.

1. Rhythm Acoustic

  • Guitar - Collings D2H, LR Baggs Anthem pickup, tuned to Eb standard
  • Signal Chain - Guitar > LR Baggs Anthem pickup > Fractal Audio Axe FX 2 > mono out to Apogee Duet > Logic Pro 9
  • Tone/Amp/Effects - I used the Axe FX as a preamp/DI. I also added a bit of compression, a tube preamp sim, and some room reverb to add depth and make it sound less like a DI acoustic.
  • Thought Process/Approach - I pretty much played the acoustic part that Brad had recorded on the demo with subtle changes here and there. This is not your typical strummy acoustic pass. Lots of space is used which makes the part stand out more. It's more a part and less a texture.

    2. Rhythm Electric 1

  • Guitar - Gibson Les Paul Standard, tuned to Eb standard
  • Signal Chain - Guitar > Fractal Audio Axe FX 2 > mono out to Apogee Duet > Logic Pro 9
  • Tone/Amp/Effects - Bridge pickup coil tapped on the LP. I played through a Vibrolux amp sim in the Axe FX. As far as effects, all I added was a treble booster in front of the amp to give that vintage-y, slightly filtered sound.
  • Thought Process/Approach - I wanted this to provide sort of the signature vibe of the tune, especially the intro and verse sections. These sections are a simple pentatonic idea with chord hits to end each phrase with the other guitars. Notice how verse 1 has more space than the later verses.

    3. Rhythm Electric 2

  • Guitar - Thinline Tele
  • Signal Chain - Guitar > Fractal Audio Axe FX 2 > mono out to Apogee Duet > Logic Pro 9
  • Tone/Amp/Effects - Bridge pickup, 65 Bassman amp sim, mid boost overdrive, and a touch of room reverb for depth
  • Thought Process/Approach - I like to record rhythm guitars in pairs to be panned hard Left and Right. This part was created to balance out and complement the first rhythm electric. Rhythmically, this part is based on 8th notes which are palm muted throughout the verses and open up on the choruses.

    4. Slide Guitar

  • Guitar - Gretsch 6122 Jr
  • Signal Chain - Guitar > Fractal Audio Axe FX 2 > mono out to Apogee Duet > Logic Pro 9
  • Tone/Amp/Effects - Bridge pickup, 65 Bassman amp sim, compression, Tube Driver overdrive, and a bit of slapback analog delay, glass slide
  • Thought Process/Approach - I stayed in standard tuning for this track. The basic idea was to create a swampy, bluesy vibe with this track. On the verses, I mainly played double stop whole notes and small phrases every few bars. In the chorus I played a sort of counter melody to the rhythm electrics.


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