Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?

Related threads:
2018 BBC Folk Awards (71)
National Folk Awards 2017 (81) (closed)
Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 - Nominations (219)
BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2016 (56)
Alternative Folk Awards (167)
BBC Folk Awards 2014 (216)
B.B.C. Folk Awards 2013 (26)
Alternative Folk Awards Again 2013 (8)
Radio 2 Folk Awards 2013 (12)
Ashley Hutchings on the folk awards (4)
BBC 2013 Folk Awards nominations (43)
BBC Folk Awards winners? (115)
Who will win at the BBC Folk Awards? (54)
Independent Article on Folk Awards 2012 (72)
BBC Folk Awards Get It Right!-Bill Leader award (4)
Folk awards FoI request denied (128)
BBc defends folk awards (160)


GUEST,Dean (of Rochester) 09 Feb 12 - 05:56 PM
TopcatBanjo 09 Feb 12 - 06:00 PM
GUEST,Mike B. 09 Feb 12 - 06:16 PM
Bernard 09 Feb 12 - 08:20 PM
PHJim 09 Feb 12 - 09:15 PM
Lonesome EJ 10 Feb 12 - 01:43 AM
melodeonboy 10 Feb 12 - 02:46 AM
GUEST,Larry Saidman 10 Feb 12 - 02:46 AM
GUEST,Larry Saidman 10 Feb 12 - 02:49 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 10 Feb 12 - 03:53 AM
Lester 10 Feb 12 - 04:48 AM
Silas 10 Feb 12 - 05:06 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 10 Feb 12 - 05:21 AM
theleveller 10 Feb 12 - 05:42 AM
Rob Naylor 10 Feb 12 - 05:51 AM
The Sandman 10 Feb 12 - 06:20 AM
Silas 10 Feb 12 - 06:50 AM
Richard Bridge 10 Feb 12 - 07:42 AM
Cool Beans 10 Feb 12 - 10:38 AM
kendall 10 Feb 12 - 12:43 PM
Silas 10 Feb 12 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,Klumper 10 Feb 12 - 01:07 PM
Silas 10 Feb 12 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Feb 12 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Ray 10 Feb 12 - 01:51 PM
Will Fly 10 Feb 12 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 10 Feb 12 - 02:53 PM
The Sandman 10 Feb 12 - 02:56 PM
GloriaJ 10 Feb 12 - 08:04 PM
PHJim 10 Feb 12 - 10:11 PM
andrew e 11 Feb 12 - 01:35 AM
GUEST,Ray 11 Feb 12 - 04:11 AM
andrew e 11 Feb 12 - 06:06 AM
John MacKenzie 11 Feb 12 - 08:09 AM
goatfell 11 Feb 12 - 08:17 AM
G-Force 11 Feb 12 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,josepp 11 Feb 12 - 03:04 PM
John MacKenzie 11 Feb 12 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,Ray 12 Feb 12 - 01:25 PM
Steve Shaw 12 Feb 12 - 05:19 PM
Steve Shaw 12 Feb 12 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,Ray 13 Feb 12 - 05:49 AM
GUEST,Seaking 13 Feb 12 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 13 Feb 12 - 07:28 AM
Acorn4 13 Feb 12 - 07:57 AM
MikeL2 13 Feb 12 - 09:29 AM
GUEST,randem33 10 Aug 13 - 12:14 AM
Dave Hanson 10 Aug 13 - 04:12 AM
GUEST,Ray 10 Aug 13 - 04:45 AM
GUEST 10 Aug 13 - 04:49 AM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Aug 13 - 09:26 AM
GUEST 10 Aug 13 - 10:09 AM
mayomick 10 Aug 13 - 10:30 AM
GUEST 10 Aug 13 - 01:30 PM
GUEST 10 Aug 13 - 02:46 PM
GUEST,gillymor 10 Aug 13 - 03:07 PM
GUEST 10 Apr 18 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,Jerry 10 Apr 18 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,Jerry 11 Apr 18 - 03:57 AM
Hamish 11 Apr 18 - 04:03 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,Dean (of Rochester)
Date: 09 Feb 12 - 05:56 PM

Is it me, or was his guitar horribly, I mean really horribly out of tune at the folk awards?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: TopcatBanjo
Date: 09 Feb 12 - 06:00 PM

Yeah, already discussed it last night on the "winners of the folk awards" thread. Horribly embarrassing. I just don't understand why he did not immediately stop and just take a second to tune. Maybe I'm just used to bluegrass, where they constantly tune before each song and there is no shame in it! ;o)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,Mike B.
Date: 09 Feb 12 - 06:16 PM

Don McLean's still performing?

I'm still trying to figure out who the jester was.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: Bernard
Date: 09 Feb 12 - 08:20 PM

It's possible it was knocked as he was going on stage - but I've had that happen and either avoid the string that's out of tune (he wasn't playing anything 'clever'), or even re-tune it whilst playing... it's not that difficult.

Most of us would turn it to our advantage instead of allowing it to spoil people's enjoyment...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: PHJim
Date: 09 Feb 12 - 09:15 PM

Is that the rendition of Homeless Brother on Youtube? I just watched it and if his guitar was out of tune, it certainly wasn't "Horribly out of tune" or "Horribly embarrassing."
Don McLean at Folk Awards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 01:43 AM

I think you're being a little nit picky. damn good song by the way


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: melodeonboy
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 02:46 AM

Off the top of my head, I'd have said about half a semitone (perhaps a bit more), certainly for the first of the two songs.

The first of his songs took me by surprise. I'd been out of the room for a few minutes, and when I came back in I thought that the channel had changed and I was tuned in to some easy listening channel!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,Larry Saidman
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 02:46 AM

Sounds fine in the youtube video.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,Larry Saidman
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 02:49 AM

OK, read the other thread. He apparently did two songs, so I'm assuming that the one posted (Homeless Brother) was the second one, where the guitar was fine.   Right?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 03:53 AM

One string was badly out. He retuned it after the first song, but to my ears the rest still weren't in particularly good tune, although it was tolerable.

I was surprised he didn't stop to retune, it would have been better than carrying on. Of course it was on live radio and TV, but a few seconds wouldn't have made a difference to the programme. It also seemed to affect his vocals on the first song, where he was doing something very weird.

Compared with the other performances it was definitely the low spot of the evening. With an audience of folkies, I would guess that a good percentage of them (even excluding the other award nominees) could have pulled off at least as good a performance. However, he's had a long and successful career, so I guess this was just an off night. It was very unfortunate that, having just picked up a lifetime achievement award, he couldn't deliver a performance worthy of it. That's live music for you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: Lester
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 04:48 AM

I could tell it was out of tune and I'm a melodeon player :)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: Silas
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 05:06 AM

His top E was out by about half a tone and his G was slightly out. I think he caught the tuners with his strap as he picke dthe guitar up. He re-tuned for the second song which was OK - well, pretty good in fact.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 05:21 AM

Don was sitting in the audience throughout the first half, went up to receive his award and then went straight to the performance. The guitar was - I am reliably informed - electronically tuned back stage and placed on the guitar stand by one of the backstage people. presumably, the string slipped, or was knocked out of tune. Perhaps Don is used to having his guitar tuned and relies on it being in tune. Though it is surprising he didn't at least check the tuning before he started. Or perhaps the foldback wasn't clear. It would take a lot, I think, to stop, retune and start again with a live TV and radio and theatre audience.
all credit to him, though, for very quickly retuning in between the two songs.
mind you, I was hoping for American pie and Vincent .....
Derek


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: theleveller
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 05:42 AM

I think the beeb have edited out the first song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 05:51 AM

When they were running the original trilers they advertised "with appearances by The Dubliners and Don MacLean". The repeats are flagged with "appearances by The Dubliners and Seth Lakeman" :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 06:20 AM

I did not bother my arse with the stupid programme anyway, folk awards[imo] are a mistaken concept.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: Silas
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 06:50 AM

Well, GSS, you missed a real treat - Christy Moore, Tim Edey, June Tabor, Oysterband pretty wonderful actually!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 07:42 AM

I don't understand that Dick, don't you support the Comhaltas competitions?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 10:38 AM

I've always thought the jester was Bob Dylan, in a cast after his motorcycle accident. This is probably well-covered in an old thread, but still...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: kendall
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 12:43 PM

All I heard was Homeless Hobo and it sounded fine to me right up to that last rif on the low E. Damn fine song indeed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: Silas
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 12:54 PM

I agree. Sadly his first song was pretty awful and I think this coloured the attitude of people to his second one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,Klumper
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 01:07 PM

Just a consideration, could he be a bit deaf now at his age and not able to hear his guitar too well ?
Trusting backstage tech to tune up for him,
and relying on long experience and musical 'muscle memory' to judge vocal pitch ???


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: Silas
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 01:09 PM

No. He tuned it himself before starting his second number. Probably more to do with strict time connstraints than anything else.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 01:43 PM

I listened to the song about the hobo for a while. It seems to me that he was playing a restrained but bluesy accomanpaniment in an unusual tuning. If you visit blues threads here, you find that a lot of that goes on.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 01:51 PM

It wasn't only his guitar which required tuning - his voice on the first song was even worse - if you can, listen to the sustained notes. Fortunately the second song was better. If you're going to perform on a live broadcast, there is really no excuse. If you must leave your instrument to others, a simple chord before you start will prove whether or not its still in tune.

I remember seeing Don McLean at the Free Trade Hall back in the 70s. Unfortunately, I was more impressed with the support act - Messrs Robin & Barry Dransfield.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 02:08 PM

I saw DM at the Dome in Brighton in the early '80s. He was utterly captivating - did 30 minutes of encores and had to be persuaded to finish the evening.

Even Homer nods...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 02:53 PM

He had a bad night - it happens. In that situation you have to decide pretty quickly to stop and retune, especially when it's being broadcast live. It won't be the first time in his career he's had to deal with it. This time he made the wrong call. It's easy to criticise, and the fact is his performance was nothing special, but that's how it goes. I wouldn't assume that's typical of his usual performances.

It was very unfortunate that it should happen on this occasion, in front of an audience many of whom will have questioned why he should be there in the first place. I hope they've pulled the video. I don't think it did justice either to the Folk Awards or to Don Maclean.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 02:56 PM

Richard Bridge,I think the Comhaltas competitions are also flawed, they have got a lot of youngsters playing the music, but those youngsters seem to take that competitive attitude too far, they seem[imo] to have forgotten that music is about playing for enjoyment.
my approach is the same one as The Corinthian Casuals, it is about the pleasure of just doing it, that is my approach in competitions, unfortunately most other people WHO ENTER COMPETITIONS seem to have an immature Thatcher attitude, and they mistakenly believe that just because they won they are the best.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GloriaJ
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 08:04 PM

I've just watched the Folk Awards evening using the red button - I heard bits of it while going to a club on wednesday so I hear MacLean's set - theyve cut out that first song, I noticed. His second one was ok.On live radio his guitar sound was dreadful too though - that harsh piezo-type sound associated with cheap Ovation copies.But I knew he would have a good guitar - and as expected it was a Martin D28 I think.So they didnt do him any favours there either.Looking at him play I was a little surprised to see how rudimentary his technique is, but they could have at least given him a nice acoustic sound.I find his music too saccharine for me, but nevertheless in a way he deserves his award.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: PHJim
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 10:11 PM

About 25 years ago a band I played in were on a radio show. I played guitar for the first of two songs and banjo for the second. The first tune was in Bb and the second, I Saw The Light, was in G. The guy who played banjo for the first song took off the capo and we traded instruments. I played the intro to the second song and it sounded terrible. By the time my solo came around I had discovered that the fifth string was still capoed at Bb and fixed the problem. I had friends who taped the show for me and I still have a cassette somewhere of that terrible intro.
I'm comfortable enough in front of an audience nowadays that I'd make a joke and start over. I'm sure Don's thinking, "I should have..."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: andrew e
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 01:35 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vclHNrxQhTc

It's on youtube.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 04:11 AM

That's the one Andrew - just listen to the vocals - in parts reminiscent of a pub singer just after last orders have been called!

Personally, I've always followed the advice of the late Harry Boardman, when I first saw him back in around 1968. Coming to an abrupt halt he said to the audience "If there's one thing worse than stopping in the middle of a song, it's playing with your instrument out of tune."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: andrew e
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 06:06 AM

Yes can't understand why he didn't stop and tune. Would have probably only taken a few seconds.
You can see him pulling faces!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 08:09 AM

As Don Maclean himself said. I don't understand why they picked me, what I do isn't really folk!

Hear hear Don.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: goatfell
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 08:17 AM

no it wasn't out of tune ,to me it wasn't


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: G-Force
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 09:01 AM

I noticed he retuned the top string before the second song, but it went straight out again and he had to stop and tune it again. After that the guitar wasn't perfectly in tune, but 'near enough for folk', as they say.
The first song was just embarrassing, I'm surprised he didn't just play on five strings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 03:04 PM

Is this horse dead yet or should we kick it a few more times?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 03:34 PM

Neigh neigh lad.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 01:25 PM

It's happened again!

Just caught the end of the Andrew Marr show on BBC1 this morning which featured Christy Moore + an unspecified guitarist. (At least I didn't recognise him)

Before starting to play, Christy picked a few notes which were horribly out of tune and simply sat there, without playing, and sung the song to the accompaniment of the other guitarist.

Utterly professional, it would have sounded terrible if he'd played. I just wondered what the rest of the TV audience would be thinking with him sitting in front of the camera with a guitar but not playing it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 05:19 PM

Thank you, Ray. That was out of this world. The other guy was Declan Sinnott. A match made in heaven. What a shame the Beeb couldn't let the song run to the end!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 05:21 PM

The song was Sweet Thames Flow Softly, BTW.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 05:49 AM

Ah! Declan Sinnott, thanks Steve - wouldn't have recognised him - its nearly 3 decades since our paths last crossed, at a large folk festival in Leeds.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,Seaking
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 06:49 AM

The room was full of mostly professional music makers, they would have fully understood the situation and the need if he'd stopped to retune, he's a pro so he could have easily made light and shortened the song by a verse to compensate, no one would have been any the wiser. A lot is being made of time restraints and tight schedules but sometimes needs must !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 07:28 AM

We were about to go into a 25 minute interval, so 10 or 20 seconds spent retuning could easily have been recovered. Someone in one of these threads mentioned Ralph McTell's time constraints but that was different - he was coming up to the end of the show which had to finish dead on 10pm.

As well as the professionals, I would guess that a good percentage of the paying public were also musicians, and could probably have put on a better performance. I was embarrassed for him.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: Acorn4
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 07:57 AM

I find that a 'new' E string does sometimes need a lot of tweaking - I think he was well aware of it and looked a bit uneasy at times - personally I found that exaggerated vibrato and what he did with those long syllables a bit off putting, though I do like a lot of his songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: MikeL2
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 09:29 AM

hi

We were in the pub last night discussing this and I said " It is awkward, I can remember one night singing when my guitar was out of tune". To which my mate replied "I can remember one night when you sang and your guitar WAS in tune !!!".

Cruel sod my mate....lol

cheers

Mike


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,randem33
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 12:14 AM

Just heard Don at Wolftrap--guitar was NEVER in tune, no not once. He just can't tell anymore.
Was impressed by the volumes of lyrics he spews out in just a 75 min set--without any apparent TelePrompTer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 04:12 AM

Perhaps he should stick to the banjo, then no one will be able to tell.

Dave H


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 04:45 AM

Now, now, Dave!

I remember the late Harry Boardman once stopping in the middle of a song and saying to the audience "If there's one thing that's worse than stopping in the middle of a song, it's playing an out of tune banjo."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 04:49 AM

He has nevertheless done some captivating concerts!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 09:26 AM

Going by that link andrew e posted the guitar didn't seem particularly out of tune to me, not compared with the voice. Not one of his better songs, and not a good one to pick for the occasion. If he'd really been on song, and the guitar perfectly in tune it still wouldn't have worked too well.

Still, American Pie was enough to make always be grateful to the man.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 10:09 AM

Nevertheless, Don Mclean had an exceptionally fine voice in his heyday - tracks such as Crying - and did some fine instrumental work on guitar and banjo. his recording of Vincent is in a time capsule under the van gogh museum in amsterdam. Whatever format, i hope they have the technology to play it when they dig it up in a millennium or two.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: mayomick
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 10:30 AM

I often think that Don McClean sings slightly off key , as do many performers Frank Sinatra , Neil Young come to mind -the pop singer Sade was accused of the crime recently .Perhaps he likes to have his guitar slightly out of tune ,or have it tuned to whatever way he had it when he was last playing it -some musicians are actually superstitious in that regard . Whatever happened to "close enough for jazz"?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 01:30 PM

Don McClean is a great songwriter. His song was musically lovely. I don't care about his slipped E string. His accompaniment was excellent. He seemed tired but delivered his
song with passion and conviction. I love that song. Most traditional folk performers are often out of tune but who cares? Answer: only pickiest pseudo-folkies.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 02:46 PM

Seems he favors a shaggy-haired George W. Bush.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 03:07 PM

DM is a great songwriter and performer but I'll bet he wishes he had that one back. I had to click it off after about 30 seconds.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 18 - 04:00 PM

I can't remember what song it was (it wasn't American Pie) but some weeks ago, Don McLean appeared on TV (it may have been "The One Show" which is on BBC1 in early evening, or else Breakfast Television) and was having trouble hitting the high notes. I didn't know whether it was his voice which had gone with age (a la Pete Seeger) or whether he had just chosen the wrong key to sing in alongside the guitar (he didn't tune the guitar as it must have already been tuned). However he sounded OK on the second song. I often wonder how good many folk and other singers are - as a very amateur performer I generally need to make sure the song is in a particular key (though if the vocal range is not too large, I may be able to sing it in 1 or 2 other keys which are only a key note or two different, e.g. C and D or G and A, etc). Of course if you are lucky to be like Mariah Carey who I understand has a vocal range of 5 octaves (mine is probably an octave and a half, or two at best) then singing in any of the 12 keys would be no problem. I would be interested to know if any other performers on Mudcat find they need to stick to a limited range of keys. I presume if you have a large vocal range but also play the guitar or other stringed instruments, you can get off with having to learn fewer chords.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 10 Apr 18 - 05:22 PM

I saw that dodgy performance as well and thought that perhaps like most people his voice had dropped with time. The presenters asked, or expected, him to sing some of American Pie, and he attempted it in the key he recorded it in about 48 years ago, rather than dropping it by a tone or so. Since it was in G major, I suppose it would have been difficult to play in F and retain the same open guitar sound (eg. B flat, F, C etc). It was also the Breakfast Show, and who can sing well that early in the day? Your own vocal range sounds about the same as most of us, ie less than two octaves and being able to render songs about a tone higher and lower than your ideal key.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 11 Apr 18 - 03:57 AM

I meant your ideal key for that particular song, because the melody can often be at the top or lower end of the chosen key. One might be comfortable with keys close to say C, but could still handle songs in G if the melody was at the high end, or even the low end but you pitched it an octave higher.
Although I know some do, you can’t really get away with learning fewer chords if you always sing in the same key, because there are various ways of playing in that key, even without the use of a capo, secondly you need to be more versatile if accompanying others, and thirdly you would missing out on a vast range of other sounds and possibilities.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
From: Hamish
Date: 11 Apr 18 - 04:03 AM

His guitar was out of tune on The Breakfast Show around that date too. I'd use the phrase "embarrassingly out of tune" to describe it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 12 December 6:51 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.