Brian may and overdubbing

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dlwalke

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Joined: 02/02/19

Posts: 60

I know Queen did a lot of overdubbing vocal tracks. I've read some things recently about Brian May also recording multiple guitar parts. I can hear on some tracks that there are multiple guitar parts but my read of some of these articles was that he might also be recording the same guitar part multiple times - like, even the solo's! Does that sound right? I didn't know anyone did this but I can imagine that that would contribute to the rich "violin-like" quality to some of his solo's.

#1

I know Queen did a lot of overdubbing vocal tracks. I've read some things recently about Brian May also recording multiple guitar parts. I can hear on some tracks that there are multiple guitar parts but my read of some of these articles was that he might also be recording the same guitar part multiple times - like, even the solo's! Does that sound right? I didn't know anyone did this but I can imagine that that would contribute to the rich "violin-like" quality to some of his solo's.

fuzzb0x

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Joined: 04/02/13

Posts: 385

Originally Posted by: dlwalke

I know Queen did a lot of overdubbing vocal tracks. I've read some things recently about Brian May also recording multiple guitar parts. I can hear on some tracks that there are multiple guitar parts but my read of some of these articles was that he might also be recording the same guitar part multiple times - like, even the solo's! Does that sound right? I didn't know anyone did this but I can imagine that that would contribute to the rich "violin-like" quality to some of his solo's.

Lot's of artists do this and have been doing so for many years, it's called double tracking. Same riff or solo played on different guitars and amps to give it a bigger fuller sound in the mix and allows the guitar tracks to be blended during the mix.

#2

Originally Posted by: dlwalke

I know Queen did a lot of overdubbing vocal tracks. I've read some things recently about Brian May also recording multiple guitar parts. I can hear on some tracks that there are multiple guitar parts but my read of some of these articles was that he might also be recording the same guitar part multiple times - like, even the solo's! Does that sound right? I didn't know anyone did this but I can imagine that that would contribute to the rich "violin-like" quality to some of his solo's.

Lot's of artists do this and have been doing so for many years, it's called double tracking. Same riff or solo played on different guitars and amps to give it a bigger fuller sound in the mix and allows the guitar tracks to be blended during the mix.

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 5624

Originally Posted by: dlwalke
I've read some things recently about Brian May also recording multiple guitar parts.

Absolutely. May was a master of layering harmony guitar lines. I have a series of tutorials on harmony guitar parts.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=1965

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2000

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2014

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2121

Originally Posted by: dlwalke
... but my read of some of these articles was that he might also be recording the same guitar part multiple times - like, even the solo's! Does that sound right?

That is a fairly common technique. Recording the same exact part several times makes it sound thicker & more present in the mix. But, I'm not sure how much May did that. But many players do. It's surprising how much it can add to the sound.

Metal players sometimes layer the same rhythm guitar parts, playing the same part with the same tone several times to add punch to the sound. Lead players often do this as well. Randy Rhoads famously did this on the Ozzy albums.

It can also help to play the same notes, but with a slightly different tone. Even though the same notes are being played there are very slight differences in attack & articulation that result in a much larger, wider, thicker overall sound.

Originally Posted by: dlwalke
e much moreI didn't know anyone did this but I can imagine that that would contribute to the rich "violin-like" quality to some of his solo's.

That might be some of it, but I think a lot of that comes from his note choices, phrasing, vibrato & his naturally midrange-rich tone. He often used a little 1-watt amp called the Deacy (build by bass player John Deacon) to get those particular guitar harmonies on Queen material that sounds so much like layered violins.

http://queenwillrockyou.weebly.com/deacy-amp.html

Fun topic!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#3

Originally Posted by: dlwalke
I've read some things recently about Brian May also recording multiple guitar parts.

Absolutely. May was a master of layering harmony guitar lines. I have a series of tutorials on harmony guitar parts.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=1965

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2000

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2014

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2121

Originally Posted by: dlwalke
... but my read of some of these articles was that he might also be recording the same guitar part multiple times - like, even the solo's! Does that sound right?

That is a fairly common technique. Recording the same exact part several times makes it sound thicker & more present in the mix. But, I'm not sure how much May did that. But many players do. It's surprising how much it can add to the sound.

Metal players sometimes layer the same rhythm guitar parts, playing the same part with the same tone several times to add punch to the sound. Lead players often do this as well. Randy Rhoads famously did this on the Ozzy albums.

It can also help to play the same notes, but with a slightly different tone. Even though the same notes are being played there are very slight differences in attack & articulation that result in a much larger, wider, thicker overall sound.

Originally Posted by: dlwalke
e much moreI didn't know anyone did this but I can imagine that that would contribute to the rich "violin-like" quality to some of his solo's.

That might be some of it, but I think a lot of that comes from his note choices, phrasing, vibrato & his naturally midrange-rich tone. He often used a little 1-watt amp called the Deacy (build by bass player John Deacon) to get those particular guitar harmonies on Queen material that sounds so much like layered violins.

http://queenwillrockyou.weebly.com/deacy-amp.html

Fun topic!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

dlwalke

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Joined: 02/02/19

Posts: 60

Cool. Thanks. Lots of neat info here.

#4

Cool. Thanks. Lots of neat info here.