“Goodbye” is a song that has been around for a long, long time. It started life in Nailbox as a mid-tempo, power chord driven song. In Soulhitter, it updated a bit and the beginning of the notes that move in between chords could be heard. In 2010, a version of “Goodbye” was recorded with two different guitar parts and some subdued percussion that JD came up with. The two guitars were recorded separately using an acoustic guitar and the piezo pickup of my 1992 Fender Telecaster. I never got around to fully editing that version but I eventually came to feel that even the subdued drums were too much.
For this version, once again I started with the piezo pickup of the Tele and figured a nice, clean guitar would be great. I played through the song and went back to listen to it. Spoilers: It wasn’t great. The piezo pickups under each strings produce a fairly bright tone that doesn’t have a tone knob to adjust. The term for that kind of tone is sometimes referred to as icepick highs. It has its place, but in a mix, not as a standalone sound.
Some years ago, I had John Oliviera of Big John’s Guitars (seriously…if you’re in the D/FW area, the drive out to Denton and occasional wait is worth it…that dude is a wizard) work up this pretty amazing wiring job with a 5-way switch after installing some GFS Power Rock Telecaster pickups, which are effectively stacked humbuckers, in the guitar. In the 4th position, the neck pickup is wired in parallel. It makes for this mellowed out tone that really takes the edge of whatever overdrive you throw at it.
I flipped the switch for the piezo pickups, but lowered the volume so only a hint of that brightness came through. I played through the opening progression and after the first few notes, realized that there was a drop in the signal that needed to be filled. What better way to fill that than a bit of delay. I pulled up my trusty TC Electronic Nova Delay, set the BPM to 120, and tweaked the settings until the first repeat of filled the void and the second one trailed off as I moved to the second chord in the progression.
During the song, I feel like I overused the trilling hammer on and pull off and I wanted to redo it, but as the deadline I gave for myself approached, I left it as is.
“Goodbye” is the only song on Skylines and the Horizon that I took lead vocals on. I will never be happy with how I sound when I sing.