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Kelly McKee
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USA
October 07, 2005
33,127 plays
82,390 views
Band/artist history
I have been playing guitar for over 20 years. In fact, my first band was called 'Empire', my second band was called 'Castle', and when everyone deserted I just started going by my first and last name. Actually, I am joking about that last part! My bandmates went on and had their families. I was much more serious about music, had a lot of ideas, and kept going with it.
Have you performed in front of an audience?
I love playing live, and it opens up the possibility of performing with dramatic tactics. I have played live before, with my earliest bands, which was primarily for parties and friends. I worked out the parts for over 50 heavy metal cover songs for my friends who were in those bands. A special moment was when we were all hooked up to start playing, out in the middle of the desert one night, and we turned up our amps too loud for the falling temperature, and blew soldering points in our amps and lost our sound. What a 'Spinal Tap' moment that was! We did give several memorable performances while we were together. At some point, in the next year or two, I would like to get Windows To Eternity together for the first time, to do some live performing of material from the first and second albums. But the emphasis right now is on recording projects, and I will be continuing to publish those to the web. I myself composed and performed every instrument category in the songs on this page.
What equipment do you use?
Carvin DC127 electrics with a fixed bridge; and a Gibson Songbird acoustic. For acoustic sounds live, I also use a Gibson DC Les Paul Studio that has sound chambers in the body, and a simple wraparound tailpiece bridge, through my regular guitar amp. My amps are Carvin X100B's. I use Pro Co Excalibur instrument cables. I run guitar-Excalibur cable-Dunlop 535Q wah-pro co music mover (matching 120sx) cable-Banzai New Rising Sun II preamp-Excalibur cable-X100B input-effect send-Boss LS2 line selector switch- frequency response corrected Digitech RP12 floor effects. For recording, I simply use the above setup; either miked with a high quality mike, or I run the speaker output - through a Hughes&Kettner Red Box Pro - Groove Tubes Speaker Emulator for a dummy amplifier load. Then I use the Red Box cabinet simulated output, and run this direct to the mixer for recording. On Statue Courtyard and Tiger Tiger, I used a Fender amp, miked closely, and one of my Carvin guitars, but no longer use the Fender amps.
Anything else?
My approach to guitar first of all does not dispense with the most important traditional role of the guitar-rhythm playing. Nor does it try to emulate the violin too closely. We must get re-adjusted to hearing overdriven rhythm guitar and lead guitar together, this is the classic sound in rock that made the electric famous to begin with. But we need to combine that sound with classical music theory. My first album has done this! You might (and several classical critics) have pointed out in the past that heavy metal, and BaroqueandRoll/neoclassical, violate classical 'harmony rules' with their reliance on power chord rhythms. This is incorrect. An overdriven guitar amplifier produces a sound rich with even overtones. When a fifth is played through overdrive, this is the most sonorant interval other than an octave. The fifth cannot be distinguished, and therefore does not violate any rule. Instead, the sound adds together to create a timbre with sonic signature similar to the entire string section of an orchestra- which is a thick sound. When a fourth or third is played, these notes can be distinguished and the sonic signature sounds like half the orchestra strings are playing one note, and the other half play the other. One of the earliest players to employ this 'accidental' discovery, was guitar master Tony Iommi, who used this on the infamous 'Iron Man' riff, to obtain a huge sound with only one overdriven electric guitar. My arrangements for electric guitar attempt to carry this idea even further in my rhythm guitar work. One key to making this musically valid, however, is that the guitar amplifier must produce smooth overdrive! The music you will find here differs in other respects. Most music today is recorded in many layers, which then cannot be performed live the same way. The guitar on my recordings can be performed with only one or two guitars, exactly as it is heard here. Again, a classical approach. The goal of music is not only precision. If it were, we would simply program computers to play music! On some passages, I play a bit more 'loosely' if that is artistic, other passages more precisely. The mean tempered tuning system has its limitations, and so sometimes I employ 'microtonal adjustment' if it is artistic in a given passage. These recordings will never sound 'mechanical'.
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