“All of Me” by John Legend was one of the biggest hits of 2013. The song is normally played on the piano but I thought it might work quite nicely on guitar. It’s in standard tuning with a capo on the 6th fret. The original song key is much lower and could be played with a capo on the first fret but the higher register seems to suit the guitar better as long as no-one’s trying to sing along!
The guitar is made by Stephen Hill and I was lucky enough to buy this second-hand from the fabulous Nathan Cragg. Nathan is sadly no longer with us but check out his YouTube channel here.
There are a number of brands of quality nylon guitar strings and, as a tone junkie, I’ve been experimenting with them.
The difference in sound between the various types is very noticeable, and deserves a blog page devoted to this subject sometime soon.
When playing “All of Me” I used polished strings from La Bella (413P). They are great for reducing the squeak on the basses but they were a little disappointing in their tone. The top strings particularly lacked brightness and didn’t feel nice to play so they’ve now been replaced!
After making this video I started using a combination of the La Bella polished basses and Savarez Alliance trebles. This seems to give the best combination of bright, clear high notes whilst eliminating some of the inevitable “fretnoise” from the bass strings.
The downside of this combo is that I have to buy two sets every time I change the strings!
However, if you’re interested in string tone, have a listen to “Feelings” which is played on the same guitar but with the La Bella basses and Savarez trebles. To my mind it’s a much nicer, clearer sound and worth the extra investment.
The search for the best sounding strings continues but it’s a costly business!
Recording the “All of Me” Video
The audio recording was made on a Stephen Hill classical guitar with a Rode NT4 stereo microphone, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio interface, and mixed in Cakewalk Sonar X3. The video was shot with a Sony camcorder and edited in Magix Video Pro7.
Other Guitar Videos
“Walking In The Air” by Howard Blake (also called The Snowman)
“Feelings” by Albert Morris
“Over The Rainbow” by Eva Cassidy
“Jingle Bells” Traditional Christmas jollity