Bird on a Wire

Hey here’s my rendition of Bird on a Wire by Leonard Cohen. I learned it from Justin Guitar’s Acoustic Songbook some time ago. I hope you like it!


Welcome to the Community, Kris.

What a lovely way to announce your presentation. I really enjoyed that, a vocal with character and under-stated accompaniment that worked well.

If possible, and I know recording is sometimes difficult depending on how one is making the recording, I’d have liked it even more if the guitar was a little louder relative to the vocal.

I encourage you to go over to Introduce yourself ... and post a short intro, some personal background, guitar history, and aspirations.

Look forward to you joining in here in the Community.

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Hi Kris,
Welcome here , and nice performance :sunglasses: :clap:
And I echo all of David’s words further further…

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Good Intro, Welcome to the group :wave:


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I feel that way about Leonard Cohen’s original recording. :smirk:


Thanks very much! I do have some trouble getting the guitar to be louder when recording, it’s the same with a few others I have on the Soundcloud. Like this Tom Waits one I did, probably more pronounced there actually. I’ll keep working on the positioning of the mobile phone - or maybe even invest in a proper mic!

I’ll go over toe the Introduce yourself for sure, thanks again!

Thank you!

Nice opening post Kris and welcome onboard. :sunglasses:

That was equally enjoyable, Kris. I really enjoy your voice and you have excellent feel for how you sing and accompany yourself on the guitar, the muted strumming in this recording.

If you have a modern phone, perhaps try a video recording rather than an audio. I have sometimes found that audio recording on a video is better than just a simple audio. I’ve no idea why that is/was but it was my experience.

Your only option to influence is phone position so as to reduce level of voice and increase the guitar. As you say, a proper mic will give you more options but firstly depends on what other kit you have, such as laptops, PCs, tablets etc or just a phone. Then there is the investment in money and time. For some, the recording rabbit warren is not one they want to get into. It really depends on your interests and aspirations.

And with a relatively modern phone, even if a budget model, you can do a pretty good job with careful positioning. For an example, take a look at some of the AVOYP recordings of @sairfingers (search for his username in the tag on Audio-Video Of You Playing) who is well known for his preference to keep focus on the playing, keep recording as simple as it can be and produces recordings with pretty good vocal-guitar balance.

That’s great advice David, thanks so much! I’ll try a video recording and see how that goes.

Not sure this is an improvement on the guitar sound, but it was worth a try! Anyway, I love playing this song:

Tom Waits again.

Kris, I agree with you that the guitar-vocal balance is pretty similar. I do think the tone of the recording is better on the YouTube video but quite marginal. If there is a difference then it could either be due to the difference in the video recorder vs the audio recorder on the phone or the stream from YouTube vs SoundCloud.

Irrespective, folk here prefer a YouTube video to enjoy watching the performance as well as listening. If you make more videos (I hope you will) then I suggest positioning the phone to record in landscape mode rather than portrait, framing to see the whole upper body and guitar.

Lastly, thanks for the intro. Based on that I suggest you take a look at Community Open Mic Events and consider performing in the new year. There is one more event this year but the entries are closed on that one.

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Thanks again David, I will check that out!

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As suggested, Hold On again, now recorded landscape. This was quite tricky as I had to place the phone pretty far way - and my voice just completely took over. So I tried again and just tried playing louder. You can hear the guitar better, but probably doesn’t sound as nice - but I imagine I just need to practice more with this louder style of playing.

And here’s a video of Bird on a Wire:


I think this is your best recording to date, Kris. The tone and balance of guitar and vocal both good and the video was just what the doc ordered. Enjoyed the performance, the vibe and feel of it.

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Gawd, I’m being very boring, but I remembered I have a little amplifier and my acoustic has a pickup, so I thought I’d plug in and see how it went. I think the balance between voice and guitar is pretty good.

Coldplay’s Don’t Panic, same setup, with my tiny amp and phone.