Cowgirl in the Sand - Acoustic Version

So I’ve always loved this Neil Young song but never thought of playing an acoustic version… until, that is, I saw this cover by @HappyCat right here on this forum. Turns out that Justin has an inspired lesson for Cowgirl - I think it’s not an easy song to teach and he does a really great job. So here’s my spin on the song…


Right on Michael! @mikeGmell

Great song ain’t it. Not to mention it’s just plain fun to do.

I love your version.
Your audio puts my telephone to shame.
I assume ya ran that through a daw? I like the reverb added to your guitar.
How did you get the guitar to the daw? I don’t see a mic for the guitar. The way you sound it seems like you’ve separated the guitar from your vocal.You have very good balance between the guitar and your vocal. Great mix man.
Interesting ya capoed up three too. Was that to get into your vocal range or did ya just like the way it sounded with the capo. I tend to like songs that have the capo but many times it gets out of my vocal range pretty quick as I go up.

I bet ya get a lot of thumbs up for your video recorded in the day time where folks can see you. I don’t think folks liked my dim lighting that I have when it’s dark out… :wink:

Anyways, a great cover man.
I like it and find your nuances in your version vs mine quite interesting. Starting with tempo and your lead riff is more precise than mine too. Very good.
What guitar is that your using? It sure is a good sounding acoustic. Very bell like and I like that tone myself.

Way to go!
Thanks for sharing.

That was very very nice Mike. Really impressive playing and vocals to match. Nice job!

Hey @HappyCat - thanks and yes this song is just a blast to play!

Yes, I connect my guitar to a simple User Interface (Behringer UM2) which is connected to Garageband running on a Mac desktop. I tried all of the garageband amp emulations and picked one called “Country Gent” for this song.

Interesting ya capoed up three too.

So I capoed up to the third fret just to fit my vocal range a little better. But it’s a compromise cuz I actually like the guitar sound a little better without the capo.

It’s a Taylor 314CE that I picked up used. It’s the lowest model of their all wood guitars and I do love it. I can’t imagine how good their more expensive models sound. Not sure I could hear the difference:)

I really liked your version and it inspired me to give it a try - I thank you for that. And it really is great how we all can have different spins on the same song and the different versions are all interesting.

Thank you very much @Eddie_09 !

1 Like

Nice, I enjoyed that. Well done, perhaps a bit Shakey at the start on the vox for a note or two, but you got going and it was great!

All the best,

Nice pace and wonderful playing/singing!

@mikeGmell - is the vocal Mike picking up the guitar? What Mike did you use? And how did you match the video to the audio?

Again, I really enjoyed the performance!

I see, and I hear (much difference between my telephone and your going direct in to the interface, interface being much more hifi sound imho). I go back and forth with live mic and plugging into the interface (when not using my phone, which I really have opposition to). Myself, I find I like live mic best as I feel it represents the tone of my guitar closest to what it really sounds like w/o coloring my tone at all from what it really is. I dig going into my interface for clean separation between mic and vocals though and I for sure have done it direct into the interface.

Makes sense to me. I actually like both versions. Capo’ed up and w/o.

Oh my. No wonder I liked the sound of that guitar. Just looked that one up on the www. That’s one sweet guitar!
I’m gonna have to keep on with my Epiphone though. Epiphones are in my price range, Taylor’s are not.
Interesting though, both yours and my Epi have solid sitka spruce tops. I think I’m pretty down on that top. I think my Epi sounds real full and I attribute that to that top. I’ve got a 12 that is just laminated maple I think. My Epi sounds near as full as that 12.

Cool that I inspired you and I thank you for that comment. I don’t think I’ve ever inspired anyone with any music I do. So your the first. Thanks man. And I agree.

That’s it exactly. Each interpretation is unique in itself. w/o the variety, life would be pretty boring.
Glad ya did your version and then linked my version so the community can hear these different interpretations.
Rock on man!

1 Like

Good Job!

Hey @LBro - thanks! Yes my singing was a little weak at the start till I started singing into the mic.

So my guitar is recorded on a separate track than the vocals. The guitar is connected to an audio interface which feeds garageband running on a mac. The vocal mic is also connected to the audio interface feeding garageband. That said, the guitar sound does bleed into the vocal mic a good bit but it doesn’t seem to matter much in the final mix.

The mic is an Audio Technica AT2020. I think it was recommended as a good entry level mic.

I recorded the video using software called OBS running on a mac desktop. The output from garageband goes to OBS. So it’s a live recording of video and audio. But in the mp4 file produced by OBS there is a slight delay between the audio and video so I had to use iMovie to sync them up. It’s all a bit complicated for a simple recording but this is my 3rd recording so it’s getting easier.

So you’re using the guitars piezo pickups through a cable to the interface/computer GarageBand?

I only ask because the acoustic guitar really sounds nice and doesn’t have that little bit of fry that comes from using the piezo pickups… at least to my ears.

I typically record the acoustic guitar using a couple of condenser mics but I have to wear headphones or I’ll get horrible, speaker blowing feedback!

Really nice guitar work. Nice job.

Great playing enjoyed that very much.

That’s right except that instead of using a cable I’m using a wireless system (Xvive U2) to connect the guitar to the UI. I don’t think there’s any discernible difference in the sound with wireless vs cable - I just use wireless to avoid the cable clutter.

My understanding is that mic’ing the guitar (or mic’ing an amp) is actually better than a direct feed from the pickup. I just haven’t bought another mic yet but it will be fun to experiment - someday soon:)

@skinnyt @MiJoy Thanks guys!

That was terrific Mike. I loved your strum/pick guitar playing and you’ve got a great voice too. Well done. Super version of a great song.

@sairfingers Thank you sir! I do love me some of that strummin and a pickin songs:)