Needle & The Damage Done - Neil Young

This is one of my favorite songs by Neil Young - so sad but so beautiful - about losing his friends and fellow musicians to drug addiction. The sound and the technique on this song seem pretty unique to me - I’ve not heard or seen another quite like it.

I learned it here from Justin’s Needle lesson. I’ve never been able to hit every single note correctly in one go but there are so many notes to hit:) Anyway, I’d love to hear what you think about the playing, the singing and the mix.


Very well done, Michael! :smiley: :clap:

I very much enjoyed the listen and your playing and singing was decent! Bravo. Regards hitting wrong notes: I didn’t recognize any, but don’t know the song too well (unfortunately, what a lovely tune). So all sounds felt quite right in my ears so no need for pointing out, rather call it some intended variations. :rofl:
Seriously, this is definitely not too easy to be played and sung at the same time, but you did it very well and it seemed to come easy for you. :+1:

Thanks for sharing this one! :slight_smile:

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Enjoyed that immensely Mike, sounded pretty good to me. Well done sir ! :sunglasses:

Bravo man. Very well done indeed.
Not an easy song to play…and get the groove of it right…and sing it as well. :crazy_face:Hats off :clap:

Cheers, Shane

Thank you @Lisa_S. “Intentional variations“ from now on.:grin:

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Thanks madman

Thanks @sclay. Definitely not easy for me :persevere: but I luv working on it.

Sounded good. Your voice is quite like Neil’s too.

Wrong notes - didn’t notice really. When they’re part of the same chord they sound good anyway.

Hi Mike,
This is really beautiful and you can take it to a bigger stage without any shame :man_bowing: :sunglasses: :clap:

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Love this song. To be fair I’ve always thought it’s one that can take the odd missed note with all the changes between picking and strumming. But I didn’t notice any in your version.

10/10 from me. Fantastic.

Who cares about one or two ‘wrong notes’ when you can play and sing like that. The fact you like this song a lot translated very well to how you performed it. The tone and overall feel were spot on. Well done @mikeGmell.

Hi Michael, that was very impressive playing. And to sing along simultaniously doesn’t make the whole thing easier.
Congratulations on this fantastic rendition :clap::+1::star_struck:!

I totally agree :+1:.

Thanks a lot for sharing, Michael :hugs:.

That was fantastic Michael. Super playing and an excellent vocal too.
You nailed the strumming and note picking fills. As for missing an odd note here and there, in a song like this no one notices as the chords and picked notes run together. I’ll bet NY has never played it the same way twice.
Well done.

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Freaking awesome! Sounded excellent.

Lovely playing and singing! :clap:

Didn’t know the song, but I feel the rhythmic flow and performance seem pretty flawless and the vocals have emotion. :ok_hand:

As you asked for feedback on the mix:

I think the voice and guitar are mixed well (the voice could maybe use a tad of compression).

Do you have a slight reverb on your voice? I think it’s still subtle but quite nice.

I like the guitar tone. Can I ask what you use? Piezo or microphone(s)? Software Effects, Pedals, or nah?

Listening closer after noticing the voice coming from the right at first listen, I noticed you panned the voice and guitar opposite of each other a bit. Could be an artistic choice, but I feel both voice and guitar would come through a bit better centered so they sound more on top of each other.

In the theory of the mixing space, a voice and a guitar played by one person is normally horizontally displaced which in mixing terms is more related to frequency than MidSide(Stereo) differences. As always there are no hard rules, but I personally would have liked to hear at least your voice more evenly in both speakers.

That was great! Very impressive that you can both play and sing it at the same time. The recording quality is great and you mixed it well. :slight_smile:

I was learning this one from Jutin’s lesson too. But I gave up at some point. You motivated me to revisit it. :slight_smile:

Thank you @Siff for your detailed comments!

I do have a little reverb on my voice but not too much I hope.

I have just one mic that I use for voice. And the mic and guitar are run thru a simple audio interface to my Mac running Garage Band. And Garage Band + Zoom feed into OBS.

I like your idea of not panning the guitar and voice - I’ll try that the next go.

For this recording I just used a mix that I did for a previous finger picking recording. I’m new to mixing and didn’t want to fuss around but there’s definitely room for improvement.


Thanks so much @NicoleKKB . I can’t reach Neil’s high notes so adjusted the singing down to a lower harmonic.

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Thanks @kamkor. Yes give it another try!

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That’s so well played and sung Mike! :blush: