Andrew Cowan: The Adventures of One Man and His Fender Stratocaster


One Man’s Adventures with a Fender Stratocaster

I have been a guitar enthusiast since I was very young and have been playing for 25+ years now, some of those years with waning interest. Recently I found myself with a little more time since we have 2 babies in the house now and that leaves less time for us to be out and about, so I set out to start recording my ideas as they popped into my head.

Gear: What I use/play

  • Martin JC16-ME Aura
  • Brian Moore iGuitar i8.13
  • ’87 Japanese Stratocaster, refitted with a Roland GK-3 Divided Pickup
  • Custom American Strat made by Haywire Guitars based in SC, USA
  • Simon and Patrick Acoustic Guitar
  • Roland GR-33 Guitar Synthesizer
  • Boss BR1200 Digital Recording Studio

Update 10-15-2008: JC Boogie hits #1 on Acoustic Charts, JC Boogie.

Update 03-27-2008: New song posted to Soundclick, Bottom Feeder (Jam).

Update 12-13-2007: Proud to announce that my newest song, Red Sunrise just hit #1 in the Rock charts and #1 in the Instrumental Rock charts after only a few days of being submitted to the website.

Update 11-16-2007: Carolina Run hits #1 in the Rock/Instr. Rock charts Nov. 16th, 2007.

Music: Here are some songs I wrote and recorded

  1. (New) Ballots Remaster – [Oct 18 2008] I really like the original, but it was made before I had a clue how to use my recorder and I think the sound quality was lacking, I re-recorded some of the tracks and came up with tis new version.
  2. (New) JC Boogie (Acoustic Boogie) – [Sept 27 – Sept 30 2008] After years of playing nice but modest Acoustic guitars I finally took the plunge and bought myself a Martin JC-16ME Aura. This is the first tune that popped out of my head on my first day with this new guitar, the basic melody is intact, I then overdubbed a bass line and a lead guitar line and programmed in some percussion.
  3. Metal Jam – [2007] This is a metal tune my brother’s band recorded, I added lead guitar to the second half of the song.
  4. Emerging V3 – [Recorded May 1st – May 4th, 2008] This is a remake of part 2 of the original 3-part Emerging (long version) which is posted below. All of the tracks were redone and the song structure was modified to allow it to be a complete composition. I’ve wanted to revisit this song for awhile since the original has a poor production quality, and the new Bass sounds much better than the old bass-model played on my guitar.
  5. Bottom Feeder (Jam) – [Recorded Dec. 26th, 2007 – Jan. 5th, 2008] I had been wanting to start playing a real bass guitar instead of my guitar through a bass modeller, so my wife Suzanne got me a 5-string bass for Christmas. This song began as a jam with just the bass lines, then the rhythm and lead guitar lines were added, I think it sounds like a cross between a Grateful Dead and Allman Bros. jam.
  6. Red Sunrise Final Mix – [Recorded Dec. 1-5, 2007] I got the idea for the main guitar line while I was mixing the final Carolina Run version and I quickly put it down so I could get back to it after finishing. I spent a bit more time on this one having a clearer idea of what I wanted and finding it hard to match what I heard in my head with what I was playing.
  7. Carolina Run – [Recorded Oct. 26-28, 2007] This song began as an electric guitar rock riff which ended up taking the background and is only barely audible in the verse sections. With each new track the song took a different shape and ended up with what you hear here.
  8. The Dragon and the Tiger – [Recorded summer ’07] Inspired by japanese artwork which found its way onto my wife’s shoulder in the form of a tatoo. The lyrics/vocals were contributed by Lukas from v-band.de.
  9. Ladder w/Sax – [Recorded Dec. 17-18, 2006] Here is an alternative version of Ladder with saxophone added by a very talented musician from NetMusicMakers named Hockinfinger.
  10. Reckoning – [Recorded Apr. 11, 2007] Building on the theme started wth Emerging this is another 3-part piece which allowed me to experiment with my new iGuitar 8.13 and Roland guitar synth. In the different sections I got to play around with OD Piano, Tekno Taurus, LFO Guitar, Upright Phased Bass, Stack Distortion and Smooth Lead patches, and Rock Organ. This composition took me about a month to put together but some of that time was spent diverted on a side project which I may post here later.
  11. Drifting Away – [Recorded Mar. 28, 2007] I was entertaining my 2 and 3 yr olds the other night and the main rift of this song was formed, that night I recorded it with some chorus/echo, then using my guitar synth I added the flute and fretless bass. Nothing too deep here, just a mellow ‘off to sleep’ type of song.
  12. Weeping – [Recorded Feb. 17, 2007] I had been playing variants on the main rythym line for a long time but never had it structured into a song, finally sat down and put this together, the lead guitar came together very quickly after the main guitar line was recorded.
  13. Emerging V2 (short version) – [Recorded Dec. 21-22, 2006] This is a much more raw version of the song, 2 mins of atmospheric audio is cut from the beginning and it starts right at the part I into part II segment, followed by an extended part II and quicker to fade part III. The two versions are fairly different sounding but the same underlying song is there.
  14. Emerging (long version) – [Recorded Dec. 19, 2006] A 3 part composition depicting the expectant birth of something and its subsequent departure. Lots of guitar synth used in parts I and III. The composition/recording process for this piece was quite a change for me, it was fun to make but alot more work in piecing it together.
  15. Ladder – [Recorded Dec. 17-18, 2006] Multiple guitar tracks and added Taurus pedals and synth via a Roland GR-33, arranged percussions via BR1200.
  16. AbaZac – [Recorded Dec. 8-9, 2006] Named for my two children, had the main rythym line floating in my head for some time and it came together quickly in 2 days of recording and 6 tracks ( 4 guitar, 1 bass guitar via guitar synth, 1 programmed/arranged drums )
  17. Ballots – [Recorded Dec. 16-17, 2006] My wife says it sounds like 80s rock, from her that is not a complement, but I like the way the song moves and the total time from concept to mastering took maybe 4 hours. There are 6 guitar tracks including an LFO effect in the background, just barely audible and some arranged percussion.
  18. Fade Away Rd – [Recorded Dec. 12, 2006] This is a more developed version of ‘Acoustic Jam’ (number 6 below), the Simon and Patrick was swapped out for the custom strat and it was used for all the guitar/bass tracks. Arranged some percussion with the BR1200 rythym engine.
  19. Alameda (cover written by Elliott Smith) – [Recorded Jan. 5, 2007] This is my version of the guitar line from Alameda, one of my favorite Elliott Smith songs. The man was a musical genius and he is sorely missed. I micced my Simon and Patrick Acoustic and recorded two tracks and mixed them together.
  20. Petite Etude (cover written by Rik Emmett) – [Recorded Dec. 17, 2006] I consider Rik Emmett (of Triumph) one of the better guitarists/composers of my generation, this classical piece by him has long been a favorite of mine and one I learned to play as soon as I could.
  21. A Minor Prelude (cover written by Rik Emmett) – [Recorded Dec. 17, 2006] Another classical piece composed by Rik Emmett, my version differs towards the end as when I first learned the song I was unable to duplicate his ending and this stuck with me through the years.
  22. Hives – [Recorded Dec. 5-7, 2006] This was written and recorded while I was experiencing Anaphylaxis and a good case of the Hives, my mind was screaming on Steriods (doctor prescribed of course) and this came out.
  23. Slow Release – [Recorded Dec. 1, 2006] My brother was visiting and brought his Roland keyboard, we sat down and recorded this in 1 take without any plan. Added the bass line after (keyboard generated) and I am waiting for him to add some percussion
  24. Overdubbed – [Recorded Nov, 2006] (poor recording quality) This was my first recording with a Boss Loop Station and many many overdubs. The Loop Station is meant to serve as a live performance tool, not for producing digital recording but this was before I got my BR1200.
  25. Acoustic Jam – [Recorded Nov, 2006] (poor recording quality) Micced my Simon and Patrick acoustic and used it for the individual rythym, bass and lead tracks. Recorded with the Loop Station (pre-BR1200 days) and some minor overdubbing.

The above tunes can be found on my MySpace Music account ( K2mia ), the Iccy/Guitar image should look familiar. I’d love to hear from anyone that enjoys those tunes, more should follow as time permits.

My custom American Strat built by Rick @ haywireguitars.com


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