EvanCDCover-MedSinking Ships & Wooden Kings is my favorite of the five songs from my new EP.

It may sound strange, or seem obvious, but I create music that I personally want to hear. I’ve listened to my album dozens of times, and each time, I just zone out and meditate as though it were someone else playing the guitar.

Heavily influenced by Gustavo Santaolalla’s work on the ronroco, Sinking Ships and Wooden Kings uses simple chord shapes and relentless finger picking to create a soundscape and a sense of motion.

Essentially, I was trying make the guitar sound like a ronroco.

Releasing Sinking Ships & Wooden Kings was a mini-dream of mine, that came together very quickly, once I flipped the switch and decided to go for it. I brought a guitar with me on vacation in September and ended up writing almost the entire EP in the span of 6 days.

When Jennifer and I returned home, I immediately set about recording the tracks. My plan was to record the entire album with my ZOOM Q3HD. I shut of the camera part of the ZOOM, and played the guitar straight into the mic, while taking care with my body positioning and the acoustics of the room. The ZOOM Q3HD allows you to record in ACC or PCM, 44.1-96k, and 16 or 24 bit. It actually works far better as a simple, professional recording device than video/sound recording device.

The actual recording and selection of the tracks became the hard part, as I recorded each song nearly 30 times! My performance always follows a U-shaped curve, in other words, I get better and better, then I precipitously drop. The trick was to find the one single performance at the top of the curve — while (at the same time) not becoming obsessed with every single nuance or minor mistake.

Once I finalized my selections, I took my my tracks on a flash drive to Mr Smalls Recording (in Pittsburgh) where engineer Larry Luther individually mastered each of the 5 tracks in about 2 hours.

Once I had my final product, I finalized the artwork with my assistant Abby, uploaded the tracks to CDBaby, and presto: Sinking Ships & Wooden Kings the EP had become a reality. It took about 2 weeks to record at my house, and only 2 hours of studio time. It think the total costs came to $210 if I add in CDBaby and Abby’s fee.

The moral is: if there’s something you dream of doing, its typically way easier, and far less daunting than you think. Most people have a false construct that big things are for other people: the more talented, better looking, lucky, and wealthier winners of life’s lottery. The actual premise of their unfulfilled aspirations is an unacknowledged fear of failing.

The reality is, if you’re flexable, there is no failure, just redirection. The most helpful things to remember when you finally decide to take the leap are: the process will be easier and less expensive than you think, and ‘no plan survives first contact’.

How to Play Sinking Ships & Wooden Kings

Sinking Ships & Wooden Kings is played in standard tuning with a capo on the 3rd fret. On page one of the tab, you’ll play the repeated stanza then (1), repeat again, then (2), and so on. There’s also a similar structure to the chorus on page two. I hope you enjoy it! The tab is available below:

Sinking Ships & Wooden Kings (Tab)

Please comment to let me know what you think, or if you have any questions.

-To all Premium members, I’m still trying to figure out why the comment section won’t work on those posts. In the meantime, just comment here or on any non-premium post. Thanks!

Written by:

Matthew's dad, Jennifer's husband, bass player - New Invisible Joy, YouTuber, short-film composer, creator of modern content for guitar.