Monthly Archives: June 2011
The Police is one of my all-time favorite bands. While Invisible Sun is arguably their best tune off of Ghost in the Machine, I have always been drawn to this little gem. The soaring synthesizers and Sting’s falsetto give me goosebumps. Being an unplugged performer, I presented myself with a challenge to somehow meet the original at least half-way in capturing the emotions that the band conveyed so ethereally.
Initially, I was compelled to cover the tune for academic reasons. Through much coaching, I found that allowing my voice to flip back and forth through different registers, instead of fighting it and causing strain, would be the best use of my vocal abilities. Since Sting did the same—he starts in chest voice and sings the chorus in mixed—I thought playing the song would be a great exercise for me.
With just the acoustic guitar to accompany me, I wasn’t happy with singing the chorus so high. It just didn’t sound right. I retooled the melody to sing the majority of the song in chest voice, and switched to mix to add drama to the performance to compensate, for lack of a better word, for the diminished fullness and production of the original song.
I also changed the chords up a bit. I kapoed the guitar at the 7th fret, but retained the correct chord shapes. So, for example, the A-minor of the original became an E-minor. Even though I still sang it in the same key of The Police’s version, the ringing alternate chords add an interesting layer.
Attached is the initial recording of just me and a guitar. Then, for the second one—the “Deluxe” version—I added a second guitar, bass, and backing vocal. For that second vocal, I sang the chorus in Sting’s range to both tip my hat to him, as well as add more fullness to the sound.
These mp3’s aren’t super robust when uploaded in this format. Please turn all volume controls completely up.