Beach boys - Wouldn't It Be Nice (intro tone)

buzzp

Member
Messages
6,882
I recently dove back into the Beach Boys and really love the sound of that intro riff on "Wouldn't it be Nice". Is it just a massive amount of reverb coming from a tank unit? Is it something else?

 

therhodeo

Member
Messages
9,883
Isn't that intro a harp?

Now looking at the credits there seems to be no harp but they have Barney Kessel credited on 12 string mando-guitar. Otherwise I'd say its some sort of echo chamber effect or plate reverb.
 
Last edited:

CEFlint

Member
Messages
2,026
I believe it was two 12-string guitars playing in unison. Obviously a ton of reverb.

I covered this tune years ago with another guitarist who was a huge Beach Boys fanatic. He said that the technique. We normally did it on 6-strings, but we did happen to have two 12-strings on one occasion and he sold me on the idea.
 
Last edited:

songtalk

Member
Messages
3,486
Maybe I'm imagining things but it always sounded like maybe it was played faster and lower pitched and then sped up on tape to me.
 

lefort_1

Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,848
sounds like a harp at the top of a 5 story concrete stairwell,
or maybe a felt-picked, capo'd, nylon-string guitar in the same locale.
 

Mr Fingers

Member
Messages
2,479
Are you talking about trying to record a tone like that or suggest it live? Two entirely different propositions. The recording was done both through playing techniques and recording techniques. Brian Wilson's ears are better than ours.
 
Messages
2,525
Are you talking about trying to record a tone like that or suggest it live? Two entirely different propositions. The recording was done both through playing techniques and recording techniques. Brian Wilson's ears are better than ours.
Ear ;). Maybe the key is to do whatever you're doing in mono.
 

zombiwoof

Supporting Member
Messages
5,696
Are you talking about trying to record a tone like that or suggest it live? Two entirely different propositions. The recording was done both through playing techniques and recording techniques. Brian Wilson's ears are better than ours.
You mean "Brian Wilson's EAR" (he's deaf on one side). That's why they always mixed in MONO.
Al
 

misa

Supporting Member
Messages
3,576
@buzzp ’s insightful link quotes Brian W. stating it was the custom 12-string mandolin straight to the board. If that was the case, I would probably hedge my bets on some sort of studio plate reverb or chamber, but I’m not familiar enough with Capital Record’s setup to know what they had to offer. Catchy sound though.
 
Last edited:
Messages
12,344
at first quick listen sounds like a hammered dulcimer. That would be a guaranteed way to nail the tone on the first try.

I mean could be something weird but that is pretty much just the average hammered dulcimer tone.

I've played with hammered dulcimer players lots of times, BTW. Pretty common in Celtic music. You would need no effects to get that tone. Just set one up and hit it.
 
Last edited:

don carney

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,298
This is an interesting thread. So did any of you see the Beach Boys do this live back in the day? I am curious as to how they would pull off the intro without Barney Kessel and his 12 string mando guitar.
 

Baskervils

Member
Messages
753
I agree with the folks here. It sounds like an electric mandolin played close the the bridge with plate reverb. There are lots of inexpensive electric mandos available these days. There was a Fender reissue a few years back and Eastwood makes quite a few models now. I have a Rickenbacker mando that I love.

 

donfrantz

Yo! You stealin’ all the cool.
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,302
I agree with the folks here. It sounds like an electric mandolin played close the the bridge with plate reverb. There are lots of inexpensive electric mandos available these days. There was a Fender reissue a few years back and Eastwood makes quite a few models now. I have a Rickenbacker mando that I love.

Cool instrument!
 




Trending Topics

Top