Ever since the guitar began to gain popularity during the last century, the job of arranging keyboard pieces for the fretboard has been an onerous task. Just ask any classical guitarist who has tackled some of JS Bach’s keyboard pieces and watch him turn pale… But at least Bach stuck to one keyboard and didn’t switch continuously between Hammond, Moog and grand piano! This was the challenge facing Paul when he joined the band – and ever since, audiences have been amazed at such diverse and positively non-guitar like sounds emanating from his PRS.full interview
We caught up with Paul just before he left on a European tour with the band.
What’s the first step in arranging a keyboard part for the band?
“Carl gives me a CD of whatever piece he wants me to arrange. Before I dive straight in to transcribing and arranging the piece, I’ll listen to it a few times to see if I can get any ideas about how specific sections should sound on the guitar… what techniques to use, etc. During these initial listens I’ll make notes (using CD times as references) about ideas I have for the various sections. I find this is a really good place to start as it helps me see the bigger picture before I get out the microscope to focus in on the specifics of each section. After I’ve got a good idea of how I want to play each section of the song, I transcribe exactly what the keyboards are doing and, as I do that, I arrange the part for guitar.”