Guitarist takes an in-depth look at Nick Drake's unique tone

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Love Nick Drake. I’ve had the song “The Riverman” stuck in my head for a few days. The VW ad that used his music was one of two commercials that would make my wife cry. (The other commercial that would make her cry was a cat food ad).


That VW ad introduced me to Nick Drake; besides being a beautiful song, the commercial is just a perfect match of visuals to the music. I think I ended up with all of his albums within a week of seeing that ad for the first time.


VW forgot to mention the moon appeared pink due to all their diesels’ emissions in the air.


Seriously check out more of Josh Turner’s videos!

His guitar playing is so tasteful and spot on.


I don’t have the time right now to watch all nine minutes of the video, so I don’t know if this is mentioned, but it’s an essential part of Nick Drake’s sound that isn’t included in the list of four most significant factors in the post: cluster chords.

His unconventional tunings that allowed him to play cluster chords is a big part of his sound, so I’m disappointed to see it excluded from that list.



This. Alternate guitar tunings are the key to a lot of guitarists ‘sounds’-- getting an old Harmony acoustic isn’t going to make you sound like Ry Cooder by iteself, but you can play the stuff from “Paris, Texas” if you tune your acoustic to open-D.

A Skin Too Few is an interesting documentary you can find on YouTube. I learned a lot about him from it. I can’t believe that for someone so talented that there is no film of him, except as a child.



His music is so beautiful. Astonishing really. You would think that anyone that heard it would try as hard as they could to get as many people to listen as possible, but the idea of a bare bones acoustic album was considered to have no commercial potential at the time. This was the only time I was moved by a television commercial.

How could you not? His songs are just perfect.

I watched that documentary last night. Very good! Thanks for sharing the link!

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