Shredding the Rumba – Marcus Nand
How many of you remember a band called How did you capture the guitars and amps?
Freak of Nature, formed by ex-White Lion The flamenco “rumba” rhythm needed to
singer, Mike Tramp, in the early nineties? It sound organic. The only way to really do that
wasn’t a very memorable hair band and and is to mic a real nylon string or flamenco guitar.
was nothing spectacular in the music depart- It takes me ages to get a guitar sound, so I
ment, but it spawned a talented guitarist from just move the mic around until it’s right. I have
Spain named Marcus Nand. no technique for that – it’s really just trial and
error. I doubled the rhythms and hard panned
live – but I’ve found that for home recording,
the Line 6 amps and POD do the trick. I used
the POD straight in for the electric guitar tone
on the solo.
What format did you use to record the song?
The song was recorded entirely on hard drive
using Steinberg Cubase SX3.
Nand was born into a musical
family in England and started
playing the acoustic guitar at
the age of seven. When he
was eight, his family migrated
to southern Spain. At the age
of twelve, he started playing
semi-professionally in venues
in the province of Malaga and
later learned and played flamenco guitar with the Gypsies
of Andalucia – a privilege
reserved for few outsiders.
With his unique background,
he moved to Los Angeles to
pursue his love of music and
has since played with Jeff
Scott Soto, Carmine Rojas and
Neal Schon to name a few. He
also performed on the Terry
Bozzio, Tony Levin and Steve
Stevens’ album, Situation
Give us a little background of
the song and how you envisioned the guitar sounds.
The song came about because
I was doing some tests for an
upcoming project. I wanted
something not to showcase
my guitar playing, but to be a
melodic image evoking experiences for the listener. Well, I
guess I wouldn’t have minded
it showcasing my playing, too! I
guess I wanted to do something
with commercial appeal.
What is most striking about
Nand’s playing is his very
fluid, classical acoustic feel.
He first got in touch with me
when I was producing Guitar
Masters, Vol. 1 through Seymour Duncan. His
style is very reminiscence of the Gipsy Kings
– when it comes to flamenco guitar he plays
with confidence and authenticity. The song
he sent me was “Rumba” and I immediately
knew that it would be a perfect addition to
left and right to get that fat, Gipsy Kings-type
of sound. You can actually quadruple track
that type of rhythm to make it sound great,
especially if the takes are loose and there
is space in the track. Then, I sent them to a
group track and compressed the group.
There are many aspects to my
guitar playing that I can’t always
use in the same track. With
“Rumba,” I wanted to do some-
thing with all those aspects,
such as flamenco rhythm, some
cool lead playing and electric
guitar. I always try for textures
when recording guitars, and I’m
a firm believer in the right tool
for the right job, but sometimes
it’s hard to combine nylon string
and electric. I actually enjoy
doing that and wrote a whole
vocal record of [nylon string] combined with
electronic instruments, which I’ll finish one of
The melody was a little simpler. The Godin
guitar has a great preamp so it’s relatively
easy to make it sound good. It’s also the
type of nylon string that sounds good with a
pick so that’s what I did. I just used the XLR
out and went straight in and compressed.
EQ-wise, I find if you take around 1.5k out of
pretty much any direct guitar signal it makes it
sound a little more natural.
Check out Marcus’ performance on “Rumba”
which is out on the Guitar Masters, Vol. 1 compilation. For more info visit marcusnand.com
What guitars and amps did you use to
I used a Takamine nylon string cutaway,
a Godin Grand Concert and a ‘ 57 reissue
Strat with a Seymour Duncan Little ‘ 59 mini
humbucker in the bridge. The Strat is so
used that it actually looks like a real ‘ 57. It’s
still my favorite guitar though. I used the
Takamine for the flamenco “rumba” rhythms,
the Godin for the the main melody and the
Strat for the lead.
I used to be a tone junkie and always used
Marshalls straight and modified – and still do
Emmy Award winning guitarist Brian Tarquin scored a
Top 20 hit in the nineties with “ The Best of Acid Jazz,
vol. 2 ” on Instinct Records and enjoyed several top 10
hits on the R&R charts. Founder of the rock/electronica
band, Asphalt Jungle Tarquin has scored TV music for
such shows as CSI, Smallville, MTV, Alias, 24, All My
Children and many others.