Hip Tip From Lyle Workman

Lyle Workman has been steadily developing a reputation as one of the baddest hired guns in the business. After stints with Frank Black and Beck, Workman has turned his talents to the world of movie music, playing and composing for several major motion pictures, including creating the soundtrack for the upcoming The 40-Year-Old Virgin. He also recently played an intimate gig accompanying Sting at Live 8.

“If I need a sound that isn’t your typical bright, sustainy acoustic tone,” says Workman, “I’ll take an old Martin 00-18 that I string with electric strings. It gives it a lot of bluesy character with plenty of midrange. I’ll also overdub acoustics with other stringed instruments. If I have an acoustic melody I might layer it with a kantele, which is like a little harp. The notes on the kantele all sustain together in a way that a guitar really can’t. I sometimes pluck the strings on an autoharp with a pick for a similar effect. I’ll overdub a guitar part with a uke or a banjo and get these really interesting sounds that you don’t associate with any particular instrument.”