Don't Forget to Boogie

Written: December 2017

Recorded: October 2020

Credits: Liam Johnson (guitar)

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Photo: taken in 2017 outside the music department at the University of Sheffield

Around the time that I wrote Don't Forget To Boogie, I had booked for myself to go to the Tommy Emmanuel Guitar Camp in Pitlochry, Scotland. As someone who rarely gets to attend such events, I was so excited to go there and meet such a high calibre of guitarists. One of the ways I expressed my excitement was through writing this piece which was very inspired by the type of music Tommy Emmanuel is known for writing and performing.

The main melody came to me through what I can only describe as "vague lyrics." There was a clear melody with some unclear words to it, but the only words that were clear were "don't forget to boogie." This provided the starting point for this upbeat fingerstyle piece. I also deliberately chose to stay in standard tuning as a challenge to myself (because apparently I couldn't stop myself changing the tuning!)

Using a thumbpick for the first time, I knew that I wanted a nice percussive slap going through the whole piece if possible. I wanted to capture the groove-based playing of Tommy Emmanuel where it feels like there is a drummer, bassist, rhythm and lead guitarists playing all at once. But at the same time, I wanted to make it my own by adding quirky things that wouldn't normally work. This included some time signature wobbliness, unusual harmonies and a cheeky over-the-fretboard phrase towards the coda (can you hear it?). A straight-forward groovy piece, the message of Don't Forget To Boogie is clear enough in the title. So don't forget!