Dean Murphy discusses writing and recording clean 8 string guitar album “Point Pleasant”

Point Pleasant is Dean Murphy’s lush and beautiful collection of clean 8 string guitar tracks done without any other instrumental accompaniment. Drawn from his compositions over the past few years, this album showcases his writing style that paints vast emotional soundscapes inhabited by his 8 string playing style that utilizes the unique sound and scale of his instrument.

Released in May 2015, this album is one which should be appealing to fans of clean sounding instrumentals and essential for aspiring students of the 8 string guitar. All of the tracks on Point Pleasant have been featured as playthroughs on Dean’s YouTube channel at one point or another, and for the album have been re recorded by Murphy with mixing and post production done by Paul Ortiz/Chimp Spanner.


Dean has been so kind to do a q&a session with MacL@8guitar about some of the specifics about writing, recording, playing and producing his clean 8 string album, Point Pleasant:
MacL@8guitar: This album features just your 8 string set on clean with no other instrumentation. How did you come about the concept of doing an album with nothing but the clean sound of your 8 string?

Dean Murphy: Well that goes all the way back to when I bought the 8 string in the first place. For the first probably month I don’t think I used a pick more than once or twice, I was just making my way around the fretboard and getting used to building chords etc on the 8 string. While doing this is when I wrote “… and she’ll never be alone again” which was also the first YouTube video I ever put up. A year later I had forgotten about that video and went back on and saw it had a great response do I decided I loved writing that kind of stuff so much why not write more. The idea to actually make an album of JUST 8 string guitar comes from guys like Vic Wooten (a show of hands) or Evan Brewer (alone). I figured why not see if anyone else enjoys this kind of stuff. So after putting up a few more songs I had written on YouTube I decided to just go for it.

MacL@8guitar: Point Pleasant is clearly an “album” that showcases some of your best compositions over the last few years. What was the process like of finally getting them all together and getting the tracks produced?

Dean Murphy: It was very fun but in all honesty really tough.. I have a TERRIBLE memory, I actually forgot my own birthday 2 years ago, so unless I’m playing songs consistently I forget them. So when I decided to go back and relearn and track some of my favorites I’d written it was tough, Also I had Chimp Spanner (Paul Ortiz) doing all the mixing and post production and he was very helpful with some tips etc, that in itself was an awesome experience, Paul made the CD go to the next level

MacL@8guitar: Looking back at this collection how would you say your writing/playing has evolved during this time?

Dean Murphy: My right hand has DEFINITELY advanced quite a bit haha, between all the tapping and stuff. As for my writing I feel like I’ve become more driven to write good songs as opposed to songs for guitar players to listen to and just say “oh that’s awesome” ya know? I’ve got 3 songs I’m working on at the moment that i feel are VERY strong songs which is a relief. there is always a sigh of relief when you can actually listen to something you recorded and not cringe

MacL@8guitar: The different tracks all convey uniquely different feelings/emotions. What are some of the things that inspired some of the different tracks?

Dean Murphy: Haha, funny story virtually every song has some sort of powerful emotional backing from some event in my life. everything from breakups, to just stressful situations, etc. For example “lying through your teeth” was written when I actually only had 2 fingers on my left hand cause I had smashed my hand out of anger because i essentially got completely screwed in every which way by a girl whom I cared about for a LOOOONG time and I was astounded at her ability to just lie bold faced and ruin my life just to make herself look better to someone else,
Oh the Places you’ll go is about essentially one of the lowest points I felt in my life and I just kept trying to look up and look at the bright side of everything just excited to see what would come next.
Aela’s song I wrote soon after the passing of my dog Aela who went through some really rough times with me but always loved me none the less.
I could go on and on and on about every song but you get the picture. that’s one thing I’m proud of about this album is every song is very emotionally based

MacL@8guitar: These tracks sound pretty complex and technically challenging to play. Which track was the most challenging to write/play?

Dean Murphy: The writing process for me is usually pretty easy actually. Once I get a riff in my head I just kinda think where i want the sound to go and then figure out how to play it… that being said it also causes problems with actually being able to pull of the sounds in my head. In terms of complexity Aela’s Song and Strange and Delightful Turn of Events are probably the hardest

MacL@8guitar: I really like the song “Internal Mental Conflict” because it is fast paced and sounds like it is fun to play with all the bass thumping. Which songs did you find the most fun/satisfying to write/play?

Dean Murphy: Summer Rain is probably the song that I’m most satisfied with how it came out, between all the interweaving harmonies and the amazing ambient work Paul did with my guitars its my favorite song to listen to off the CD. In terms of the technical prowess along with song structure Strange and Delightful Turn of Events is probably the one I’m most proud of… and as for Playing live “… and she’ll never be alone again” is my favorite just cause I love looping the first half then adding all the lush layers on top of it all live.
To have a good listen to Point Pleasant, visit Dean’s official website where it is currently streaming @: .

The high quality download version is available for purchase at the following outlets:
Physical Copy:

Alexandra Zerner WeeklyckZ 8 string guitar lesson series

8 string guitar instructor Alexandra Zerner is releasing WeeklyckZ, a weekly 8 string guitar lesson series via YouTube featuring licks from her album “9 Stories”(iTunes)

Follow Alexandra Zerner @:
Official Site: