Tuning

Sooner or later, you come down to discussing with your guitar serious stuff: “I need a note, and you ain’t giving it to me.” Or it’s a chord form that you can’t quite get your fingering around. It’s frustrating, and it can lead to a sulk.

Like most guitarists or musicians in general, I don’t just have “a” guitar. I have maybe six. I’d have to count all the cases, and I really don’t want to right now. Back many years ago, I rid myself of the keyboards and banjo I never really learned, so it’s just me and the guitars. Most are packed away, so it’s just the Classical and the Honeydipper metal resonator guitar. From the corner, the resonator whispers, “you know I can bend those notes so very sweetly.” But Charlie, that’s the Classical guitar, harrumphs, ” if you want good tone without that bridge buzzing away every time you sound the G string, you’ll stick with me.”

Mostly I listen to Charlie. We’ve been together since 1963. He’s seen every bad and good gig I ever had, been on the road, in bar fights, and dear God, the mileage we’ve put in on the road! So, as a result, I spend note hunting time on Charlie, not the old Gibson with the speed neck, not the sleek little Travel guitar, not the slide Gretsch Boxcar. And most certainly that buzzing resonator.

Tonight’s note search was in quest of an instrumental solo for a song that was featured in a post earlier this week: “The Rain Don’t Fall On Me.” The damn instrumental bridge has eluded me for years. But, since I wrote the post, the tune has been sliding around my ears – even in my sleep. So tonight, I sat down, determined to pick it out. After some time, I’ve laid out the melody ( I don’t read music), and now I’m trying to figure out the best tuning to play it in. I think it should be in a modal tuning, but Charlie is disagreeing. 

Welcome to my world; even the guitar argues with me. Oh, shit. Here comes the cat; she likes open D.

claytoonz

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