Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Song 10 in D major

Song 10 in D major (mp3 file)

Two steel string guitars.

Phew, I managed to deliver before midnight! This time around, I'm using a different tuning on my guitar. It's called "Drop D", which simply means the low string which is normally tuned to E is detuned two half steps to D. D major has a crisp sound, lots of open strings, and the third (F#) of the tonic chord (D itself) is often played on the first string, which gives a bright and snappy sound. With the added low D, you get a nice fat bottom end to go with the crispness. Also, you get a sound that is suitable for fingerpicking, although I don't apply that so much here.

This tune was written for this project. It's a variation on a simple idea, which is first played solo in the low register, at at free tempo, and then I do the same melody in a higher register with a more uptempo groove. I like the sound you get when you start whacking that basic D chord (the first one I learned) with the added boom of the low D. You can have the open A string ring along too, so you get a nice fat fifth interval in the bottom end of the chord too. You have to figure out new fingerings for lots of chords, but that's just fine. All the chords seem to change their sound when you change the tuning, so it's definitely a good way to find some new inspiration.

There's definitely something folksy about this sound, with just a hint of the blues thrown in I think. I only had a very short time to record this, and it took some editing to sort out the structure, but all in all I didn't think it was too bad for a total of about two hours work of recording and editing.

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