A post from our very own David Wallings:
“You’re in that Baghdad tunin’ incha?
I had been demonstrating open tunings and slide playing to a customer on a beautiful Pete Turner resonator recently, when the question came from a grinning, gurning galute wearing tracksuit trousers, slip-ons and eau de rollup who had sidled up beside us. “Jimmy Page done that all the time”, he explained.
To be fair he heard right. The guitar was indeed tuned to DADGAD which can sound very Zeppelinish with the right fingers, normally other than mine. Jimmy Page’s in fact. Close your eyes and listen to ‘Kashmir’ for instance and Mr Galute’s erroneous Middle Eastern reference seems strangely apt, you can practically smell the incense and spices and hear a far-off Imam chanting under the sounds of a bustling Arab market.
And that reminds me of something useful. When your guitar playing is getting a bit stale, a bit predictable and in a rut which let’s face it, happens to all of us, a great way to inject a bit of colour and inspiration is to muck about with your machine heads. And how wonderfully evocative it can be.
With a just bit of tube on your finger and an open chord tuned up for instance, you can almost sense the warm, tumbleweed strewn breeze on your face at sundown. Just breathe real slow, take your time, pour some heartbreak into your visceral, sliding undulations and you too can hear the faint sound of a beat-up Ford V8 pickup throbbing in the distance down a long dusty Texas road. You will practically feel the half-empty bottle of Wild Turkey in your hand as your worn-down boot heels shamble up the dry lumber steps to a Blues soaked roadhouse bar….
Which I find jolly refreshing when looking out of my drizzle streaked window in Southend-on Sea.
I think you’d agree.