Tag Archives: alternate tuning

“Walk A Mile” music video

On a recent visit, my talented friend and music colleague Shauna Guidici urged me to create a video for my song, “Walk  A Mile.” I recently bought a Flip HD recorder and so I went out and about shooting B-roll. Then I gathered stills from the web and put it all together in iMovie.

It’s one of my favorite songs. The acoustic guitar is tuned to CADGBE and a capo is set at the 5th fret excluding the low string (C). That string acts as a drone for the tonic. It’s a mystery how this came to me. I was inspired by a little tune I heard in a TV commercial and wanted to recreate it. The only way I could come close was to capo in this fashion.

Enjoy!

Walk A Mile

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Yard Sailing

“Yard Sailing” is a song for autumn, written in 2001 in DADGAD. I recorded it in my living room on James Twomey’s DAT recorder with the fire crackling in the background.

Yard Sailing
© Patti Witten

School bus whistles down the road
Mommy waves goodbye
8 AM tomorrow
“Yard Sale,” reads the sign

Broken lamps and tired shoes
empty photo frames
magazines and diet books
hockey sticks, board games

(chorus)
Yard sailing
please, no early birds
final sale, no regrets
no refunds, no returns

Knotted afghans, old LPs
bottles of perfume
paperbacks with broken spines
curtain rods, old tools

(chorus)

(bridge)
Driving down the bargains
counting on the change
all the leaves are spinning gold
in every yard the same

Treasures lined up with the trash
beer steins with the grails
easy to set free the past
just set it out for sale

(chorus)

Download the song

Alternate Tunings

Early this morning I thought I would play through “Another Minute More,” a song I wrote in 2001, and last played perhaps in 2003. I remembered nothing about the tuning or the chord shapes. So I re-learned it. Luckily, I kept a record of the tuning with the lyrics:

A E C# F# B C#

But I could not remember the chord shapes, only the sounds. So, starting with the “open” chord, a sort major 9th chord, I experimented going up the guitar’s neck in a standard scale. I started finding the chord shapes for the 3rd, the 5th, the minor 7th.  Then I had the chords for the verses.

The tricky one was the opening chord of the bridge. I put on Sycamore Tryst and listened hard, finally puzzling out the shapes. It was part ear, part muscle memory.

My memory is so awful, and getting worse. Scary thoght for a musician and songwriter. Perhaps I will forget this thought, at least for awhile.

Thank goodness for permanent records. And, yes, I intend that pun.