Snowfall
(solo guitar instrumental)

music by Geoff Bartley 1997
Published by Joshua Omar's Music BMI
All Rights Reserved

A note from Geoff -

I discovered the "dulcimer drone tuning in A" for this piece from the Nic Jones recording of The Humpback Whale on his fine album, Penguin Eggs. The tuning is, from the bass string, DAEEAA. To get into it, lower your bass string a whole step down to D. Your A string stays the same, and is the root of this tuning. Your D string comes up a whole step to E, and your G string comes down three half steps to the same E note as your up-tuned D string. Your B string comes down a whole step to A, and your high E string comes down five half steps to the same A note as your detuned B string. The late, great Michael Hedges also used this tuning for his version of Bob Dylan's All Along the Watchtower on his Live from the Double Planet CD.

I don't necessarily recommend trying to learn Snowfall even though it's not particularly hard. Instead, you might try fooling around with this tuning for awhile and see where it leads you. That's how Snowfall came about. You'll have the quickest success finding some nice voicings if you play in the key of A. It will be helpful to think of this tuning as rooted on the fifth string (the A string), with 5ths on the D & G strings and two more roots on the B & high E strings. In the bottom is a 4th (D).

So for the 1 chord, fret the bass string at the 2nd fret... it's now the 5th in your A chord, and the root is the open A string. You'll find a nice 4 chord by fretting the two inside strings (the D & G strings) at the 2nd fret. The root for this 4 chord is now your open bass string. Find a nice 5 chord by fretting the two highest strings and the two lowest strings at the 2nd fret. The root of this 5 chord is now your bass string, which is fretted at the 2nd fret. You'll find a richly textured 6 minor chord by fretting the three lowest strings at the 4th fret. Your bass string will be the root of this chord. If memory serves, this was another piece for which Eric Kilburn at Wellspring Sound let me use his sweet Martin M-36 to record.
~ Geoff

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