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Tuning, Tone & Time


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I Walk the Line

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The original guitar player, Luther Perkins, often tuned his guitar up one half step when playing with Johnny Cash.

I did that too in this tutorial, but the easiest way to play one step up is by placing a capo at the first fret. Only tune up if you know your guitar can handle it, and be careful so you don't break any strings.

My strings are tuned, from low to high:

F, Bb, Eb, Ab, C, F

Luther Perkins used a Fender Esquire guitar at the time of this recording, but I used my Strat. Basically any guitar with a clean amp will do the job. In this tutorial, I used a modeled Fender amp.

This song, like many other fast country songs, is in cut time, which means you only count every other quarter note, since it can be too stressful to count 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. Instead we count 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, at half the speed.

The important thing is how you play it, however- not how you count it.