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Street Fighting Chords

I was (and still am) really into that “British Invasion” music.  For the most part Beatle music was too challenging for a beginning guitar player… and who could afford a guitar AND those crazy suits? That left me with the “Stones”. They had plenty of three chord songs and they didn’t wear uniforms. Cool. I was plodding right along with my band mates until they came out with “Sticky Fingers”.  Then things started getting weird. I had heard that they used an “open G” tuning. That would be low “E” tuned down to “D”, “A” tuned down to “G”, “D”, “G”  and “B” staying the same and high “E” dropped to yet another “D”

That way when you strum your stings open you have a “G” major chord. Got it? Just barre all the strings and you can play a major chord on any fret. On the open “B” string if you finger the first fret raising that note to a “C” and you play the “D” string on the second fret raising it to an “E”, you have the other great chord, but I will leave it up to you  to decide what to call it. Barre all the strings with your first finger and use the next two for the same pattern and you can play all sorts of things.

I thought that worked pretty well. It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty close. Then somewhere I read an interview with the riff master himself who explained what I call the modified “G” or simply the “Keef” tuning. He explained that “all you need are five strings, three chords, two fingers and one asshole”. I figured I could at least handle the last requirement.

What he was to  tune like I tried, but simply removed the low string and threw it away. That leaves five strings with the lowest note now being the “G”. Now that sound is spectacular! Go ahead now and try it. In no time you will be walking around playing, “Start Me Up”, “Brown Sugar”, “Happy” and of course “Street Fighting Man” not to mention a whole host of others. One of my personal favorites we played was a rare Stevie Wonder cover off “Metamorphosis” called “I Don’t Know Why”. That is a spectacular example of the genius synergy of Keef and Ronnie. Check it out. Let me know what you think. Rock on!