Orkney Tuning Improvisation | Video

orkney tuning

While I was writing and recording The Fall Will Probably Kill You, I experimented with the Orkney Tuning and, although none of those sketches got turned into tracks for the album, I enjoyed it a lot.

Orkney Tuning is very strange – it is familiar in some respects, yet very different from expectation in many others. You can get into a little groove thinking you have it all under control, but then one little misstep, and you are suddenly way outside of the lines. It is lovely and brutal.
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John Fahey to Marisa Anderson: American Primitive Guitar Past and Present

American Primitive Guitar John Fahey to Marisa Anderson and Beyond

Like most stories for me, this one begins with memories of my father. Many of the songs he would play on the guitar (and later after arthritis set in on the piano) would be chord/melody pieces – hammering out the fundament with his thumb and plucking the melody up top – and thus definable as American Primitive Guitar. Once guitar became interesting to me, and I picked up a few of the licks from those pieces, he immediately started offering bounties on Chet Atkins tunes (“I’ll give you $50 if you learn ‘Little Roundabout'”). That was hard – there was no youtube, and very few people to ask (Chet Atkins didn’t live next door) – so I moved on to other things.
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