Watch the Breakdown online guitar lesson by Richard Gilewitz from Fingerscapes
Dirt to Dust was a piece I began writing in the mid 1990's and spent about two years on until its completion although it underwent many changes in the general feel during each live performance. This is the only piece I have composed in an open G minor tuning which practically defined the mood when I barely got started.
This tune is far more effective on a 12 string guitar pitched down at least 1 1/2 or even 2 full steps from standard pitch to create that 'lion roar'. A palm mute with the right hand can be very effective in the opening segment.
A particularly crucial part in this opening segment is to sustain those low fretted bass notes as a steady line through the performance of the music surrounding them. Accentuate the vibrato as dramatically as possible (without getting 'too' ridiculous).