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Watch the Mountain Stroll online guitar lesson by Matthieu Brandt from Modern Mountain Banjo: Clawhammer & Up-Picking

"Mountain Stroll" is a kind of down home groove in the Pete Seeger up picking style. It has 4 parts and is played in a modal tuning that resembles sawmill. It's DGAD with pedal G and a capo on the 2nd fret, which makes it EABE with pedal A. It's kind of an odd tuning, because the key we're playing in is E. But the pedal string is tuned to A, which is the 4th of the key. This note is not stable, it creates tension. Normally the pedal would be tuned to the tonic of the key - in this case E - or the fifth - which is a B. That A note pedal creates a mysterious sometimes awkward tension when you're playing it out loud. But, it can also serve as a melody note, which is what happens in this tune. In old time music, we use a lot of different tunings, each with their own atmosphere. Whether you're writing a song or arranging it, try these tunings out and see what you can come up with.