Joni Mitchell – California

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Downloadable sheet music: Mitchell – California

Joni Mitchell – California

September 3, 1970 amazon.com Watch the full show: thesixtiesarchive.blogspot.com While some of Mitchell’s most popular songs were written on piano, almost every song she composed on the guitar uses an open, or non-standard, tuning; she has written songs in some 50 different tunings, which she has referred to as “Joni’s weird chords.” The use of alternative tunings allows more varied and complex harmonies to be produced on the guitar, without the need for difficult chord shapes. Indeed, many of Joni’s guitar songs use very simple chord shapes, but her use of alternative tunings and a highly rhythmic picking/strumming style creates a rich and unique guitar sound. Her right-hand picking/strumming technique has evolved over the years from an initially intricate picking style, typified by the guitar songs on her first album, to a looser and more rhythmic style, sometimes incorporating percussive “slaps”, that have been featured on later albums. In 1995, Mitchell’s friend Fred Walecki, proprietor of Westwood Music in Los Angeles, developed a solution to alleviate her continuing frustration with using multiple alternate tunings in live settings. Walecki designed a Stratocaster-style guitar to function with the Roland VG-8 (Virtual Guitar), a system capable of configuring her numerous tunings electronically. While the guitar itself remained in standard tuning, the VG-8 encoded the pickup signals into digital signals which were then translated into the altered tunings. This