Life and How to Live It

Alternate tuning? You betcha.  Listen to how this extremely talented gentleman has his guitar tuned at the beginning (thanks, whatdidisay!!):

It’s D,G,D,G,B,D from top to bottom. Tune the low (top) string  down to D. Tune the second string down to G.  Tune the top (sixth) string to D (like in the Gardening at Night, 9-9, Windout trio). This is a drop G or alternate G tuning.

Now, Peter Buck does not play the bass parts like the gentleman above does, but it sure sounds great! And with the alternate tuning down, we just have to see what Peter Buck does. Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot of recorded material out there.  Here is Meredith College:

Something different’s going on and I can’t quite pick up on it. Almost looks like his pinky (4th finger) is down on the strings.


Looks and sounds very similar.

Some good looks here–2003:

If the 2003 video is how they played it in 1985, then the first video is pretty much right on. I think the last chord in the “chorus/bridge to chorus” is like this (not sure what to call it because remember the strings are tuned differently).

The last bit of difference between the way that whatdidisay plays it and what I see and hear Peter Buck doing is on the chorus–Peter Buck slides up between the second and last chords. So it goes like this:



Further Reading

The curious story of Brevs Mekis:


Possible Lyrics


2 thoughts on “Life and How to Live It”

  1. thanks for your insightful study and reproduction. I also share your enthusiasm for what I believe is one of the unsung heroes of guitar. I had a question-what are your amp/pedal settings? I suspect you’re using compression on a flanger. Am I close?


    1. Thanks for your comment!! I’m using the same effects rack PB had in those early days: bathe Ibnez UE400. It has a stereo/chorus-flanger effect that I am using in parts here. It also has a compressor I am using in parts. I think I turned on the compressor for the main song to give it a little ring and drive, but used the chorus/flanger on the intro.

      Liked by 1 person

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