Answers Jan/Feb 08, Part I
3/25/2008 (updated 3/25/2008)

Re: Right-hand fingerpicking:
I know you use your thumb, index, and middle fingers on your right hand; do you use your ring finger as well? Deanna Bourg

If Iím holding a flatpick between thumb and first finger, I also use second and third fingers. Using a thumbpick, I use first, second and third fingers.

Is "The Poor Ditching Boy" played in an open tuning? Sounds like open G. Thanks for your time. Deanna Bourg

I canít totally remember the tuning for the record Ė it was 1972! I think it was drop D, capo 5.

I see that the 1970 Maidstone Fiesta film of the Full House-Fairport with Matthewsí Southern Comfort has finally been released on DVD. But have you seen the footage of that Full House line-up that has appeared on You Tube from The Olympia in Paris? Itís fantastic! It knocks spots off the Maidstone film and hasnít dated at all - maybe because thereís no audience shots (unlike Maidstone!) Cheers, Jamie Taylor

I like the Tony Palmer film. I spoke to Tony recently after a 35 year gap (I did a small thing for his film on Vaughan Williams), and we felt it had held up. I havenít seen the Olympia stuff, Iíll check it out.

Watching a youtube of an old Fairport clip of "Sir Patrick Spens". Saw you capoed at 3rd fret, yet it sounds like you are using an alternate tuning. Could you clear this up for me? Thanks, Randall

This must have been some experiment to get a better fingering, which I donít remember. I mostly played Sir Pat in normal tuning, key of A.

Just wondering what tuning you used on "Taking My Business Elsewhere"? Very nice song, but I've been confused in figuring out the guitar part. Thanks, Dan Beetcher

This is drop D capo 5.

I was wondering what you thought of Radioheadís Ďpay what you likeí scheme for their latest album download? Is it a good or bad thing? Is it something you would consider?
Incidentally I paid £5 for it which in hindsight was probably too much as I am now considering buying the CD version! Peter Driver

There has to be a new model for recorded music, and Radiohead opened the door, but I think the future looks something like the Nine Inch Nails multi-tiered release. I think they offer 5 different levels, from free to $300 for the full bells and whistles. I suppose they are asking their fans for a level of commitment, instead of asking a record company. The fans paying for the limited edition $300 Ďwork of artí are the modern Crown Prince Esterhazes Ė sponsors of the music. In a different field, and a different price range, people pay $20,000 or whatever to get their name on the wall of the opera house. How strongly do we feel about Ďpopular music? Is it disposable or is it worth keeping the artistís possibilities open? Young bands canít survive on current CD revenue. Pop/Rock often sounds better when itís cheap and nasty, but Iíd hate to think we may never have the chance of hearing another Pet Sounds or Sergeant Pepper. At current CD sales levels, most musicians have the option only of recording simply, and often of recording at home. The dust hasnít settled yet on all of this, but my feeling is that many musicians will go this route.