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Iron & Wine - Time After Time - Tuning

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Joined: 7 years ago
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Beautiful new cover of Cydni Lauper's Time After Time covered by Iron & Wine's Sam Beam. I would love to learn this song, but am having the hardest time figuring out his tuning, as always. Generally Sam plays in DADGAD or Open G which is DGDGBD. Unfortunately the droning open strings in the song don't seem to match, the tone seems much lower. I've played around with cappoing but the guitar really sounds like it's being played without a cappo to my humble ears.

Anyone have an idea what the tuning could be based off the track? No live videos have been released of him playing it live yet, so it's hard to be sure.

Thanks so much for your time in advance.

Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4472

Hi there

The post you linked to is in C#, which led me to try playing it in DADGAD with everything tuned down a half-step. That proved to be very interesting and now I'm going to have to go back and explore it some more!

Essentially in this tuning, you'll find that playing a C/G shape (finger on the lowest string and a finger on the B string) can pretty much accommodate the whole song. In the introduction (which also is the B section of the verses), both fingers go from being the fifth fret, then move to the seventh. Then go to the fourth and back to the fifth. The more I play around with this, the more I like adding an additional note on the third (G) string - usually using the sixth fret.

Once the verses start, you switch between both fingers being on the fifth fret to playing a standard D5 shape in DADGAD (just the second fret of the G string). You do this until you get to the B section, which is just as it was at the start.

The choruses start on the seventh fret, then move to the ninth (as mentioned, I tend to cover the sixth fret of the G while I'm at the seventh fret - I slide this note up to the seventh fret when moving up to the ninth) before going from the fifth to the seventh to the D5 shape.

By the way, I found this video to be helpful:

While it's not in the same key as your targeted version, the ideas are the same.

Hope this helps. And Happy New Year!

Thank you for introducing me to this.