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You'll need this tuning for "Too Many People"

The best thing about Paul McCartney's opening track to Ram, "Too Many People," will always and forever be the fact that the opening line is "piece of cake." Actually, that's the second best thing. The best thing is that he admitted, in an interview, that he was really singing "piss off, cake," and he was addressing Yoko Ono with that line. That alone makes this song a Top Five selection from Macca's solo career.

But I digress, eternally.

This is a rocker of a song, and it's a ton of fun to play, but if you're not tuned up properly, it's going to be impossible to get the right voicings. To do this song the right way as a solo acoustic piece, you need to tune to a bastardized version of the Open G tuning. Regular Open G is (low to high) D-G-D-G-B-D, but for this song, we're going to leave that high E string right where it is. The tuning you want is (again, low to high):


It's not that complicated, really, you don't need to clamp on your Snark tuning device for this one. Just drop that low E string so that it matches your open D string, and then drop the low A string so that it matches the open G string. Now you're ready to rock.

The intro goes like this:

"Piece of cake," indeed. You're never working with more than two or three string fingerings at a time. Then you add in the lead line (keep the rest of the chords ringing):

Then the big finish before the verse:

And now we're off to the races with the verses. Because we're in a modified Open G tuning, the standard chords are super easy to finger, aside from the initial F major chord, which requires all four fingers and a bit of dexterity. But you're up to the challenge, right?

But you'll never need to get that far in the song. Get the intro down to a perfect science, and before you even get to the verse people will be interrupting you and asking if you can also play "Jet" (or possibly "Free Bird," because people are idiots).


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  3. Did he tune down the E string on the bass to a D?


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