Interview: Alternate Guitar Tuning with Trey Pool of The Gary

Graham LeBron
03 31, 2015

Trey Pool of Austin rock band, The Gary, is one of my oldest musical friends -- the only reason I know him is from playing music. We meet sometime in late 1995 when I went to see his old band, Celindine. In Houston around that time, it seemed like there were only a few different styles of bands, none of which were particularly appealing to me. I was listening to Pavement, Spoon, Guided By Voices, BEDHEAD and The Sea and Cake and they were influencing the band I was in. The mid 90s were a hey day for what we called indie rock back then. Labels like Matador, Merge, and Thrill Jockey were putting out such good music so consistently that I would buy an album sometimes just because it was on their label.  I was on the lookout for other bands like us. I knew they had to be out there because there were some fans for this type of music in Houston -- I saw them when those bands toured through town. I figured there had to be some other like minded folks out there making music too. I read in the local weekly paper back then, Public News, about a new band that sounded like it might fit the bill. It was Trey and his band and they were great. We became fast friends and over the years we played in bands and lived together and learned how to record ourselves on a 1/2" Tascam 8 track (named Bancha) by reading Tape Op magazine. It was a golden time. Trey comes and visits me often in Oakland and we always try to play some music together. We definitely did this time. I asked him to explain his distinct tuning so I could try playing in it and I thought some other folks might be interested. So here it is. 

Tune string 6, the low E, down to a C. Tune string 5, the A, down to a G. Now you can play power chords by just putting your finger on the same fret of those two strings, similar to dropped D tuning, but the rest of the strings remain the same, so it is a nice way to try a new tuning without having to relearn the whole guitar. You can come up with some pretty interesting things. I know Trey sure does. Have a listen to The Gary. Right now, all of their albums can be downloaded for FREE on their website, so get on over there!

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