Dark Matter: Tips for Musicians

If any of y’all play guitar and are interested in learning to play Dark Matter, here are some tips.

The fun thing about playing this song is that while the guitar part sounds hard, it’s not! (Hooray for lazy musicians!)

Actually the hardest part is retuning the guitar to this funky tuning:

C# C# C# C# G# C#

Note: This tuning is never going to be 100% in tune, so just give it your best shot. The strings stay in tune better after about half an hour at this tension.

The first chord you hear on the song is open, in other words:

C# C# C# C# G# C#  == 0 0 0 0 0 0

Then I slide two fingers up and down the neck, so for example:

0 0 0 9 0 9 –> 0 0 0 10 0 10

0 0 0 9 0 9 –> 0 0 0 10 0 10

0 0 0 9 0 9 –> 0 0 0 10 0 10

0 0 0 9 0 9 –> 0 0 0 10 0 10

0 0 0 9 0 9 –> 0 0 0 10 0 10 –> 0 0 0 12 0 12

etc. on down the neck

Hope this gives you the tools to start!


Fun Music Nerd Facts: 

This is the tuning used on Joni Mitchell’s “Carey” — which is where I learned it —  and CSN’s “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” among others.

Apparently, Dark Matter is in Dorian mode. Who knew? I only figured that out last night, years after writing the song. (Actually, it’s in C# Dorian – which is slightly perverse but there it is).

Also, if you’re not a music nerd, don’t worry if you don’t know about things like modes. Reading music, knowing music theory and all that stuff is helpful for some, completely irrelevant for others. This guy only recently learned how to read music, and he’s . . . oh . . . just the best guitarist in the world.

♫ Dark Matter

Buy Dark Matter on iTunes

Dark Matter 

(c) Sofia Echegaray, 2003 

You are my dark matter

My star was born in you

When you held me tight

I thought your heat was light

Radiating night: Eremite

You’re surrounded by young galaxies

All of them just sitting at your knees

Hoping that someday someone might please

I prayed you’d shine some night on me

It’s dark but I never fail

To see you by your spectral trail

The ghosts of women taking up the veil

Your ghosts will always walk with you

Your dark-eyed luminosities

Told me truth that you could never see

Told me you loved me

I prayed you’d shine some night on me

♫ Here We Are

Here We Are

(c) Sofia Echegaray, 2010

I saw a man with eyes like yours

shopping in the supermarket aisle

I couldn’t move, I stared

thinking for a little while

Oh my Mind, cease and desist,

leave me alone and just relent

But no, my God made me like this

Here we are again

Here we are again

You come as you are

You with your need

Open me up

And leave me to bleed

You took to the sea on a ship of sighs

and you sailed away

Your love was a moonless night

I was a child, waiting to see the light


You got eyes like a saint

in some painting

Suffering without complaint and

You’ve got skin

Smooth as a getaway

And my love was a wine-dark sea

Oh would you drown

If you could drown

in me?


♫ Cigarette

(c) Sofia Echegaray, 2008

I ain’t seen you yet
Holding onto me the way
You hold that cigarette

At the end of your long hands
At the end of your long day
You need something from that burning
Makes me want to say:
Hold me like you hold that cigarette
Hold me like you hold that cigarette

You touch and stroke my face
You give a warm embrace
But when the burning’s over
There’s ashes in your place

I look at your long hands
I can see in your long face
You need something from that burning
I just can’t replace
Hold me like you hold that cigarette
Hold me like you hold that cigarette

Call my friends on the phone
But I know what their advice is
They say, You give him all your love
He gives you all his vices

But oh, when he kisses me
It’s everything that nice is

Hey what you want to bet
I just can’t quit you yet
Not the way you’re teaching me
The meaning of regret

At the end of my long days
At the end of my long nights
I need something from you, baby,
Makes me feel all right

If you’d hold me like you hold that cigarette
Cause I love you, like I’d love a cigarette
I can’t quit you
Baby, I can’t quit you yet