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Below, you'll find additional explanations and instructions for the songs included in the book. Enjoy!
Download a PDF guide to tablature
Watch for the fourth-beat arrival of the Bm7 chord in M.49. In M.54, barre at the 2nd fret, then fret the D note with the little finger. This facilitates an easy transition to the Bm7.
In M.69, lift the base of the barre slightly to play the open first-string note E, then immediately drop the full barre on again.In M.60, directly before beat three, I quickly place a 2/3 barre at the 2nd fret with my index finger. With the pad of my picking hand index finger, I "tap" the treble strings at the 14th fret, producing artificial harmonics. Since I don't want the first string to sound on the harmonic tap, I mute the first string with the barre finger by bending the first knuckle slightly backward. This provides an adequate barre on the second, third and fourth strings while muting the first.
On the last eighth note of M.69, barre at the 9th fret with the ring finger, releasing the full barre at the 7th fret, then quickly fretting the fifth string at the 7th fret with the index fingertip.
On the fourth beat of M.76, try to sustain the G# in the bass as the index finger slides from the 2nd fret to the 3rd.
Measure 85 contains an example of a "backward" bass pattern: the alternate bass note on the second beat is a lower pitch than the initial bass note. The fourth beat of this measure will require that your fretting-hand middle finger maintain its solid hold of the 11th-fret note while the ring finger very lightly touches the 12th-fret harmonic. Practice touching these strings with differing amounts of fretting-hand pressure. It may take some practice getting use to it!
The percussive backbeat in M.87 is created by bringing the picking-hand fingertips (NOT the knuckles) sharply down onto the strings so that the more supple strings (i.e., bass) bounce off the fret wires, creating the "snare drum" sound.[/expand]
[expand title="In The Summertime"]
Experiment with fretting the sixth string with your thumb. If you can manage it, there are certain advantages to having that "shape" in your arsenal. If you do occasionally fret the sixth string with your thumb in this arrangement - the D-flat and G-flat chords in Ms-25-30, for example - there is no need to fret the fifth string, since you don't pick it. If you simply can't manage the thumb fretting the sixth string, play both those chords with a barre, with the little and ring fingers fretting the moving melody notes on the second and fourth strings.
Verse 1 is a straightforward reading of the vocal melody. The characteristic "riff" that opens the original recording - it is the same as the vocal melody - is well represented here. In Ms.5-6, sustain the two bass notes of the C chord with the ring and middle fingers while the index and little fingers fret the A (2nd fret) and B-flat (3rd fret) notes, respectively, on the third string. The D7 in M.9 is a first-position "C7" shape two frets higher.
Verse 2 offers a bit of variation, and changes the riff to an ascending hammer-on passage in Ms.19 and 23. On beat one of M.24, slide the ring finger up to the 10th fret from about the 5th, leading to a first-position "C7" shape (a G7 sound) at the 8th/9th/10th frets.
To make this slide sound right, avoid producing a distinct pitch at the fret where the slide starts. Here's how: Squeeze the fifth string with the ring finger as the fretting hand is already moving up the neck. Pick the string as you squeeze and slide. Make sure to have the fretting hand already in motion when you pick the string! On beat 3 of M.24, move the "C7" shape one fret higher to A-flat, and you are changing key for Verse 3.
Verse 3, in D-flat, adds a picking-hand technique to the mix: In M.29, double-time the thumb on beats one and two, playing consecutive eighth notes instead of steady quarter notes. Watch the syncopated thumb in M.30.
As noted earlier, the D-flat and G-flat chords in Ms.25-30 use a thumb-frets-the-sixth-string fingering. You may barre them, but the open-string note in D-flat will disappear, and the open first-string note in the G-flat must be played on the 5th fret of the second string.
The low-pitched D-flat chord in Ms.31-32 and 35-36 is a normal C7 shape one fret higher than normal. The A-flat chord in Ms.33-34 is a barre.
In M.37 the arrangement modulates back to the key of G. At this point, repeat Ms.13-23, then play the Coda.
The lyric of "Have a drink, have a drive..." is both dated and politically incorrect, but we can play the tune instrumentally without advocating an illegality.[/expand]
[expand title="Jennifer Juniper"]
The alternating thumb often plays a three-string pattern in this tune: Ms.1-2, 5-7, 16, etc. The melody in M.12 is a filler between vocal phrases. Make sure that you have a distinct break after the first beat of M.13 to distinguish it from the actual melody. Do this by cutting off the high E note, or making the volumes of the vocal and filler phrases different.
I play all the F chords in this arrangement with the thumb fretting the sixth string. The F chords also can be managed successfully with a barre. In M.24, I suggest you fret the A note (2nd fret, third string) with the index finger. In M.30, fret the D note in the G7/B chord with your little finger, and the low B on the fourth beat with your middle.
Watch the running eighth-note melodic variation in M.36. Is is marked to alternate the ring and middle fingers on the melody notes. If you prefer, you may reverse the picking order of those two fingers, or, if you are quick enough, you may pick all of the melody notes with the ring finger. In M.38, fret the bass string with either the middle finger or the thumb.
For variety in sound, the F chords in Ms.32 and 36 are first-position "C" shapes slid up to the 6th/7th/8th frets. The final C chord in M.52 is a first-position "G" chord (fretted by the ring and little fingers) slid up to the 8th fret. Add your index on the second string, 5th fret. If that is too much of a stretch for your fretting hand, pick only the first and sixth strings on the final chord.[/expand]
[expand title="Happy Together"]
The figure at the end of M.39 imitates the singer's vocal trill. (For the player's ease, I omitted this figure from the first Chorus.) Fret this one of two ways:
- Land on a three-fingered, first-position Fmaj7 shape at the 8th/9th/10th frets (no barre or partial barre); immediately hammer-on and pull-off with the little finger; and fret the bass string at the 8th fret with your thumb as you pull-off. Or,
- Land on a full barre at the 8th fret before the hammer-on. If you do this, you must fret the fourth string with the ring finger to make the little finger available for the H-O/P-O.
Verse 4 adds a parallel-third harmony to the melody. The placement of these notes on the fingerboard makes a steady alternating bass problematic. (It's impossible to fret and sustain some alternate bass notes.) For the Am chord in M.45, a rhythmic use of the two open bass strings works nicely. A drone bass in M.46 works well. A return to the M.45 rhythm in the bass for the G chord in M.47 makes sense and is playable. An alternating bass is possible in M.48, although the left hand is required to move laterally a bit.
Finally, the F chord (Ms.49-50): As I have stated, I often fret the sixth string with my thumb, which in this passage makes access to the open treble strings very easy. If you must barre, the barre will lift off the treble strings several time (hold onto the bass string!) to play the open B and G strings. If both possibilities are a problem for you, play an open fifth string as the lowest bass note in this passage.
Chorus 3 incorporates more of the original vocal harmonies. At the end of M.53, slide the middle finger two frets lower to finger the four-fingered Em chord. Fret the second string, 5th fret, with the little finger on this Em chord.
The strummed Em chords in Ms.60-61 incorporate a descending voice in the middle of the chord. Start with a full "Am" shape in front of the 5/6 barre. Then remove the little finger to produce the Em7. Next, fret the 10th fret of the fourth string with the little finger, while it mutes the third string by fretting at a low enough angle to touch the third.
For the final Em in M.61, remove the little finger from the fourth string, but mute the third string with the ring finger that is fretting the fourth; or, perhaps, with a relaxed little finger touching the third string.
Ms. 61-65 imitate the opening vamp, but initially an octave higher for variety.
During the ending (Ms.72 to the end), you will be asked to play triplet quarter notes over a quarter note bass (Ms.72, 74), and a walking bass line (Ms.79-84). Follow the fretting-hand fingering markings in the standard notation for this section.
Have a great time with this arrangement. I had lots of fun incorporating all the various aspects of the original into this arrangement![/expand]
[expand title="Brown-Eyed Girl"]
The slide in M.25 is created by the little finger. It could be interpreted as a hammer-on on the 5th fret, followed immediately by a slide up to the 7th fret. Release the bass string as soon as you start moving your hand laterally!
If you play the chord correctly with the right timing, M.29 sounds great. The first chord in M.29 is a first-position "C" shape at the 8th/9th/10th frets, with the little finger fretting the melody on the first string. On beat three, release the "C" fingering, except for the first string. For the rest of the measure your alternating bass uses the open fourth and third strings.
The final note of M.30 is fretted by the middle finger, to facilitate the D fingering necessary in M.31.
Verse 2 is very similar to Verse 1, with slight variations in the melody. In M.36, maintain the A chord fingering for three beats.
To fret the 8th-fret G note, simply reach with the little finger. Release the A chord on beat four, when the little finger slides from the 7th fret (F#) to the 5th (E). This moves put you in position to easily fret the D chord in M.37.
In M.59 at the bridge, place the little and ring fingers on the 7th-fret notes on beat four. Then quickly drop a full barre on the 5th fret. In M.64, I change the position of the high-A melody note, which allows for a G/B chord. Notice that the alternate bass note on beat four is on the third string.
To imitate the snare drum sound in Ms.69-74, bend your picking-hand wrist backward slightly, and bring your fingertips and the side of your thumb down sharply on the designated strings. This bounces the low strings off the fret wires, creating the metallic percussive sound. (If you wear a thumbpick, consider landing on the strings with the fingertips only. If you wear fingerpicks as well, perhaps you can create the sound by tapping the strings with the fretting hand.)[/expand]
[expand title="She Will Be Loved"]
This arrangement combines the vocal line, an alternating-thumb bass, and various musical fills from the original recording. If you don't know the melody, I suggest you listen to the original recording several times so you can distinguish the actual melody notes as you play this arrangement.
As stated earlier, by M.5 (the Verse, where the vocal melody starts) the Am7 chord requires that you fret the fourth string in addition to the fifth and second. To produce the subsequent G7 as you approach M.6, slide the ring finger on the fourth string and add your little finger on the second string. As the vocal melody descends in M.6, fret the third string with the middle finger. At the end of M.6, slide the ring finger back to the 2nd fret.
M.14 is fun. On top of the G7 chord the melody moves back and forth from D (3rd fret) to C (1st fret). On the final eighth note the melody moves again to the D, but the chord underneath reverts to the Am7. With a D in the melody, this Am chord is called Am11, and lasts for one beat.
As you approach M.18, completely release the Am7 chord to fret the second-string E-flat (4th fret) with the little finger. Then slide the E-flat one fret lower as your thumb picks the fifth string. The slide movement sets up the approaching G7sus4 chord, which you used in M.14. In M.18, release this G7sus4 each time you need to play the E-flat note on the second string.
At M.21, hammer-on the two-fingered C chord as you pick the bass string. The three-note melodic figure at the end of Ms.22, 24 and 26 is not part of the vocal melody, so consider playing these notes differently than the surrounding melody notes: softer, a different tone, etc.
In M.28, fret the bass string with the ring finger first; add your little and index as you proceed. At the end of that measure, strum (treble toward bass) the full C chord as luxuriously as you can with the index finger, finishing the strum with the thumb picking the sixth string in the other direction. Use this strumming motion again at the end of Ms.29-30.
For the fretting hand, perhaps the trickiest move will be landing on the 5th-fret barre chord (Fmaj7) at the end of M.31. Land the full barre and the ring finger on the 7th fret simultaneously. Pick the treble notes first (i-m-a), followed by the thumb picking the bass string. The little finger will add a D melody note in front of the barre in M.32.
This Fmaj7 barre chord reappears in M.48. On the third pluck, arpeggiate the pluck bass-to-treble, followed by a bass note.
At the end of M.50, sustain the F note on the first string as you pull-off the third string. Consider using a "push-off" here - that is, stretch the third string with your middle finger toward the ceiling before releasing it, instead of pulling it toward the floor.
On the first beat of Ms.58 and 62, strum all six strings with the thumb, from bass to treble. On beat one of M.63, lift the base of your barre to pluck the open strings, but do not release the bass string. You will drop the barre on again immediately after the first pluck.
The harmonic in M.69 is played this way: As you sustain the Fadd9/A chord, fret the first string at the 3rd fret with the little finger. In the picking hand, lightly touch the first string at the 15th fret with the tip of the index finger. Then, as you lightly touch it at the 15th fret, pluck the first string with either the ring finger or thumb. An "artificial" harmonic will sound if you do it correctly. Good luck![/expand]
In Ms.5-8 I add the low, accented bass notes to the original riff. Here the thumb picks accented notes on the first, fourth and seventh eighth notes. When combined with the unaccented thumb notes from Ms.1-4, the thumb is now alternating in the bass, and providing the foundation for the continuing 3x3x2 feel.
Practice Ms.5-8 for a while. (The little finger will need to fret the fifth string in M.7.) Get the picking pattern securely in your fingers, since the arrangement builds on it.
Having said all of this, to give intermediate fingerpickers a shot at playing this arrangement, I have set Verse 1 using a normal Travis Pick bass pattern: one note per beat, alternating strings. The 3x3x2 rhythm is edited out for this single verse.
Everywhere else (except the Bridge) I try to maintain as much of the 3x3x2 feel and descending riff as possible, while playing the required melody notes.
The bass line changes on occasion to accommodate the flow of the melody. In M.18, for example, the thumb alternates in a normal on-the-beat fashion until beat three, then "double thumbs" (picks on consecutive eighth notes) to create the necessary rhythmic flow.
Largely the D chords are played with the middle finger fretting the second string. Am/C chords are fretted with the little finger fretting the C note in the bass. This changes in M.27, where the little finger frets the second-string melody note, D. Here, fret the bass note C with the ring finger.
At the end of M.27, fret the high F# with the little finger, and "roll" (arpeggiate) the three-note chord i-m-a, followed by the thumb picking the low E on the downbeat of M.28.
In Verse 3 at M.33, I add a high harmony to the melody, which requires a 3-string barre for the D chord. Pay attention to the recommended fingering and placement of notes as you move from M.33 to 34, and again from M.37 to 38. When done properly, this transition sounds great.
In Ms.36 and 40, I fret the sixth string with my thumb. Fretting the bass string with a different finger will require that you release the sixth string between plucks in this passage, or eliminate the second-beat note.
Fretting-hand fingerings are straightforward in the Bridge (Ms.49-64). Fret the low F (3rd fret, sixth string) with the ring finger. The thumb plucks droning eighth notes in the bass, but the 3x3x2 feel is maintained at times: Ms.52, 56, 60-62.
The tag in Ms.73-80 incorporates a guitar riff from the original in the treble.[/expand]
Love the book, it’s been immensely helpful with my fingerpicking. Anyway, M77 of “Brown Eyed Girl” has a passage I’m finding extremely difficult. Namely, a barre on the fifth fret with a ninth fret bass note while also playing a chord on the G and B strings. Any tips for how this can be done? Left hand positions maybe?
Glad you like it, Tony! You caught an error in the book. The third-beat bass note simply should be a G – 5th fret of the sixth string – just like the first beat of M.77. That way there is no need to release the barre or to move your hand. Hope that helps! MH
Love the book, would love to see video performances of songs for reference.
Thanks, Aaron. Here’s the only one from that book that’s on YouTube; Fields of Gold:
Thank you Mark for this wonderful book. I am truly enjoying working my way through it.
You’re welcome, Dave. Glad it is providing some enjoyment for you. Tell all your guitar playing friends! 🙂 Mark