COPYRIGHTS & PERMISSIONS: All arrangements and tabs in this blog are the original work of the blog owner, unless otherwise noted. They may be downloaded and copied at no charge, only for non-commercial church or home use. All other rights reserved. Ask for permissions-- I intend to be generous. Copyright information for each song is listed in its commentary. Arrangements and tabs of public domain songs are still covered by these copyright restrictions. Your cooperation is appreciated.

I Am a Child of God

This song is NOT in public domain, so, sorry-- no lyrics! If you don't know them, you can find them on page 2 of the Children's Songbook or page 301 of Hymns. You can also get them from the music page on

My version is my own arrangement, but after the introduction, it follows the layout of measures in the Children's Songbook, measure for measure. It is also in the same key (C). If you'd rather play it in D, as in the hymnal, use a capo. The notes don't come out in the same place, if you just transpose it. This is not a particularly easy song to play, but done right, it should appear to be simple and easy. The key is lots of practice.

You don't have to play the intro, I just think it sounds pretty. It's not the standard intro shown in the hymnal. You can play the C chord in the first measure of the verse as a C/G if you want, or just hit the G note as a melody note. The slide in this measure is a bit tricky, as you have to play the note on the fifth string while sliding on the fourth string. It's really not particularly hard to do; it just requires a bit of practice. The last measure of the verse has a rest after the last note, hence, only five notes are shown. Don't be fooled, they are still all eighth notes.

The first three measures of the refrain are just the melody, with an interpolated drone on the bass string, to add variety. The last measure of the line is just a single, strummed C chord. You can lengthen it out for emphasis if you can sustain it that long. The first measure at the beginning of the last line is almost the same as the first measure of the previous line except the bass note is the C on the fifth string, instead of the G on the sixth string. You can play it as a G, if you want to, but it does make it a bit harder to hit the F chord in the second measure quickly. The third measure returns to the bass G drone. You do not have to actually play the G7 chord. You can just play the two notes. But it seems to make it easier, to me, to play the whole chord.

The last measure is the hardest one, because of the need to play two artificial harmonics in rapid succession, as part of an arpeggio. They are not really any harder to play than regular harmonics, but you play them with one hand, while fretting the string with the left hand. They are easy to do if you rest the right index finger lightly on the string, exactly over the eighth fret, while fretting the string at the first fret with the left hand. Pluck the string with the ring finger, allowing the index finger to come off the string in the same motion. With a little practice, you can achieve a gorgeous, bell-like tone, with a single movement. Fret the first two strings with the left index finger, exactly as if playing an F chord.

Practice until you can do one harmonic easily, then practice playing the two of them in a row. After you master this, add the first three (normal) notes. Keep at it until you can make it look and sound easy, for a really impressive finale.

Lead Kindly Light

In the Dominican Republic, where we served our mission, there’s a beautiful, limestone cavern called The Cave of Marvels. The underground, half-mile path winds through stunning rock formations and ancient Indian rock paintings. To preserve the colors, the lights in the cavern must remain off as much as possible. So, the developers installed timers to turn the lights off behind you, and motion sensors to turn them on ahead of you. If you keep walking, you will remain in the light, but if you stop, the lights turn off, and you find yourself in complete darkness. Underground, in an enclosed cavern, the darkness is absolute, even at noonday in the tropics. But if you take a step or two into the dark, the lights come on. Then you can see the path ahead, and the marvelous colors that give the cavern its name. Now, that’s faith. Sometimes, you have to take a step or two into the dark before you can see the path ahead. I always think of The Cave of Marvels when I hear this song, or play it.

Lead Kindly Light is in the public domain, and is well-beloved by Christians of all stripes. Play it slowly, with a lot of expression. The link actually contains two versions. The first is mostly strummed, with a few single notes to bring out the melody, and is very easy to play. The second version is pattern-picked. I like to play them as two verses, or even as three by repeating the first verse at the end. The F chord in the last line of the second verse should be slow-strummed. I like to use a flamenco strum: strum all six strings with all four fingers of the right hand, little finger first, then ring finger, middle finger, and index finger, in rapid succession, with the accent on the index finger. Rotate the hand while doing this, so it comes out as a single, long strum. It takes practice. This song also sounds good when played on the autoharp, or when played as a duet with flute, clarinet, or violin.

Love One Another

This song is NOT in the public domain. The author has kindly given permission for readers of Hymns to copy and use her song "for incidental, non-commercial church or home use." Please do not abuse the privilege.

This song is very easy to play. It's short, simple, and beautiful, and has already become one of the defining hymns of the Latter-Day Saints. I have tried to retain these qualities in my tabbed guitar solo, even though it does not follow the piano music exactly. The piano music says to play it "reverently." For guitarists, I translate this as slowly and smoothly. It also sounds really nice when played crisply, using the fingernails, classical guitar style. You can get a similar effect using plastic finger picks, if you don't have the time or ability to grow and harden your fingernails. This arrangement also sounds very good as a duet with a flute or violin.

The song is very easy to play. All the notes are eighth notes, and all the chords are easy and basic, with the sole exception of the G* chord, which is a standard G chord, but with the second string fretted at the third fret, instead of the first string. (Don't play the first string at all in this chord.) This chord is actually easier to play than a standard G, and brings out the melody nicely, too.

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

I know that some of the chord names look odd, but they are not hard to play. C/G simply means, "C, with a G bass." It is played like a normal C chord, but the #6 string is fretted at the third fret, thus giving the chord a G bass note. This gives the chord a fuller sound, and can also be used to bring out the melody, or to simplify transitions to GIII. It's really easy to play if you are playing the C chord as an A barred at the third fret; all you have to do is NOT mute the #6 string! In keeping with my system of notating barre chords with Roman numerals, I call this chord, C/GIII.

Counting the time in this song would be difficult, if you don't know it already. Some of the notes are eighth notes, some are quarter notes, and some are sixteenth notes. I've tried to reduce the confusion a bit by keeping all notes over a word that are played while that word is being sung. (Sung in your head, that is; this is actually a guitar solo.) Sorry if that confuses you. I know several systems for tabbing notes that show the count of each note, and I don't like any of them. At best, they clutter up the tab and make it nearly unreadable; at worst, they are actually misleading. I used to write my tabs as a double staff, like piano music, with the tab on top and classical guitar notation on the bottom. It took way too much time and effort, and people who like tab couldn't read the music anyhow, while those who could read the music didn't need the tab. Futility!

Devoted to You

by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant. The Everly Brothers' classic 1958 cover of this song topped the Billboard charts in three categories: Pop, Country, and R&B. This is my tabbed version. The original is NOT in the public domain, but I have not been able to track down any source for sheet music, so I feel justified in publishing my own version. If you know how to contact the copyright owners, let me know.* Please remember, these tabs may be used only for personal, non-commercial performance!

Happy Valentine's Day! This song is dedicated to my wife Barbara, my only and forever valentine. While not specifically LDS, the message of eternal love fits perfectly with the Gospel principle of Eternal marriage. Because the song is not in the public domain, I have included only a few of the lyrics-- just enough to establish where you are in the song. If you don't know the song, lyrics are available from any lyrics website.

The first two measures are introduction only; the verse starts in bar three with, "Darling, you can count on me..." and continues through the refrain. At this point, the music returns to the beginning of the verse, with "Through the years...", etc. At the end of this verse, after the phrase, "Devoted to you," there is a finale consisting of a reprise of the introduction. This is a sweet, delicate song; play it slowly, quietly, and crisply.

The GIII barre chords are necessary to bring out the melody; a regular G chord won't work. Fret them by playing an E barred at the third fret. If you are not familiar with my barre chord notation (GIII, for example), please see the link About the tablature.

* If you are the copyright owner please contact me immediately at or by leaving a comment here, or both. It is not my intention to violate your intellectual property rights. I will remove this post immediately, if you wish.

Do What Is Right

I love this song, partly because it is so easy to play that it just seems to come naturally. This version is good for beginners. Only standard chords are used, except that G is fretted: 32003x, to bring out the melody. It's not a great change from the standard G. I like to use the full-barre F, but it's not necessary; the four-string F will also work. There are no hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, tremolos, or harmonics, just simple, standard guitar picking. But it still sounds good. The two-note chords are called pinches, and are always played with the thumb and middle finger of the right hand. They are necessary for the changing emphasis that gives the piece its slightly syncopated rhythm.

In this song, I have departed from my practice of following the layout as printed in Hymns. It's definitely in public domain, so the included lyrics can help even a neophyte keep his or her place. By adding one measure per line, I was able to keep the whole song on a single page. This makes it easier to use the print-out when practicing.

Etude in Am by Don Fallick

Happy Birthday to me! Herewith, one of the few original songs I've ever written. It was inspired by the first four notes of Greensleeves, but uses a very different chord progression, and is meant to be played considerably faster. Sounds best if played with the fingernails, classical style, or use the lower end of the strings, for a twangy sound. Easy Intermediate level. Uses standard chords and barre chords (F, G, and Am only), with only a couple of hammer-ons.


Yeah, it's a pain. But it's less of a pain if you know what you are doing, and WHY you are doing it. After playing the guitar for forty-five years, I read Paul Guy's little treatise on guitar tuning, cut my time (and frustration) in half, and increased my pleasure in playing by a huge amount. Who'd have thought that just learning to tune the guitar properly could have such an effect?

Paul is a luthier (guitar-maker) and a world-renowned expert. His web site also contains interesting histories of the guitar and of tuning theory, if you get as hung up as I did after reading his tuning article. Why didn't somebody tell me all this forty years ago? Click on the "Tuning the Guitar" link, which takes you directly to Paul's web site.

How Firm a Foundation

Happy New Year!

In line with new beginnings and all that, I decided to publish a song about foundations, which are the beginnings of things, and about the One true foundation of all good things, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Enjoy!

This may be the easiest tab you will learn during the coming year. It's in the key of C, but without the troublesome barre chords. Even the F chord leaves out the barre. What's not to love?

There are only four chords in the whole song, but two of them may look strange to you. should be read as, "F with a C bass." It's a normal F chord, but with the C note added in the bass (on the 5th string) to bring out the melody. You can also leave out the F note on the 1st string altogether, as it only distracts from the melody line, incidentally making a nice-sounding chord that's really easy to play. G/D is exactly the same chord, played two frets higher. So there are really only three chords in the song.

The chord changes are very easy. In fact, there almost aren't any, as the melody can be worked in from the C hand position, without actually changing chords, most of the time. For this reason, I've left out most of the chord changes. Even the next-to-last chord, the G7, is only played once, and you can safely leave out the F note on the 1st string, as it distracts from the melody.

This is a great song for beginners to learn tab reading and hymn playing. It can be strummed with the thumb or with a flat pick, for a more brittle sound. Strum ALL chords, even if they only have two or three notes. This helps pick up the rhythm, which is "built in" to the tab. If you know the song, don't worry about the rhythm; just think about the song and strum along. It'll come out right "automatically."

I like to add the slide and pull-offs where shown, but they are not strictly necessary. If they give you trouble, just play the notes and forget the slide and pull-offs until you get a bit more experience with them. It's a good way to start the year with LDS solo guitar music.