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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.


Ashley said...

Thanks, super helpful for FHE.

Joni said...

Great website! Thanks! You should put a counter on your blog so you can see how many people are using it. I'm sure a lot more than comment.

Emma said...

thank you!!!!!!!! you should get a free counter!!!!

Grayson said...

awsone site i love it, me and my dad both use it.

Elisa said...

These are beautiful arrangements. Thank you for sharing them!

Anonymous said...

It is perfectly legal to use the lyrics and cite them from the church website.

Just a little FYI.