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.

An Angel from on High

I REALLY HATE splitting measures up between lines, like the green hymnal does but I had to to, to get it all on one page. I held it to a minimum-- just one measure split. This hymn is in public domain, so enjoy!

I've also tried to keep the "extra" notes to a minimum. The few I have put in, I have set in light face type. You can substitute "normal" chords for the barre chords in the refrain, but you will find that the melody doesn't work very well. Fortunately, the barre chords are easy to play.

Play the first part lyrically, strumming all the chords, then play the refrain more tutti, so it sounds about twice as fast, and quite stacatto, for contrast.

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

This is not in the LDS hymnal, but it used to be. I wish it still was. I have not been able to determine exactly why it was removed, but I have my own ideas. It's in the public domain, so it wasn't because of copyright problems, nor do the lyrics contradict LDS theoology, and it's been a popular hymn for ages.

There is a discrepancy in attributing the music to John Wyeth. Other sources attribute the tune to Asahel Nettleton, but it was published in a collection of hymns by Wyeth. If the tune reminds you of "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer," you're not alone; they're close enough that you could easily confuse them.

I've tried my best to keep the song as simple as possible, even retaining the 3/4 time signature of the original. Tablature does not provide any way to know the relative lengths of the notes. In most hymns, you'd be safe just playing every note as an eighth note, but that won't help you here. So I've added a line of counting numbers below the lyrics, to show where the notes actually fall.

This song is very easy to play, if you leave out the bridge and just play the verses. I've included optional chords for those who just want to strum along while singing. If you want to make a guitar solo of it, play the bridge, too. You'll need to play a few of those pesky barre chords, if you want to do that. Optional chords are shown in light face type, while everything else is in bold face.

I only included my favorite two verses. There are several others, and they vary with the book you consult. I especially dislike the verse that goes,

Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

I have nothing against the sentiment, but the rhymes seem forced, and I have never met any normal person who could tell me what an Ebenezer* is, or why, exactly, a body would want to raise one. I prefer to leave out the verse entirely, substituting the more modern

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Purists will hate me for throwing out the Ebenezer, of course. So I usually just sing the first and last verses, and raise the guitar solo instead of the Ebenezer, which I cannot say without laughing, anyway. No one laughs when I play the guitar.

* Ebenezer comes from two Hebrew words meaning "a stone of help", and raising one can refer to testifying of anything that reminds us of God's miraculous assistance to His saints.

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Public domain. This is a beautiful piece for classical guitar, but you don't have to be a classical guitarist to play it. There are a few advanced techniques, such as ligados (hammer-ons, pull-offs,), slides, and multiple ligados. When playing one of these double or triple ligados, you may have to hammer the last hammer-on very hard to make it sound as loud as the first one.

This piece does contain one relatively hard barre chord: Fv. It's a normal C chord, barred at the fifth fret. You'll need to practice it a bit if you're not used to playing this chord, as it uses all the fingers of the left hand, and stretches your hand, to boot. A good loosening-up exercise is to press all four fingers of the right hand between each pair of left-hand fingers, to stretch them. Hold the exercise just short of the point of pain, then go to the next pair of fingers.

There are a couple of other, easy chords you may not be familiar with. CIII / G is a normal C III chord. Read the name as, "C, with a G bass." Play it by barring an A chord in the third space, but fret the bass string in the third space and let it sound. G7add5, is really just a normal G7, with the fifth note of the scale (D) added on the second string, third fret, using the little finger. You should find it rather easy to do.

I included the grace notes shown in light face type, because they are in the hymnal, but I don't think they add much to the song, and they make it significantly harder to play. I don't play them when performing, and I have deliberately chosen chord inversions that are easiest to play without the grace notes. Consider them optional.

That's a lot of notations for a song that's really not that hard to play. Enjoy!

Carry On

Well, the reason I've been carrying on about barre chords is to prepare you for this song. Now that the Mission website is back up, we can carry on as usual. There are lots and lots of barre chords in Carry On-- all easy ones. Just the regular, old, barred E, Em, E7, A, Am, and A7. The only hard chord in the song is Cadd5, which is NOT a barre chord! (It's actually not that hard, either.)

You COULD play this song using only the non-barre versions of these chords. This would be OK if you were just strumming accompaniment for a singer, but for a guitar solo, it sounds terrible, as the melody would often be going down, when it's supposed to go up.

This piece does require a reasonably high-quality instrument, where the high notes are not grossly out of tune with the low notes on the same string. On nearly all guitars, as you play higher and higher up the neck, the the notes sound progressively more out of tune. This happens because you have to exert more pressure on the strings to fret them, stretching them and making them play sharper than intended.

If your high notes and chords seem excessively sharp, try using less pressure on the strings. If this doesn't help, change to high-tension strings. The extra pressure needed to fret the high notes is a smaller fraction of the total string tension, with high-tension strings. Besides, there's hardly a guitar in the world that can't be improved by putting new strings on it. If that's not good enough, have a professional luthier (guitar technician) look at your guitar. There are modifications that are relatively easy and cheap for a luthier to make, that can help a lot. Most good guitar stores have a luthier on staff. If he can't fix it, it's probably time to upgrade your guitar. This song is a good one to use when trying out new guitars.

Carry on!