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.

Play "Misty" for me!

NOT public domain, but I have permission of the copyright owner to publish this arrangement. More about this later.

I first fell in love with this tune in the 1960s. I could spend hours trying to hear when Johnny Mathis would start singing "Onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn my own..." Never did. I always wanted to learn to play it. Couldn't find a guitar arrangement, so I eventually did my own. I didn't realize it at the time, but "Misty" was originally written as a jazz instrumental. This is the first solo instrumental arrangement I ever did "on my own." My daughter Amy loved it so much, I eventually gave her the rights to the arrangement one Birthday when I was too broke to buy anything suitable, hence the odd copyright notice. Amy very kindly gave me permission to publish "her" song here.

Though there are a lot of different chords listed in the charts, they are REALLY EASY. to play. They are not nearly as hard as they may seem from the odd names. Though there are eighteen different chords shown in the charts, eight of them are movable chords, the chief differences being the fret where the chord is played. Of the other ten, three are very common chords you almost certainly know already, six are slight and easy variations on common chords, and the other is played with all the strings open. What's not to love?

I wasn't as skilled twenty-five years ago, when I made this arrangement, so the transitions are easy. I was really proud of myself, and couldn't wait to show MY arrangement to my mom, who once played piano in Carnegie Hall. Her comment was, "It needs to be more legado." Trust Mom to take you down a peg when you need it.

At the time, I didn't know how to get that "legado" sound, but over the years I've learned a few tricks, like hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, and right hand tapping, note-bending, etc. I've used them all in this piece, and it now sounds polished. Wish my mom had lived long enough to hear it!

There are a few unusual techniques. Quite a few of the hammer-ons and pull-offs are done with the little finger. Right in the first line, there's a riff involving both hands. You have to tap (hammer-on) in the VIII space with the index finger of the RIGHT hand, then do a pull-off with the same finger, followed immediately by a pull-off with the little finger of the LEFT hand. It's LOTS easier if you are already picking near the middle of the string, and gives a really mellow sound.

Go immediately to a C to A7 chord change, strumming one extra time while all the fingers of the left hand are off the strings. In other words, play: C - [off] - A7. The five-note run in the last measure of the line sounds great played VERY vast. It sounds MUCH harder than it actually is, thanks to the two hammer-ons.

In the second line, don't be freaked out by the F#7 to Fmaj7 transition. You just slide the whole chord to the nut, allowing the open first string to ring through the change. You may have to hold the chord a bit tighter than you are used to, to get it to sound throughout the change, without strumming again. After the tempo change, make each of the strums very definite.

Play to the end of the first verse, then go back to the beginning, excluding the half-measure of F9 at the beginning, and play the second verse. At the end of the second verse, go straight to the coda and play it. In the last line of the coda, there's a mordant on the B7 chord. This means you have to slide the whole chord down to the VI fret and back up again within ONE beat, producing a sort of a "WAH-ooo-WAH" sound. Or you can use a Wah-Wah pedal, if you've got one. Bend the A note on the second string by pulling it sideways. I wouldn't use electronics to simulate it-- they just don't sound the same.

At the end of the coda, return to the beginning again (minus the first half-measure) and play through the third verse, adding the tag line, "Look at me!" Add it, even if you're not singing, as it resolves beautifully to the Cmaj7. There are a few tricks in there, such as the bent E note on the second string, but the timing is critical, so I've included a line of counting numbers. Strum the Cmaj7 SLOWLY, but still within ONE beat, then tremolo the chord. This is easy, if your ax has a whammy bar. Mine does not, so I get the tremolo by flutter-fanning air into the sound hole with my cupped right hand. I'm not at all sure why it works, but it looks and sounds just like you're playing an invisible whammy bar. Brings down the house.

Did You Think to Pray?

This hymn is so much like Sweet Hour of Prayer, it's a shame not to post them both together. Same key, same techniques, even the same subject! Only the time signature and the actual melody are different, but still so similar it's uncanny. Even the pattern picks are very similar. If you like one, you're sure to like the other.

For those who don't like pattern-picking ("all those darned arpeggios!"), I apologize. I do like them, but I usually try for more variety. The next one will be VERY different!

Public domain. For those who are interested, I've included a brief pattern-picking chart at the end. Enjoy!

Sweet Hour of Prayer

Public domain.

One of my favorite hymns. I couldn't figure out why I never tabbed it, especially as it's written in C, the easiest key of them all to tab! Then I tried to do it. It turns out it's IMPOSSIBLE to play in C (for me, anyway).

I tried transposing it into all twelve keys. The only one that's really playable on the guitar is A, so that's what I used. If you want to sing it, or play with another instrument, you'll have to use a capo, or go to the Church website and use their music transposer. Go to Click on Gospel library/music, and search for the hymn you want, then select the key you want it in. It'll give you an exact transcription, for any hymn in the current, English-language hymnal. It won't do hymns that have been dropped from older editions, or ones that are only in foreign language editions. And it won't do Primary songs. It won't do tablature, either, of course. For that, you need me. You can't have everything.

If you don't like pattern-picking, you won't like this arrangement. If I get enough comments, maybe I'll do a different arrangement, with more chords and with fewer arpeggios. For now, though, this is it. It was a bear to do, though it's not hard to play, once I figured out where to put the melody notes. There's really only one barre chord in it-- Av, which is an E barred in the V fret. There is also a Dv called for, but it's really just a slight modification of the Av chord.

There are a couple of places in the refrain, where you have to stretch to fret the 2nd string in the IX fret, while maintaining a barre at the V fret. On paper, it looks like quite a stretch, but that high on the neck, the frets are quite a bit closer together, so it's not as hard as it looks. Hitting the V fret on the 1st string while playing a D chord (in the first line) is actually harder.

My hand won't stretch that way, but fortunately, it doesn't matter if you let the fingers on the 1st and 2nd strings slide out of position a bit, since you aren't going to play them until later anyway. I just let my whole hand slide up the neck a fret and back down again. If you're quick about it, no one will ever know.