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.
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.