FOR RANK BEGINNERS:
At the top of the page is the title of the hymn, and the hymn number, as found in the LDS hymnal, Hymns. Then follow general instructions, such as “Strum all chords.” This means that anywhere you see a chord in the tablature, it is to be strummed, not plucked or pinched. Individual notes are always plucked unless otherwise instructed.
Each line of music is divided into four separate parts. The top line shows the chord names. They are given only when the chord changes, so the first line of the tab shows the E chord only once, though it is strummed nine times. The B7 chord shown next continues onto the second line, even though it is only shown on the first line, etc. Sometimes, special instructions are also included in this line, such as, slow, or hold.
The next six lines are the actual tablature. Each horizontal line of dashes represents a string of the guitar, with the top one representing the high e-string, the next representing the B-string, etc., as shown at the beginning of the tab. I usually omit the names of the strings when writing tab, unless they are tuned in a non-standard tuning, but I put them in on this song, for the use of true beginners.
In reading tablature (tab for short), the strings are fretted where the numbers indicate the proper fret: 1 = the first fret, etc. A zero -- 0 -- indicates the string is to be played “open” (unfretted). If there is no number on the string, do not play it. Vertical lines indicate measures, as in traditional music.
The next line is the lyrics of the song. Since the purpose of the tablature is to teach how to play a guitar instrumental solo, only the first verse of the song is included, for those who are familiar with it, to help them know where they are in the song.
The bottom line contains the time count, or tempo. This song is in “three-four” time, meaning that each measure contains three beats, and the first beat of each measure is accented by being played a bit louder than the others: ONE two three; ONE two three, etc. The accented beats are shown in bold face type. In general, each beat is accompanied by either a strummed chord or a plucked note, except for the last measure of each line, where the chord is strummed and allowed to ring through the other two beats, which are counted, but not played. This is shown by placing the other two beats in parentheses: (2 3). In the last line, the third beat of the first measure is also treated this way, and is shown in parentheses, too: (3) .
The next-to-last measure is also counted differently. There are six notes in the measure, but they are “eighth notes”, instead of the “quarter notes” that make up the rest of the song. The measure takes exactly the same length of time as the other measures, because the notes are played twice as fast. To count these notes, count the last two measures, “ONE-and-two-and-three-and-ONE, (two, three)”. The beat remains steady.
All but the very last note of the next-to-last measure can be easily played by simply strumming an E chord slowly, so each string sounds separately. You’ll have to stretch your pinkie to reach that note in the 4th fret, or else, let your hand slide slightly up the neck of the guitar, hit the note, then slide right back down to play the E chord.
Chord charts are shown at the end of the song. If you don’t know how to play a chord, the chord charts show you how. The vertical lines represent the guitar strings, and the horizontal lines show the frets. The top line shows the nut of the guitar, with Xs above strings that are not played. Finger positions are usually shown with zeros, or large, black dots, but I have used numbers to indicate which finger is placed where: 1 = the index finger, 2 = the middle finger, 3 = the ring finger, and 4 = the pinky.
I have tried to arrange the song so it would be as easy as possible to play, since I’m arranging it for my seven-year-old student, Meylin. If you are really a rank beginner, start by just strumming the chords as shown in the counting line, until you can make the chord changes without missing a beat. Only then should you try to learn how to put in the melody notes.
Most of the notes are part of the chords, and can be played just by selecting the proper string. Some of the notes are different, though. In the first line, a couple of the “extra” notes in the second fret can be reached just by flattening the left hand across the strings. Others need to be added with the pinky. In the third line, the E chord can be changed to an E7 just by lifting the 3rd finger. Replace it to hit the third note in the next measure.
This song is not in the public domain, but I have received written permission of the copyright owner (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) to publish it in this format, for personal or incidental, non-commercial home or church use.
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.