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.

We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet

This song is unusual, in that it is actually easier to play the melody from the tab than to strum accompaniment from the chords. That’s because strumming it requires frequent, fast chord changes, especially between G7 and F. The tab allows you to simply play the needed note as a melody note, without changing the chord at all, so most of the song is played from the C chord.

There is one barre chord in the entire song, a GIII.  Of course, you can substitute a normal G, or use the G7 position, without playing the #1 string, as I do in the rest of the song, but the melody won’t be exactly right.  All the G7 chords shown in the tab are actually Gs, but it’s just lots easier to fret the chord as a G7 and leave out the F on the high E string, than it is to change from C to G.  I’ve specified the four-string F chord, as it’s easier to play than the full barre F, and the musical difference in this case is not great.  But if you can do bar chords easily, the full, six-string F does sound a bit better.

I’ve included all the chord changes needed for strumming accompaniment, in small type, in italics, in brackets, to minimize confusion.  You can replace some of the single notes with strummed chords, or pinched chords, for variety, when playing solo.  It also makes a lovely duet, with one guitar playing lead, and the other strumming.  If you are playing with a more legato* instrument, such as a violin or flute, pinched chords, near the bridge, give a more classical sound. 

There are lots of hammer-ons and pull-offs in this song.  If you don’t like such ligados*, you can eliminate them, and just play each note normally, but that sounds rather staccato* to my ear.  Putting in the ligados did make it somewhat more challenging to write clearly, though.  Fourteen of the seventeen measures either begin or end with a ligado that crosses the bar.  It was inevitable that at least one of them would also cross from the end of one line to the beginning of the next. 

* The term legato comes from Itallian, and refers to the sound of notes that flow into each other.   Staccato is its opposite: notes that end abruptly.  The phrase, “La-la-la-la-la,” is legato, while, “Dot-dot-dot-dot-dot,” is staccato.  These two terms are used in all orchestral, choral, and piano music.  Ligado comes from Spanish, like other classical guitar terms, and indicates a hammer-on or a pull-off.  These are only two of several popular techniques for producing the legato sound, but those other techniques, such as slides, taps, and harmonics, are never called ligados.  Ligados are the only legato techniques used in this song.

Technical stuff:

When I write tab, I indicate ligados by tying the notes together with underscores.  Other techniques are indicated in other ways, specific to the technique.  Slides are shown by a slash between two notes: a forward slash (/) means slide to a higher note, a back slash (\) means slide to a lower note.  Harmonics are indicated by an exclamation point before the note: !12 means to play a harmonic at the twelfth fret, with the string open.  Taps are shown by the word Tap, in italics, above the tab.  If I don’t have room, I just use the capital T.  This can be confusing, because the capital T above the tab is also frequently used by other tab writers to indicate a thumb wrap.  I have small hands and a wide-neck guitar, so I never do thumb wraps.

Published by permission of the copyright holder.


Anonymous said...

Ah!!! at last I found what I was looking for. Somtimes it takes so much effort to find even tiny useful piece of information.

trademan said...

Thanks so much. As a beginning guitar player, I really appreciated the work you have done and God bless you for sharing.