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Love at Home

You can hear a dynamite guitar version by Michael Dowdle HERE. There are two versions.  I prefer the first one, but I’m not up to playing it.  If enough of you are interested, I’ll try to get him to share.  Comment on this post if you’re interested.  No promises though-- I don’t know him, except by reputation.  My version is NOT as awesome as Michael Dowdle’s, and is not based on his. In fact, I hadn't heard his version until after I wrote mine.  Mine is also not easy, but FAR easier than his, and the tab is free. 

The first verse is pretty straightforward.  Just thumb strum the chords as shown.  C/G  (also called C with a G Bass) is easy; just fret the #6 string with your pinkie.  In measure [3], fret the second note by flattening the middle finger across the second string briefly.  One word of caution: play ONLY the notes shown!  Strumming the whole chord will cause the melody to be lost.  Pay attention to the count.  I have left out most of the “ands” except where needed for clarity, as putting them all in makes the tab hard to read.  But you should be counting it as, “ONE-and-two-and-THREE-and-four-and” for EVERY measure.  There are a few “extra” notes that are not part of the melody, as in measure [6].

Measure [14] looks a little odd.  You play the first note  (on the 2nd string), then s-l-o-w strum the F chord.  In measure [20], be sure to play the G7III as written.  The F note on the 2nd string is needed for the melody, but playing it as a normal G7 doesn’t sound as good and requires lots more hand movement.  In the next measure, you may have to release the C chord in order to make the hammer-on at the end of the measure.

In measure [23] you may have trouble doing the pull-off as written.  Here’s a trick for making it easy:  release the whole G7III chord while doing the pull-off.  Works like a champ! 

While you are doing this, reposition the right hand to play the arpeggio in measure [24] as a finger-pick.  Remember to play this measure twice.  Accent the “1” beat the first time, and the “3” beat the second, and no one will know you’re just repeating the same measure. This sets you up to finger-pick the rest of the second verse (except where strums are indicated), making the key change to D as simple as any other chord change. 

If you don’t like arpeggios, you can omit measure [24] entirely. If you do, you’ll have to change chords, change keys, and re-orient your right hand, all at the same time, and your audience will be surprised by the changes. Their attention will switch from the music to your playing, and they’ll lose the beautiful feeling of the hymn.  A couple of bars of  transition will keep their attention on the music, where it belongs.

Measure [25] consists of four pairs of notes. Lightly accent the first note of each pair, as these are the melody notes.  Watch for similar patterns of note-pairs throughout the rest of the song, and treat them the same way, lightly accenting the melody notes.  Perform the slide in [26] by barring the neck of the guitar with the index finger, forming an F#II chord, then slide the whole chord up a fret to G7III
The next two measures are pretty straightforward, but pay attention to the count in [27], and play the second and third notes of that measure with the thumb.  Measure [29] is counted similarly, except there’s a slide on the first string instead of the hammer-on in [27].  There are two ways to do the slide.  You can fret all the first string notes with the middle finger, if you like.  I end up missing the slide note if I do this, so I play both the notes of the slide with the little finger, reserving the middle finger for the notes in the second fret.  Please yourself.  Play the bass runs in [30], [31], and [32] with the thumb, as a slow strum.

In [33], play the first two strings with the right ring and middle fingers, respectively.  In [34, I hold the D chord throughout the measure, lifting the middle finger just long enough to do the hammer-on, and playing the bass runs with the thumb, as previously.  Watch out for the first note in [35], which is played open, to follow the melody.

The A to A7 chord change in the next measure is really easy.  Just lift up your left middle finger.  Measure [37] has a tricky part.  The hammer-on is done twice as fast as all the others, to sound as “grace notes”.  That is, both notes together count as the “&”.  Watch the timing in [39].  The first two notes are held for the full “one-and” count, making it sound like the tempo slows briefly to half time.  It doesn’t, actually, it just sounds like it.

The double-string hammer-on in [40] looks harder than it is.  It’s a fast one like in [37].  Just place the ring finger on the second string, as in a normal D chord and strum the first four strings, then hammer-on the ring and index fingers.  Watch out for the pinches in [41], and the strums in [42] and [43], which are held.

The AII in [40] is an unusual chord.  Bar the first four strings in the second space, just as if you were going to play A7II, but fret the #1 string in the fifth space with the little finger.  This is somewhat easier to do if you are using the capo to raise the pitch of the guitar, as the frets are significantly closer together.  Play A7II normally, using either the middle or ring finger in the third space.

Play [45] and [46] just like [37] and [38].  The arpeggios in the next line serve the same function as in [24], preparing the audience for the upcoming key change.  But there’s a difference in [50].  Instead of playing the final G note at the fifth fret of the fourth string, lift the left hand entirely off the strings and play the third string open.  This makes the transition to C in [51] dead easy.

Back to the key of C again for the third verse. 

Play [51] and [52] as written.  In [52] you could substitute an easier, four-string F for the six-string one shown in the chord charts, since all the notes in the measure are on the first four strings only.  I don’t bother, since all the other Fs need the six-string version.  Your choice.  There’s a trick in [53].  Flatten the middle finger across the third string in the second space to follow the melody line.  It’s not hard to do, but it is easy to forget.

The following two measures use pinches that are done with the middle and ring fingers of the right hand.  Play the bass runs with the right hand thumb, in a slow strum.  If you wish, you can strum the last four notes of [54] up, with the middle finger, or finger-pick them normally.  The strummed chords in [55] and [56] are played as in the first verse.  Play the next two measures as shown, and play all the three note pinches in the next measures with the index, middle, and ring fingers, regardless of which strings are used.

Release the G7 chord after the second beat in [62], to put in the ligado riff on the second string.  The timing is a bit tricky, as the words of the lyrics fall “off the beat.”  Technically, though, it’s just a hammer-on, followed by two pull-offs.  Don’t be tempted to make these ligados too fast.  Each represents an eighth-note, just like most of the hammer-ons in this song.  Similarly, the long underscore in [63] does NOT indicate the timing of the hammer-on.  I had to lengthen it only because the written form of the lyrics (“there’s One”) required the extra spaces.

Measure [64]  has another of those slow-strummed bass runs, as in [14] in the first verse.  [67] through [70] slow way down, by holding each of the chords, or even individual notes, for two full counts-- “one-and-two-and” or even for the whole measure, as in measures [42] - [44].

The second string pull-off in [74] is easier if you remove the entire hand from the fretboard during the pull-off, but don’t pull-off the other strings!  No tricks in [75] and [76].  Just play as written, and try to sustain that final chord through all four beats.  You can substitute a regular C chord for the C/G if it’s hard for you to sustain, but the full sound of the C/G certainly sounds better for an ending.