This is another of those simple little tunes that are SO HARD to play! The big problem, for most, will be the extensive use of barre chords, especially in the barred A-form and the barred C-form. These forms often give troubles to those who are not completely comfortable with barring. I have tried to keep this song as playable as possible, while staying true to the music. You’ll know how well I did when you play the song.
I generally just hate to split a measure between lines, and also dislike splitting a lligado between two measures, yet I have done both simultaneously in this piece. My only excuse is, I couldn't find a better way to write it. I guess the editors of Hymns couldn't either, as they did the same thing in the same place. There are several places where you have to move fast to get from one chord to the next. All I can suggest is, practice the transitions until you can do them fluently, then worry about how they relate to the rest of the song.
The first one comes at the end of the second measure, where you have to go from the 2nd string, 1st space, to the FV chord, which is a C-shape barred in the 5th space. To make it easier, I’ve elected to use only the first four strings of the FV chord, so you only have to barre three strings. Still, this may be an unfamiliar shape to you, and you have to move from the 1st position to the 5th position in a heartbeat, and nail the FV chord all at once. Practice, practice, practice! You need to get this down pat, as there’s a far worse transition coming in the second line.
The chord change from FV to CIII is also not easy, especially if you are not comfortable with barred A-shape chords. CIII is one of the most common variants of this shape, so you may already be familiar with it. I use it here for two reasons: it enhances the melody line, and, by adding an intermediate step between the FV and the following C chord, it actually makes that transition easier.
The C - FI - GIII chord progression should be easy enough for anyone using this blog, as it is basic to better than 90% of the tabs here. But don’t get too complacent. The second line is harder, though I’ve tried to make it as easy as possible.
The biggest jump in the song comes right at the end of the second measure, when you have to slide all the way from 1st position to eighth position to hit the FVIII, a barred A-shape in the eighth space. In reality, it’s no worse than hitting any other A-shape barre chord, you just have to move your hand up the neck a bit faster. Actually, it may even be easier than the CIII you played in the first line, because the frets are closer together at the high end of the fretboard.
The change from FVIII to CVIII is actually one of the easier changes in the piece. Just leave the barre where it is, and change from an A-shape to an E-shape. I have elected to use the E on the open 1st string, instead of the same note on the 4th string, 10th space, which is already being fretted, because it forces you to release the barre, giving you a full quarter-note beat to move back to first position.
The pull-off in the penultimate (next-to-last) measure has a similar function, easing the transition to GaddD. This is actually a very easy chord to play, being based on the standard, first position G chord. In fact, it’s even easier than a standard G chord, because your fingers don’t have to stretch as far. Just remember not to play the 1st string, as the open E will sound discordant.
The transition to the following C/G (C, with a G bass), is very nearly a standard C chord, with the addition of the G on the bass string. This gives the chord a fuller sound, but you can play a regular C if your hand is tired.
I like to repeat the last phrase, “O Father of my soul,” as a brief coda after the last full verse. You can also use it as an introduction, if you wish, though I think it’s a bit too much, considering the brevity of the song. If you do use it as a coda, I recommend playing GIII, in place of the GaddD, for it’s fuller sound, and slightly different harmony.
Copyrights to this song are held by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Please respect them. There are other verses, but since this intended as a guitar solo, you can repeat as many times (or as few) as you like. I think this song would make a dynamite duet with a bowed instrument such as a violin or cello, but have not tried it. If you do play it as a duet, email me and let me know how it goes. A digital recording would be even better.
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