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.

Meditation (Meditaçao)

Don’t let the weird chord names throw you, or prevent you from learning this song.  It’s actually not very hard.  In fact, it’s the very first Bossa Nova song I ever learned, strumming it softly, before I ever learned to finger-pick.  I’ve included the lyrics to all the verses, and a cheat sheet at the end, for those who prefer to strum it and sing the melody.  (The cheat sheet chords are even easier!)  If, like me, your fingers work better than your voice, you may want to pick it as a guitar solo instead.  It sounds great either way.  “Lovely” is about the only word to describe it.  If you don’t know the piece, see the guitar version by Antonio “Tom” Jobim HERE.  I don’t know if this is the original composer, Antonio Carlos Jobim, who also went by the name Tom Jobim, or a wonderful guitarist with a similar name.  As you can see, my chords are lots easier, but his are LOTS prettier!  Or check out the melody as originally performed by Astrud Gilberto in 1967 HERE.

In tabbing this piece, I have tried something new.  There are several places where a barre is indicated, to make the left hand fingering easier, but the indicated note is not actually played.  Where this occurs, I have marked the string with a capital X in lightface type, in place of the usual boldface 0.  The chords are A9IV, G9II, and especially Fmaj7I, in which the 5th string isn’t even part of the chord, but must be barred in order to ease the transition from C.

On the Coda, just barre the first five strings in the indicated space and slide from one chord to the next, sustaining each chord for just a moment, so the whole slide takes six beats.  If your guitar won’t sustain this long (few acoustic guitars will), try playing it as three separate two-chord slides, or play each chord separately as a finger-stopped thumb strum.  Finger-stop the chords (except for the last one) by quickly easing the barring finger pressure against the strings just slightly, just enough to damp the strings so they quit sounding, before moving to the next chord.  After finger-damping the chord, be sure to lift the finger completely off the strings while moving to the next chord, or the strings may sound.  This will not sound like a cool slide, but rather like a muffed transition.  Either make the slide definite, or make the stop definite.  Let the final Cmaj7 chord ring, and take your bows.  I just love a Major Seventh resolve.  Your audience will, too.

If you play around on YouTube, you’ll find that every artist who covers this piece does it differently.  It’s JAZZ.  There’s no “right” way to play it, just so it sounds good to you.  A nice thing about this song is that it sounds equally good as a simple melody, or tricked up with all kinds of fancy riffs.  Play around with it.  Have fun.  That’s what jazz is all about.

Guitar strings...

I was reading a blog thread about guitar string brands, and noted several comments from players whose "body chemistry" caused their strings to go dead quickly.  Or so they said.  My Classical teacher taught me to always wash my hands with soap and water before touching the guitar, to remove finger oils.  The oil gets into the windings of the bass strings and attracts and holds dirt particles, tiny bits of dead skin, etc., which can deaden a string literally overnight.  Finger oil and dirt also coat the mono-filament strings (the treble strings), which deadens them as well, though not as quickly.  Some people have oilier skin than others.  If you have oily hands, try washing them with soap, or even detergent, particularly the finger ends, right before playing.  Unless you LIKE restringing your guitar, of course!  Anybody have any other ideas on how to make strings last longer?

We'll Bring the World His Truth ("Army of Helaman")

Yeah, I know:  everyone calls this song, “The Army of Helaman.”  Sorry, but that is not actually its title.  The original name, according to Janice Kapp Perry, the composer and lyricist, is “We’ll Bring the World His Truth.”  So many people called it “The Army of Helaman,” that the LDS Church, which is extremely careful about such things, had to append the alternate title, to avoid confusion.  So did I.

Another shocker:  the copyright date is 1983.  The song is barely thirty years old.  I thought it had been around forever.  Instead, I find the original copyright date is still valid.  It is NOT in the public domain.  The Church website states,

© 1983 by Janice Kapp Perry. This song may be copied for incidental, noncommercial church or home use.  Official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  © 2010 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

I would normally conclude from the double copyright that the Church had purchased limited rights from Sister Perry.  However, Sister Perry’s own website has not responded to my request for reprint permission.  I have waited months for a meaningful reply, and have received only spam.  I conclude:  either she does not care if I publish this song, or she no longer owns the rights.  Nevertheless, I have removed the lyrics from the tab, which is my own work as the arranger.  The lyrics are readily available HERE.  Write them in if you wish.  They are not needed for a strictly instrumental arrangement such as this.

Playing guide:
I have recast the time signature from 3/4 to 6/8, for simplicity.   Nearly all the notes come out eighth notes, which is fine for guitar, and it’s much less confusing visually.  I didn’t even have to transpose, as it was originally written in C.  I did slow it down just a bit, from 116 quarter notes per minute to 100.  Remember this when counting:  TWO counts = ONE beat.

There are a few unusual (but easy) chords, and a few difficult barre chords.  Before you panic, I have tried to leave plenty of time for chord changes.  The hard chords make this piece more suitable for intermediate guitarists than for beginners, despite its simple sound.  If you play through it, you may find it’s more sophisticated than it seems.

The first two measures are just arpeggios, and are only played once, as an introduction.  The verses start with measure [3], where the melody begins.  The melody is carried in the bass in this measure, with the rhythm in the treble, just the opposite of the usual arrangement. 

Measure [4] is a treble pluck, followed by a rising arpeggio and ending with a descending note, a pattern repeated often in this song.  Measure [5] abandons the pattern-picking, for a series of descending pinches.  The rhythm is off the beat, but is carried in the bass. 

There’s a bit of a tricky pull-off in measure [9].  The trick is pushing the finger off the string (toward the top of the guitar) instead of pulling it, which would be well nigh impossible to accomplish while holding the FI chord.  It’s easy if you push it off, though this may seem a little odd, if you’re not used to the technique.

Measures [11] and [12] are the same as [3] and [4].  Measure [13] is nearly identical to [5], except that the first pinch of the measure is replaced by a full, strummed chord, and the rhythm is carried on the bass E string, instead of the A string.

Measures [16] and [17] end with a quarter note, or you can substitute an eighth note and a rest if you are having trouble sustaining these notes.  You fret this note with your left pinkie.  If you are not used to fretting bass strings with your pinkie, you may well have such trouble. 

The next measure, [18] is the last measure of the verse, and is unique in several ways.  First, there’s a tempo change to 8/8, just for this one measure.  Also, it is contains multiple hammer-ons.  Do not omit them.  The phrase needs to be played with extreme fluidity.  Remember, this eight-note measure should take no longer to play than the six-note measures that precede and follow it.  A little practice should suffice; it’s not as hard as it looks.  Do not hesitate, but go right into the next measure [19] without a break.  I can’t stress this enough:  fluidity and perfect timing here will make the song; variation in timing or hesitation will sound terribly amateurish to the audience.  Practice playing measures [17] through [19] until you can’t muff them.  Your audience will forgive a bobble in any other part of this song, but not here.

Measure [19] begins the chorus.  Play the FI chord and then slide up the neck of the guitar to the III space while lifting the left pinkie off the string to make a very fast change to G7III.  In measure [21], on the final pinch of the measure, you’ll need to add the F note on the 4th string with the left pinkie.  Don’t forget it; it’s the melody note!  Then, in [22], you have another one of those push-offs.  If you’ll fret the final note of the measure (G on the 6th string) with your left pinkie again, it’ll position your left hand automatically for the
FI chord that begins [23].

Measures [29] and [30] are played almost exactly like [21] and [22].  The only difference is in the final note of [30].  This is a melody note AND a transition to Dm7V.  DON’T play it exactly the same as [22]!  Measure [33] has another one of those push-offs.  You can do this one as a pull-off if you wish, I just find it easier to push.  Hammer on the F note on the 4th string, then lift the entire left hand from the strings as you do the pull-off or push-off to D (open).  End the chorus with a C chord strum and go right into the next verse, starting with measure [3].

Since this is an instrumental solo, you don’t have to play all three verses.  Or, if you wish, you can add additional ones.  But on the final verse, skip directly from verse [32] to verse [35], play the Finale through ONCE, and stop.  This finale is not part of the song as published in The Children’s Songbook.  But I hope you’ll like it.

Measures [35] and [36] nearly reprise [33] and [34], with a couple of differences:  the initial, two-note pinch in [33] becomes a three-note pinched chord in [35], and a G note is added on the open 3rd string at the end of [36].  This note is important, as it provides a transition to the following musical phrase comprising [37] through the initial chord of [40].  This phrase is the melody associated with the words, “to bring the world His truth,” and is repeated twice more.  Note that the chords do not match those used in other parts of the song to accompany the same words, though the effect is similar.   In measure [38], the G7* chord can be fretted by barring the 4th, 5th, and 6th strings with the index finger, bending it slightly backwards so as not to buzz on the 2nd string, which is played open.  If, like me, your index finger does not bend backward, you’ll have to fret the 4th and 6th strings with the index and middle finger as shown in the chord charts.

The FV and GVII chords in measures [41] and [42] are not terribly hard to play as written. They normally would be played as five-string chords, which are difficult to play.  As shown in the tab, you only have to bar the first three strings, but I recommend barring all six strings anyway if you can, as this greatly simplifies the transition to CVIII in the next measure. 

Possibly the most technically difficult part of the song occurs right at the end, when you have to fret the 3rd string in the 10th space with the left pinkie, then slide it down to the 7th fret.  Then, without a break, lift the fingers off the strings and continue along the guitar neck to the C chord in the first position.  Try to do it all in one motion.  Sustain the C chord as long as you can, and take your bows.