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The Iron Rod

I had thought to fancy this up, with cool chords and lots of fill, but after trying to do so, I decided this simple and easy version sounds better.  This is one of the easiest hymns I've ever published.  It's in the key of C, so you can easily transpose it into D, as shown in the hymnal, just by using a capo in the 2nd space, which makes it even easier to play.  There are no barre chords, and only three basic chords, though a couple of times you'll want to alter the C chord to a C/G by adding the G note on the #6 (bass) string with your pinkie.

There's also an alternate G7 chord voicing labelled G7*, which requires you to add the F note on the 4th string, III fret.  If you're not used to it, and you're not using a capo, this may be slightly difficult for you.  If so, you can  play it as a three-finger chord by not playing the #1 string, which isn't needed for the melody at that time anyway.  In the chord diagram, I have shown this by printing the 0 on the first string in light-face type, and placing an X above the nut over that string.  Musically, there is no difference between the two ways of playing this chord; use whichever is easiest for you.

Other than those two slight differences, there are no unusual chords at all.  My only other departure from my usually tabbing is to list "strum all chords" at the beginning of the tab, then leave off all the "strum" signs as unnecessary.  Let's keep it simple!

There are a couple of techniques that make the song easier to play and nicer to hear.  There are a few slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs.  These are not strictly necessary to play the melody.  You could play them as individual notes, but they sound very much nicer as written.  And, unless the techniques are just impossible for you, they actually make the song easier to play.  One is written a little strangely.  In the first measure of the Refrain, the second note (over the word, "to") is plucked and allowed to ring briefly, before hammering-on the next note.  This follows the normally sung rhythm,
"Hold__to__the-rod__...."  It shouldn't take much practice for you to get it right, as even children have been singing that rhythm for years.