This week one of the songs that I’ve taught was new to me and I thought I’d use it as an example of how I write out material for students. There are lots of ways to write out a song:
- simple chord chart with bars
- lyrics with chords above them
- in proper notated music!
There are pros and cons for each option depending on the ability of the learner. The first two options are simple, but often give no indicated of the strumming pattern or how long to stay on each chord. This will therefore only work if you know the song well. Whilst making learning accessible is important, I also think many guitarists miss out key learning like how to read basic rhythms and rests. I therefore opt to write out lesson materials in standard notation and tab. Early on I like to introduce the different rhythms and then gradually build on this with things like ties, rests and articulations. Also, if students want to read notation and ditch the tab, that is also something I teach and particularly useful if you want to play styles like jazz where lead sheets are very common.
Anyway, enough of this, here is a pdf of Teddy Thompson’s delightful tune ‘In My Arms’. It has a fairly basic set of chords, but watch out for the single note fills. It’s best to isolate these parts and develop the speed gradually.
Capo on the 2nd fret!