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Fingerstyle Guitar - Easy Songs in the Public Domain

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Printable PDF ebook, 28 pages.

This guitar ebook includes fingerstyle arrangements for Brahms Lullaby, Kumbaya, Ode To Joy, Sarabande, Can Can, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Frère Jacques and All Through The Night. There is also a selection of fingerpicking, bluegrass and chord strumming accompaniments for these pieces. Also includes simple melodies for the songs and warm up exercises.

I have been playing guitar for a while now, but I didn’t start playing classical or fingerstyle until sometime after beginning with rock, pop, funk, reggae and metal styles. I have since started to fall for this style of guitar playing. It’s so relaxing and it’s a challenge and really interesting to explore what can be done. I am nowhere near being a good fingerstyle player, but I’ve been teaching beginners for 12 years and this experience makes it possible to put together an interesting selection of pieces for this book that is for beginner guitar and advanced beginners. The book can be used by teachers in their lessons. Self taught players can learn too, but they would need some prior knowledge of reading music and some basic beginners ability to play a few simple chords together, such as C, F, Am, E, G, G7, D and Dm..


In this book you will find a collection of public domain songs with unique fingerstyle arrangements. There is also a selection of fingerpicking, bluegrass and chord strumming accompaniments for the pieces. The patterns in these accompaniments are fairly basic ideas that can be used for many other songs. It is worth studying these and learning the fingerpicking patterns, how the bluegrass bass notes work and linking that with the off beat chord strums and also getting a grasp of the simple strumming rhythm with accents on beats 2 and 4 for Ode to Joy. 


My aim for this book is to make it easy for people to find an collection of simple fingerstyle songs that doesn't get too hard too quickly, and opens the door for learning harder or longer songs after confidence has been built up by playing songs that have been arranged to be fairly easy and inviting to play for the beginner or advanced beginner. Some of the fingerstyle arrangements would take some rehearsing for even more advanced players actually, to play them well, so it’s not just a book for beginner guitarists. Perhaps the player may be great at other things but not familiar with fingerstyle, so this might be a good entry.


This book of easy songs has been created by making new arrangements from public domain songs. Public domain songs are great for learning because the tunes are familiar and there are no copyright restrictions for performing or for creating arrangements of them. This book can be used by teachers and students, or by anyone learning on their own.


The fingerstyle arrangements are unique to this book and have been made by playing around with various combinations of melody, bass and notes from the chords until a good balance was reached between being fairly easy to play but also challenging and enjoyable/relaxing. 


Whilst you may find other fingerstyle versions of these songs elsewhere, they won't be the same as these. I have made them up and not followed anyone else's so it would be almost impossible for them to be the same, because there are lots of combinations of bass notes (root notes, 3rds, 5ths) to go along with the melody, perhaps different bass line rhythms, and there are also some hammer ons, pull offs and slides in places. You can find many different melody transcriptions with the same melody presented in slightly different ways, but the beauty of fingerstyle playing is that you can be quite creative with the arrangements to make something fairly different and unique, even though these public domain songs have been played countless times before. 


The style of the book should come across as a coherent body of work as it's been arranged by one person. However, it's good to explore other books written by other people too if you are interested in learning more fingerstyle playing, because other arrangers will add their own style to pieces too and you will learn different things from them. I hope this book will help you start or continue your journey into learning fingerstyle, or perhaps with finger picking or bluegrass guitar playing.
You will get a PDF (2MB) file

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