Wednesday, December 9, 2015




     Here is a beautiful Christmas song about the birth of Christ in a minor key.   Its tune is adapted from the old folk tune "Greensleeves."   I have always loved playing "Greensleeves" as an instrumental tune, but this is also a wonderful song to sing at this special time of year.

   A song "tag" is a short phrase that is "tagged" to the end of a song; often it is just the last couple of bars or last line of the song repeated.  Here is a TAG line for the ending-- it is the last line with a twist-- complete with an alternate arpeggio in place of the two notes at the END.


    Here is the beautiful song "White Christmas" by Irving Berlin, made famous by Bing Crosby in the film of the same name.

    A few guitar notes:  (this also applies to other songs, including the one above)

  •    This song is arranged in the "Key of D"-- this is a new key for some of us, but it involves many familiar chords, with only a few "new" ones (see below).
  •    When a chord is shown in --(parentheses)-- this is meant to indicate an optional chord.   Actually, these ARE part of the song, but as a Beginner Guitarist, it is possible to play with or without these particular chords.
  •   I have included the "beat" or rhythm under each line of the song.  This will probably help you play as you follow the individual beats in the song.

     There are a couple of new or different chords in this song.  Both of them fall under that category of "optional" chords.  But here they are--- they are a bit more difficult than most of the chords we've played.  But they are still playable.  

   If you are a beginner, feel free to skip over these.  If you are a serious or experienced player, you will want to challenge yourself to TRY to learn them.

    The diminished chords are a four-finger chord which also has an unusual characteristic.  It is one of the few chords which has equal intervals between notes.   This causes it to be moveable.   Every three frets, the notes in the diminished chord realign or "inverted" and therefore, the chord name changes, based on the Root note.

    The G Minor here is an abbreviated version of a full Barre chord, based on the Emin chord.   The optional bass note CAN be played with the thumb, while the index finger "barres" the three strings.   Theoretically, these three notes can be played with three different fingers (similar to how some players fret the "A" chord), but this mini--barre is much easier, once you fight through and get comfortable with it.


   Here are some of the Christmas holiday songs that we've been working on over the last year or two.   Each November, we start practicing, and in December, we usually go out as a class to several retirement homes, or other venues, and do concerts in the community.  It's been a lot of fun.   Now you can learn the songs with us.


    Some of my students have had trouble printing copies of our songs off of this website or from email.   Here are some instructions that may be of help in trying to do this.   Please follow these steps and hopefully, it will work.  

    When saving or downloading these songs, TRY right click over top of the song, click on "Save image as"--- and save it to your computer.   Then try opening the image up in a document program, such as MS Word or MS Publisher.    From there, you should be able to print the song out in normal size in any format.

Single Notes



                                                                                                AWAY IN A MANGER                                SILENT NIGHT

      JOY TO THE WORLD                                                               SILVER BELLS

          SANTA CLAUS IS                                                       WE WISH YOU A
     COMING TO TOWN                                                             MERRY CHRISTMAS

Saturday, August 1, 2015


YESTERDAY is one of the most popular songs of all time.  Besides the original recording by Paul McCartney and The Beatles, it has been covered over 2,200 times by other musicians. In 1999, a BBC Radio poll voted YESTERDAY the "Best Song of the 20th Century", and MTV and Rolling Stone named it the #1 Pop Song of all time.

One very interesting detail about the song's origin is that the tune for YESTERDAY came to Paul McCartney in a dream.  He awoke, and after playing it on a piano, was convinced that he had stolen it from another song.  However, after a few weeks, his fears resolved, he penned the lyrics.   This also was the first use of other musicians (a string quartet) along with a Beatles recording.

You have probably been getting comfortable with a lot of Major chords, and a few Minor and Seventh (7th) chords by now.  YESTERDAY, along with a few other songs we've been learning, introduces a Major 7th (Fma7) and a couple of Minor 7th chords.  With a bit of explanation, they shouldn't be a major (or minor) problem for you.

Here are the "new" chords in YESTERDAY.  You've probably seen some of these before, the Bm7 recently in "Sunshine on My Shoulders", in which we added another note in the 

If you're NOT the analytical type-- then please just ignore the following.  If you ARE the analytical type-- here, the Bm7 naturally moves into the E7 chord.  The Bm7 here resembles an E7sus4 chord, the only difference being the BASS note (here, we used a "B" instead of playing the open "E" string).  Oftentimes, just changing one note of a chord, sometimes the Bass note, changes the entire chord.

In the last two lines [the bridge] there are two instances of rapid chord changes, from Am--G--Fma7.   Each chord is only played one beat or strum.  This may be too difficult for you at this time.  If it is, use a shortcut by playing an Am with a G bass (Am/G) instead of the full G chord.  This can also be used on the first line of the song, when going from Am to Fma7.  

NOTE: Sometimes chords are appended or changed, usually to accommodate an extra note.  Often, this is the bass note.  Sometimes it is a note on the higher end.  You will see these chords designated in two ways.  Either you will see a Plus (+) sign, as in C+9, or Cadd9, or you will see a chord with a Slash (/), as in this chord-- Am/G.  The slash usually indicates an ALTERNATE BASS note.  Normally, the Am chord is played with an "A" bass.    A chord's bass note normally corresponds to the name of the chord.  For example, C is normally played with a "C" bass note, D with a "D" bass note, G with a "G" bass note.  But here a Slash (/), followed by an alternate note, indicates the use of a different bass note.

  There are two ways to play the Am/G chord.  Here are the chord diagrams for them.

The Am chord is shown on the Left, and the two versions of Am/G are shown on the RIght.

I prefer the chord diagram in the middle.  It only involves THREE fingers, instead of FOUR.  It does involve moving your 3rd (ring) finger from the 3rd string to the 6th (top) string.  For me, that is NOT so difficult.  It may be more difficult for you-- at first.  The more you play and practice it, the easier and more comfortable it will become.   Try both-- and I think you'll agree that the middle chord is easier too.  The open strings sound better. And you will NOT have to use your pinky finger!

Monday, June 8, 2015

This Land is Your Land

   This is a popular 60's folk song by Woody Guthrie.  The song was originally played in the key of D.  This Guitar TAB version is in the Key of G.   It is available with single note melody, and also with double-stops.

Version 1-- Single Note Melody

Version 2-- Double-Stops

Version 3-- Alternate Bass

     We also played with a third version of this song, which incorporates fingerstyle (or fingerpicking) combined with alternate bass notes.   I will be posting this version at some point.   Please also refer to the section on the website about Fingerstyle Guitar and Alterate Bass Notes.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Sunshine on My Shoulders

   This is a popular song by John Denver, which first appeared on his 'Poems, Prayers, and Promises' album in 1971.  Its simple message about enjoying the wonders of sunshine has brought smiles to many people over the years.

  This is my arrangement and adaptation of this song in Guitar chords and TAB.  I will be adding additional notes, along with guitar diagrams, to supplement these TAB pages.

  Hope you enjoy playing this beautiful song.  Take it step-by-step.  Don't try to rush it.  Over time, you will enjoy playing it as much as I do.

   NOTES-- The double-stops (two note chords) that are featured here involve plucking the strings, instead of strumming or picking.  In this version (labeled "low"), the melody line is found in the BOTTOM notes.  The TOP notes are the harmony.    You can also play the melody lines alone-- with no harmony note.

  You may not be familiar with ALL of the chords shown in this song.  Most of them are ones that you have already learned.   If you look up unfamiliar chords, such as Bm7, it will most likely show it as a Barre chord (requiring you to use a finger to hold down all of the strings).  There is an alternate way to play this chord which involves only two notes.    You will see this posted here soon.

   Spend some time learning the chords, strum patterns, and the TAB notes, and then use the video links (see below) to play along with, and compare our version with the recording or video.   If you find any mistakes or discrepancies, please let me know.   While my version is close, it may not be perfect.  

   The videos are the original recording by John Denver in key of Bb-- (capo guitar to 3rd fret);  and another video in the key of G (no capo necessary).

  •   JOHN DENVER- Sunshine on My Shoulders (Key of Bb)

  • KAPPA & PAUL- Sunshine on My Shoulders  (Key of G)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Love Me Tender

Love Me Tender

(adapted from the folk tune Aura Lee)

   Here is a guitar arrangement for the popular tune Love Me Tender, made famous by the 1956 recording (and movie) by Elvis Presley.  The melody was adapted from an almost century-old original Civil War era folk tune called "Aura Lee."

  This particular arrangement is in the key of C.  The melody and double-stops, in particular, work and flow better in this key.   

   Accompaniment can be with a bass & strum combination, where the player will first play the BASS note of each chord, and follow with three slow down strums.   Walk-ups and walk-downs of bass notes can be implemented to provide more of a rhythmic flow to the song.

   NOTE : For those of you beginning players who are still having trouble with "barre" chords, don't give up.  Keep working on chords like F, etc. until you get the hang and master them.  However, in this tune, the chord Fmaj7 will work fine as a substitute for F; in fact, the major 7th gives the transition at the end of the third line an even deeper sound.   For those who have mastered playing the "barre" chords, you can also add an Fminor after the F or Fmaj7, before returning to the C chord.  (see chord charts below)

x = do not play     o = open string / note

The Fmaj7 chord is played with the first three fingers (1-2-3).
   Fminor is played as a one-finger barre chord with the first finger.

(See above NOTE about Chord Substitution and Barre Chords).

Star Spangled Banner

Star Spangled Banner

  Here is an arrangement of our National Anthem, the Star Spangled Banner, for guitar.

  It is in the key of G.  The notes are arranged in double-stop format, with the high notes being the Melody, while the lower notes are Harmony notes.

  It should be noted that this song brings our note playing into the higher registers of first the fifth and seventh frets, and then later on, into the 8th, 9th, 10th and 12th frets.
While this may be --NEW-- to you, it should not be looked at as something foreign or unattainable.  We will explore the proper fingerings for these notes, and some additional notes or graphics may be added here for assistance.

  The accompaniment should be either with a light strum, or by fingerpicking the basic chordal rhythm.   Strumming pattern can be two down strums, followed by a double (down-up) strum.   Rhythm should be in a slow, methodical march-like cadence.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Lean On Me

This song is a R&B pop song.  I'll also be posting 
(1) an Alternating Bass VERSE part, 
as well as (2) a high Double-Stop part.

As in ALL songs, if you're a beginner looking at a Double-Stop TAB sheet,
you can play only the TOP LINE, which is the Melody.

The BRIDGE part consists of a percussion part on the original recording.
I'll be showing you a guitar "mute strum" part.

Guitar TAB © 2014 by Bob Wingate

Happy Birthday

You Are My Sunshine

This version includes DOUBLE-STOPS and can be played individually 
with fingerstyle (plucking) technique, or as a duet played with picks.

As in ALL songs, if you're a beginner looking at a Double-Stop TAB sheet,
you can play only the TOP LINE, which is the Melody.

This version is a simple one-note melody version 
that can be played individually as a solo, with optional chord accompaniment.

Guitar TAB © 2014 by Bob Wingate

Guitar (Bass) Boogie

Guitar TAB © 2014 by Bob Wingate
The song is actually called "Guitar Boogie"


As in ALL songs, if you're a beginner looking at a Double-Stop TAB sheet,
you can play only the TOP LINE, which is the Melody.

Guitar TAB © 2014 by Bob Wingate

Ode to Joy

As in ALL songs, if you're a beginner looking at a Double-Stop TAB sheet,
you can play only the TOP LINE, which is the Melody.

Guitar TAB © 2014 by Bob Wingate