Here are a few samples of TABs I have created for my guitar program. They are in pdf format for straightforward printing. There are technical studies by early guitar masters (which some fingerstyle guitarists have found to be helpful). There is also a small sampling of songs I have transcribed for students over the years. Enjoy!
1) Mauro Giuliani (1781 – 1829) Italian guitar virtuoso Mauro Giuliani composed over 150 pieces and was something of a rockstar of classical guitar in the 19th century. His pedagogical works are still a foundation of classical technique to this day. Here are some excerpts from his famous Opus 1 – “120 Arpeggio Exercises for the Right Hand”. Basically you move between a C chord and a G7 chord for all of them! Some find this tedious but others have seen fantastic results in their fingerstyle technique simply by practicing these on a daily basis.
- Giuliani right hand studies (1812) #1-6 in TAB (pdf)
- Giuliani right hand studies (1812) #7-16 in TAB (pdf)
2) Francisco Tarrega (1852-1909)
Francisco Tárrega composed 78 original scores and 120 transcriptions. He is the composer of what has been claimed to be “probably the world’s most heard tune”: the Nokia ringtone, Nokia tune, also used in advertising spots, is based on Tárrega’s Gran Vals. I offer here a very simple but lovely arpeggio etude:
3) Andre Segovia (1893 – 1987)
The Spanish guitar virtuoso is also known as the father of modern classical guitar. Segovia was a firm believer in the power of practicing scales. The fingering from his Diatonic Major and Minor Scales is still used by many today. In this publication he states: “The practice of scales enables one to solve a greater number of technical problems in a shorter time than the study of any other exercise.”
Here is a TAB version of the first two major scales from Segovia’s “Diatonic Major and Minor Scales” (1953):
Blind Lemon Jefferson (1893-1929)
Blind Lemon Jefferson was one of the most popular American blues guitarists from the 1920s. He is often cited as a seminal influence on everyone from B.B. King to The Beatles and Elvis Presley. The tune I have transcribed here is “Bad Luck Blues”. It originally appeared in the popular folk guitar instructional book “Fingerpicking Styles for Guitar” by Happy Traum and this is where I originally learned it. Years later I finally got my hands on the actual recording from 1926 and was amazed at how much detail was missing from this transcription. I discovered a far superior transcription by Art Eisinger (published by Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop), but there were still a few parts missing. So anyway, here it is, note-for-note in TAB and standard notation. Enjoy!
Iron & Wine
Here is my TAB transcription of “Resurrection Fern” from the Iron & Wine cd “The Shepherd’s Dog”. This is very close to what Sam Beam plays, but I have left out his many spontaneous variations in the song to make this easier.