Are you familiar with fingerstyle guitar playing? If not this will be a great post for you, if you are I think you'll still enjoy it immensely.
So, I thought I'd share some of the fingerstyle guitar pieces that I actually like to play regularly and are staples for me over many years.
While I already did a 1-hour guided YouTube tour of great fingerstyle guitar players, this post is much more personal, so I hope you enjoy it. This will be the first in a 2 or maybe 3 part series.
Wherever I could I used video of the actual artist playing the piece. I also tried to provide links to free tab, or if no free tab was available then I provided links to paid tab. I hope you find some gems in here. I tend to like slightly quirky music that's intuitive and fun to play, so I think these pieces fall into that category. Enjoy!
Angela – by D.R. Auten from Acoustic Paintings
I tried to find a video of Auten playing this but didn't. None of the covers I saw came close to sounding the way he plays it. He rips through the piece, so I've included an audio only recording of his recording. I love that you can't tell where this piece is going. It's unusual but familiar sounding at the same time. There's a great section that sounds like spy music. This is an advanced piece.
Tab: Transcribed in a back issue of Fingerstyle Guitar. Issue #11.
Song for George – by Eric Johnson from Ah Via Musicom
Just an incredibly tasteful piece of southern fried blues. As usual full of Eric's great melodies. This is a piece of music that took me a long time to learn the whole thing. I had learned most of it and just played that for years, and finally learned the breakdown near the end that I had skipped. It has some tricky syncopation. I never get tired of playing this.
Tuning with E strings dropped to D. (D A D G B D)
Tab: Song for George
Sunny Side of the Ocean – by John Fahey from Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death
This is a classic Fahey composition. Somewhere I read, maybe in the liner notes, that Fahey wrote this when he was 20 or so and it was one of his first pieces. He played it for his dad and his dad said that he liked it. Fahey held this song in high regard because it was implied that Fahey's father didn't approve of much. This takes medium skill.
Open G tuning (D G D G B D).
Video Lesson: On the Sunny Side of the Ocean
When Kings Come Home – by Peter Lang from John Fahey, Leo Kottke, Peter Lang
This is a majestic piece with some slight touches of avant-garde. If you like zoning out into a moody piece of music I find this one works well. A beginner could play this, though there's a few tricky spots so more of a medium skill piece.
Open D tuning. (D A D F# A D)
Tab: Long out of print and I couldn't find it anywhere online. It's in open-d though. If someone wants to the tab for this I can scan it. Just leave a comment below.
Last Steam Engine Train – by Leo Kottke from Green House
This is a traditional piece that Leo adds his touch too. It's originally a banjo piece and played very quickly. Just fun to rip through. Of this set this is probably the most impressive if you're trying to wow an audience. This is an advanced piece.