Danny Boy in G - Finger-Style Lesson
Difficulty Rating: Intermediate
Lesson by: Kirk Lorange
The Dropped-D Lesson of Danny Boy can be found here.
Here's a wonderful old tune that we all know and love, guaranteed to bring a lump to the throat.
I've done this in our favorite key: G. Once again, it proved to be the best guitar key, one that allows the whole piece to be played down near the nut, where open strings can come into play and keep it all ringing nicely away. There's just hat one little foray up to the 7th fret, not too difficult.
The chord structure is all based a round the related chords, but there are a couple of really nice deviations. I especially like that F chord that drops in for a quick visit. F, of course, is not in the key of G. Other than that, there's an A major that's not in key, and a Cm, 'minorized' from the in-key C that precedes it. Also, that D/C chord can also be called C11th ... I always use the alternate 'slash-chord' name as it's so much easier to understand 'D chord with a C bass note' than 'C11th', for my poor old brain anyway.
I should also mention that the chord names that appear in the movie and tab are not quite correct in certain passages as I've arranged it in such a way as to create new chords for each beat. It seemed too complicated to insert new names every split second. One of those passages is bar 8 where I took the liberty of inserting a quirky little double stop in amongst it all. You could always play bar 16 instead there, if you want to keep it straighter.
Picking wise, nothing too tricky. That one quick stab up at the 7th at bar 14 is not too hard to handle. The left hand gets a little tricky here and there but nothing a bit of practice won't cement into place. You'll see that I use my index finger as a barre to grab both those notes end of bar 11 ... that's the easiest for me, but you don't need to, you can use two fingers. Just take it one little chunk at a time, then string them together in a musical fashion. You'll hear that the midi (if you buy the zipped lesson) is strictly in time and soulless, with none of the dynamics I play. This tune certainly lends itself to the slowdowns, speedups and pauses that I play, details that make it music, not just a sequence of notes.
Please forgive the slight out-of-tuneness of my nylon string. I use a couple of bright and hot flood lights when I film ... the nylon strings react very quickly and stretch out of tune within minutes. In this case, it seems to have gone out of tune during the recording!