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Wille Nelson's Crazy - A Guitar Lesson

Guitar Lesson and arrangement by Kirk Lorange



The video above demonstrates a mindset that is the subject of my PlaneTalk package.

Crazy - The Lesson Explained

Crazy ... what a great old tune. Written by Willie Nelson, it was made famous by Patsy Cline way back in 1962. I'm sure you'll recognize the jazz/bluesy melody.

I've done this in (you guessed it) the key of G. I wrote out the tab in 12/8 only because I was pulling my grey hair out trying to fit the lilting feel into 4/4. I always wind up playing a sort of hybrid straight/swing feel that -- for me, anyway -- is impossible to transcribe into Guitar Pro. I came pretty close in 12/8. Think of it as 4 sets of three.

I found this one fairly tricky at first. The melody line uses some big, wide intervals and it took some practise to get the muscles to remember the moves. But, as always, a few hours of playing it and refining the arrangement was all I need to get to the point where I could just play it. I always marvel at the process.

I wrote in a little intro, the actual tune begins at bar 3. The trickiest bit, and the bit that took me while to put together, is that bit that fills bar 8. It's a fun line to play once you get it, though, so persevere.

You can dispense with the little-finger tap I do at bar 15, it's just my way of anchoring the time down.

The middle section starts at bar 19 ... here again there are some wide intervals to negotiate. Just follow the tab, cross reference with the video for finger positions, and stick at it. Remember who's the boss of those fingers.

As always, the trickiest and most important aspect is to keep that flow going. There is no need to be metronomic, to keep it strictly in time. You'll hear in my version that I speed up and slow down here and there. That's on purpose. I do that to inject some feel into it, some emotion. The word 'feel' that we musicians use, I guess comes from the bigger word 'feeling'. I think we all know what it means when someone says 'Play it with feeling'. It's a subtle thing, and it's the thing I miss most about music today. It's very hard for a computer to play with 'feel' (although they try to program it in!) ... Most of today's music is devoid of feel. But, as I've said many times in these lessons, the flow IS the music; the music IS the flow. So, get all the moves down, adapt them if necessary to your own taste and dexterity, and then reassemble them all 'with feeling' and get that flow happening.


For this lesson, I will be charging a small fee of US $4.95 for the Printable PDF of the TAB/Notation. Click here to order it.


For this lesson, I will be charging a small fee of US $4.95 for the Printable PDF of the TAB/Notation. Click here to order it.

Guitar Lesson and arrangement by Kirk Lorange

Kirk LorangeAs well as putting together these fingerstyle guitar lessons, I am also the author of PlaneTalk - The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Package, which teaches a mindset, a way of thinking about music and a way of tracking it all on the guitar fretboard. Yes, there IS a constant down there in the maze of strings and fret wire, a landmark that points to everything at all times. I call it The Easiest Yet Most Powerful Guitar Lesson You Will Ever Learn and many testimonials at my site will back up that rather superlative description. If your goal as a guitar player is to be able to truly PLAY the guitar, not just learn by rote; to be able to invent on the fly, not memorize every note; to be able to see the WHOLE fretboard as friendly, familiar territory, not just the first 5 frets and to do it all without thinking about all those scales and modes, then you should read more here.