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Guilty - A Fingerstyle Guitar Lesson.

Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange

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

The Lesson explained


Here is my arrangement of this wonderful Randy Newman song, Guilty. He has been one of my songwriter heros since I first heard him way back in the late 60s. He's probably most well known for the theme to 'Toy Story' and his tongue-in-cheek 'Short People', but he's the master of singing in the first person about the lives of characters, often unsavory, he invents. Have a listen to 'My Life Is Good' for a perfect example.

Guilty has been covered by Bonnie Raitt and Joe Cocker, great versions, but it's Randy's version that really hits home.

My instrumental version is in dropped D, so lower that bass string before you do anything else.

It's a blues, it's in 12/8 time and this version it's a great example of a topic I often mention: feel. You'll hear here and there that I stray from the strict 12/8 time, I sort of straighten it out, make it more of a 4/4. It's subtle thing that I didn't really even notice until I started turning it into TAB/notation in Guitar Pro. Listen to the end of bar 6 and all of bar bar 7 to see what I mean. You quickly hear that it feelsdifferent. At bar 15, where I repeat that same passage, I stick to 12/8. At the repeat of the passage at bar 31 I sort of start with the 4/4 feel and end with the 12/8. You'll another bit at bar 26, that double stop I play three times in a row. There is, of course, no need for you to copy me, you may not like the way it sounds, but I lo0ve playing around with the time like that.

The chords mostly stick to the I-IV-V of the standar blues (D, G and A) but there's that Gm in there -- what I call a 'minorized iv chord', the C9, which is a Gm6 in disguise, and there's that E9 there too, which acts as a V chord to the real V chord.

There are a lot of harmonized chromatic runs in this, sometimes played in 6ths, sometimes in 3rds, all very bluesy lines.

There are no acrobatics in this, it's all fairly straight forward and it's a lot of fun to play once you lock all the elements into your muscle memory.

See you next time :-)


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