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Lara's Theme from Doctor Zhivago

Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange

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The video with un-blurred virtual fretboard can be downloaded from a link at the top of the TAB




Lara's Theme, aka 'Somewhere my Love', aka 'Dr Zhivago', was written by Maurice Jarre back in the 1960s. I've had many requests for this tune over the years, but shied away from doing because I never really liked it. I always found it weak and soppy sounding. But, as usual, once I started picking it apart and coming up with an arrangement I realized what a wonderful piece of music it is. It's got all kinds of neat twists and turns and it's a lot of fun to play.

It's in 3/4 time and it's in Dropped-D (my favorite tuning) so lower that E string before you do anything.

I kept the arrangement as simple and clean as I could. You'll notice also that I dropped the second half of the key change section down an octave. I ran out usable fretboard in the higher octave. I don't think it makes much difference overall.

TheĀ  verse section is very straight forward chord-wise -- just I and V chords -- but the way the melody works makes it sound much more complex. There are in fact a couple of diminished sounding passing chords amongst it all, but I didn't write them in. D and A7 is basically it.

The 'chorus' section, where it goes up to G, gets a little more interesting. I particularly like the drop down to F, a chord that becomes the IV chord of the key of C. So that's the first key change there. You'll see the vii chord of C (Bm7b5), the ii chord (Dm7) and then we get back into the key of D via the A7, which of course is the V chord of D.

Next come the minor key change: Dm, Gm ... a very interesting passage with a strange, exotic sounding melody line (it took me a while to figure out what was going on in this section) all leading back to a Em7 --> A7 --> D (the old ii --> V --> I) change, leading us back into the key of D. Very clever, Maurice!

There's nothing awfully tricky about this if you're into fingerstyle. I think you'll find it a lot of fun to play. I think I'll play in right now!