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Rainy Day Waltz - A Fun One to Play.

Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange
Difficulty Rating: Intermediate

Brass guitar slides
It was pouring rain here when I first made this into a lesson, hence the title. At the time we'd been going through the worst drought on record in our part of the World, so no one was complaining.

I came up with this little waltz while watching TV, added some more to it the next day, and turned it into a lesson. It's a fun one play -- I do love a waltz -- and the familiar sounding melody gives me a warm feeling.

It's in G, as usual, and it revolves around related chords until that B7 comes in, and then there's an A7 a bit later on. Just enough 'outside-ness' to keep the ear interested, I thought.

Here are the chords in Roman numerals for those who are interested in that sort of thing; remember it's in 3/4 time, so there are just 3 beats per bar:

| vi - - | IV - - | I - - | V - - |
| vi - - | IV - - | I - - | V - - |
| vi - - | V - - | III - - | vi - - |
| IV - - | I - - | II - - | V - - |
| IV - - | I V - | I - - | I - - |

This is one of those pieces that doesn't start on the I chord, it starts on the vi. That doesn't mean it's in the key of Em, it just happens to start with Em, the 'six' chord of the key of G..

The chord names are below in the tab. As always, the chord symbols used in the tab show the basic positions I play around. The detail is in the tab.

Watch the video to see which fingers I use. It's all pretty standard stuff ... thumb plays the bass notes, other fingers take care of the melody and chord fragments. I tried to keep it as open and simple as possible, but it's still a fairly tricky one to get around, especially keeping that waltzing lilt going. The melody often anticipates the chord change on the last half beat of the bar, waiting for the bass note to confirm that change on the first beat of the next bar. It's that interplay that keeps it lilting along.

I have written D7 for all those D chords. The b7 isn't played in all of them, but any D in the key of G can be considered a 7th. That's the nature of the V chord. If you were to go looking for any extra notes over a D chord in G, or to add to a melody, you would choose the b7, not the 7. Most of the D chords have the F# as bass note, the 3 of the chord. It's there as part of the bass line.

I wrote A7 for the chord in bar 16 ... GuitarPro suggested calling it Em/C# ... The 'A' (a V chord to the D that follows) vibe is what I was after, so I'll stick to A7. That C# bass note is the 3 of an A chord, same as those D/F#s. Chords that use their 3 as bass note are called 'First Inversions'. 'Second Inversions' use the 5.

Guitar Lesson 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.