You Are So Beautiful - in the key of G.
Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange
Difficulty Rating: Intermediate
I have returned from a nice break on the west coast of Canada and I'm back into the swing with a new lesson: You Are So Beautiful. Joe Cocker made it a big hit, but it was written by the late Billy Preston, who wrote it as a song of praise, apparently.
I chose the key of G again, for the same reasons as always -- nice open chord shapes, no barres, lots of open strings ringing away -- and it's a fairly easy piece to play.
It's an interesting tune because the melody line is extremely simple. The hook "you are so beautiful" is just one note repeated, but it's the chord structure underneath that gives it shape. The progression moves from G to Gmaj7 to G7, so there's a line descending in semitones (1, 7, b7) that leads to the 3 of a IV chord, which is played as another major 7th. It's a fairly common progression, but that one-note melody line sitting above the changes makes it special.
The Cmaj7 then becomes a Cm but a Cm with a F bass ... very cool chord. You could also add an A note to the mix and call it an F7. I like the Cm/F myself.
The next section moves up to the IV chord, then a 'majorized' iii -- the B7, a dominant chord -- which acts as a V chord to the Em7 that follows. The next chord, the Em/C#, also works with an A bass note, in which case it becomes an Em/A or you could see it as an A9 without a third. Very nice section. Then it goes back to the 'hook' and finishes.
Note that no where is there a V chord! One would certainly expect to see a D7 in there somewhere, but no.
The only parts you might find a little challenging are those where I use my thumb to grab the bass notes on the 6th string. You can come up with other fingerings if you do, but it seems to work better with the thumb for me.
Have fun with this one, the full song is just this repeated a couple of times. Play around with it, experiment.
For this lesson, I will be charging a small fee of US $3.95 for the Printable PDF of the TAB/Notation. Click here to order it.
Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange
As 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.