Toggle Menu

You Don't Know Me - A Ray Charles Classic.

Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange

Read the Reviews
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.

I have a new fingerstyle lesson for you, an arrangement I came up with for that great Ray Charles hit 'You Don't Know Me'. It was written in the mid 1950s by Eddy Arnold and Cindy Walker, more of a country song for Eddy, who first released it, and Elvis sang a version too, but it was the genius Ray Charles who turned it into a huge hit and imbued it with his bluesiness. There are several versions of him performing it on YouTube and I encourage you to have a listen to them. He was The Master, no doubt about it.

I did my version in the key of A. For once, G was not the best for guitar. The key of A allows for those E augmented chords to have a nice low bass note. It means, of course, that a lot of the other chords will be barre chords but it's probably time for me to stop making these lessons barre-free. As much as we all loathe them they need to be played from time to time and this will give you some practice. I needed a couple of days to regain strength in my barring muscles, so don't feel discouraged if at first it's all too painful.

Musically, it's a great example of the composers using all the variations of the chords in the key of A. All the diatonic (related) chords are there and all of the minors appear as 'majorized' versions too. So there are Bm, C#m and F#m (The ii, ii and vi chords) and there are also B7, C#7 and F#7 chords as well. They left no chord unplayed. There's also that E augmented there, which was more my idea, it just seems to fit so well. It could just as easily be a plain old E7.

There's quite a lot of travelling around the fretboard in this lesson. You may well wonder why I don't pick positions that are clustered closer to each other. I do in fact test them all out and I wind up choosing those that -- for me at least -- allow for the smoothest transitions. If I want to slide into a chord or double stop from below, for example, I will choose a position higher up the fretboard from the previous chord to facilitate that. The opposite is true, too: if I want to slide down to a note, double-stop or chord, I will look for a position lower down the fretboard. Also, some fingerings are just more difficult than others, so I'll pick the one I find most comfortable even if I do need to move a distance away. The flow of the music is what matters to me, and that means finding positions that make the flow easier to achieve.

The feel: 'feel' is a word we musicians use to describe the way a piece of music ... feels. There is no better word! In this case, I wanted a lilting feel, not really a swing, but a hint of a shuffle vibe. When I programmed it into Guitar Pro for the TAB & notation, I noticed that I mixed a bunch of 'feels' together in this. Some of it lilts, some of is straight, some of it is triplets. Feel is a very subtle and nuanced quality, one you don't really notice until it's not there, like when you listen to a midi file. No feel. I often talk about letting your fingers dance on the fretboard. That is major part of 'feel'. 

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!


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 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.