New Chord Chart: “Live and Die” by The Avett Brothers

You know what makes this guitar teacher happy? Travis-picking while watching squirrels run in the yard, great vocal harmonies, and whenever my students request an Avett Brothers tune. This song features all three (note: squirrels not included). The happiness is almost too much to bear. Here's the chart. If you haven't heard of The Avett Brothers, and you like alt-country, ...

New Chart: “Hazy Shade of Winter” by Simon and Garfunkel

I love songs with layers of difficulty. Beginners will appreciate the basic chords (F is tough, but Fmaj7 is always a decent substitute), and the song sounds great using the venerable Folk Strum Pattern I recommend. The vocals, however, are challenging, and there's a badass Day-Tripper-esque riff that will hold the interest of more advanced players. Here it is. Hope ...

New Chart: “I Will” by The Beatles

Here's my chart of "I Will." Enjoy! If you ever get frustrated with your progress on the guitar, you might be encouraged to hear that it took Paul McCartney 67 takes to record this lovely little song. Granted, the song's under two minutes long, but that's still two hours of singing and playing, not counting time spent retuning, drinking water, ...

New Chart: “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers

Here's a simple, sweet, soulful song to brighten your day: "Ho Hey" by The Lumineers. If it doesn't put a spring in your step, surely this will: An all-clucking version by Jimmy Fallon and his Chickeneers. And if THAT didn't work, you must be upset that this simple, sweet, soulful song turns out to be not-so-simple to play. Here are ...

New Chart: “A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash

Cash’s version of this Shel Silverstein poem, performed without rehearsal at California’s San Quentin State Prison and released on the At San Quentin album, was Cash’s biggest hit on the Billboard Hot 100. I love listening to his backing band negotiate his erratic delivery (he claims to have only read the poem twice before hitting the stage), trying their best …

New Chart: “Laura” by Bat for Lashes

This chart for “Laura” will be fun for budding fingerstylists who already have some basic strumming skill. Below the chart is a simple fingerstyle arrangement of the chord progression played by the piano during the intro and verses. Assign your thumb to the 5th and 6th strings, and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd fingers of your picking hand to the 4th, …

New Chart: “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye

What a fantastic arrangement. The quiet fingerstyle acoustic guitar groove, the delicate xylophone/marimba part, the tremulous electric guitar melody, and Gotye’s whispered verses and sing-to-the-sky chorus. Great song to listen to with headphones and eyes closed. Here’s the chart. Note that this is an easier, strummed arrangement of the song. There’s tablature below the chord chart to show you how …

New Chart: “Poor Little Fool” by Ricky Nelson

Today's chart is "Poor Little Fool," a 50's pop/rock number performed by Ricky Nelson, but written by a 15-year-old Sharon Sheeley, who pretended her car broke down in front of Nelson's house in order to get him to listen to the tune. That's courage. Or pride. Or innocence. Any way you call it, it's awesome. Here's the chart. Notice that ...

New Chart: “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond

Next up: A chord chart of Neil Diamond's classic singalong song, "Sweet Caroline." Click here to go to the chart. When I was writing this chart for my beginning guitar student, I struggled and failed to find an easy way to approximate the intro melody on guitar. Advanced guitarists could probably make up a simple chord-melody arrangement, playing the melody ...

New Chart: Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men

The first chart of my 30 Charts in 30 Days series is “Little Talks,” a song chosen by Mark DiFlorio’s drum student Tess for the Spring 2013 Coffee Shop Jam. Here’s the chart. So fun singing this duet with a talented young singer and drummer (and great to have Brady Millard-Kish’s son Luca on keys). You’ll notice I embedded the …