I often use the tablature editing/playing software Guitar Pro 5 to write out complicated riffs and solos for my students. This evening it occurred to me that I should post them on my website—who knows? Maybe someone out there is dying to learn how to fingerpick Steve Earle’s “Goodbye,” and here I am hoarding the song like some musical Scrooge.
If you don’t know what Guitar Pro 5 is, I explain it and have a short video tour here.
DISCLAIMER: Most of these files were not created for public consumption. Most were not even meant to be played back on a computer—I’d usually just print them out for my students—so the tempo, for example, is a little off on most of the songs. Also, many of these versions are simplified to bring them down to the skill level of my less-experienced students. Don’t expect note-for-note accuracy (although some of the songs are pretty darn accurate).
I hope you find something here you like!
“Like the Weather” Main Riff by 10,000 Maniacs
12-Bar Blues in A
A simple blues shuffle with a cool turnaround. Memorize this and you’ll be able to jam with anybody who knows the blues.
“Sock Hop” by All-Time Quarterback
Obscure song by Death Cab’s frontman Ben Gibbard.
“Angel from Montgomery” Fills by John Prine
These are some fills I made up that you can play in between the vocals.
“E-Pro” Main Riff by Beck
“Ben 10 Theme”
The melody to the theme song of this kid’s show. Very catchy.
“California Stars” Solo by Billy Bragg and Wilco
A collection of common turnarounds in a variety of keys.
“Fall Apart Again” Main Riff by Brandi Carlile
“Folsom Prison Blues” Solo by Johnny Cash
Country Solo Using 6ths
This was the culminating project I designed for a student who was learning how to harmonize by 6ths. I don’t play much country, so it was a fun challenge to compose this.
“Your New Twin Sized Bed” Riffs by Death Cab For Cutie
I love this song. So glad one of my students requested it.
“The Flame of Youth” Intro – Dragonforce
Connor, one of my 8-year-old students, is a Guitar Pro fanatic and loves all these frenetic Dragonforce songs. I used The Amazing Slow-Downer to figure out this fast intro.
“Goodbye” Verse by Steve Earle
This is an approximation of what Earle’s playing while he sings.
“Goodbye” Solo by Steve Earle
“Edelweiss” – Uke Version
Very simple, written for a 6-year-old.
“Gilligan’s Island Theme”
A 7-year-old wanted to learn this. She’s not ready to navigate the stormy key changes, but we had a nice 3-hour tour learning the first part.
“Hard Time Killing Floor” by Buddy Guy
The fingerstyle solo I came up with here is inspired by Guy’s version of the song.
“Feels Like Rain Intro” by John Hyatt
I’m not happy with the rhythm in this transcription–it’s a little off.
“Hey Jesus” Intro by The Indigo Girls
“Creeper” Riff by Islands
“Slow Rollin’ Low” Intro by Waylon Jennings
Very cool boogie-woogie guitar.
“Wasting Time” Solo by Jack Johnson
Good beginner’s solo, good for practicing hammer-on’s and pull-off’s.
“A Hold on Me” by Diana Jones
Very cool fingerstyle blues song.
“My Remembrance of You” Fills by Diana Jones
“My Remembrance of You” Solo by Diana Jones
I think the original recording has a fiddle solo, so I came up with this guitar solo for my student who wanted to play it live.
Great riffs for the total beginner.
“Beautiful Girls” by Sean Kingston
This is the bass line sampled from Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me”.
“Calling Dr. Love” by KISS
I have a 4-year-old student who loves KISS. I taught him this bass line.
“Killing the Blues” by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant
I came up with this fingerstyle guitar arrangement.
“Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us” by Sam Phillips, as performed by Alison Krauss
“If You Were to Wake Up” by Lyle Lovett
I love this song.
“Mary Had a Little Lamb”
A very easy arrangement for two guitars, composed for a couple 7-year-olds who wanted to play together.
“Maybe I’m Amazed” Intro by Paul McCartney
This is the intro Jem plays in her cover of this song.
“Maybe I’m Amazed” Solo by Paul McCartney
I’m very happy with this flatpicking solo I came up with. Sounds great on solo guitar.
“Brown Eyed Girl” Riffs by Van Morrison
“My Name is Carnival” by Jackson C. Frank
“I Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound” by Tom Paxton
“Bad Diary Days” Riffs by Pedro the Lion
“I Am Always The One Who Calls” Riff by Pedro the Lion
“Naked and Famous” Intro by The Presidents of the United States of America
In drop-D tuning (tune your low E string down a whole step to a D).
“Peaches” Riffs by The Presidents of the United States of America
“Steady as She Goes” Lead by The Raconteurs
Played during the last verse
“Steady as She Goes” Chorus Bass Line by the Raconteurs
“Love Me Like a Man” Riffs by Bonnie Raitt
“Rockville” Transition Riff by REM
“Disturbia” by Rianna
Very simple, written for a 7-year-old
“Rosewood Casket” Solo
I came up with this fingerpicking solo for this traditional folk song.
“Closing Time” Solo (easy version) by Semisonic
This might be in a different key, too–can’t remember.
“Only Living Boy in New York” Bridge Riff by Simon and Garfunkel
“Windfall” Intro by Son Volt
“Soul Meets Body” Riffs by Death Cab For Cutie
“Pick of Destiny (POD)” Solo by Tenacious D
“Pick of Destiny (POD)” Verse Riff by Tenacious D
“Transformers Theme Song”
Written out for an 8-year-old.
“Pancho and Lefty” Solos by Townes Van Zandt
I love this song, and I’m happy with my work transcribing the solos.
“Ventura Highway” Vocal Harmonies by America
My buddy Nick got it in his head that we’d perform this song with another friend. I wrote out the vocal harmonies in preparation for our rehearsals.
“Paper Wings” Intro by Gillian Welch
“(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” Solo by Elvis Costello
I wrote out this bluegrass-inspired solo for a student. Why not use the original? Couldn’t make it out, it’s so buried in the mix.
“Heart of Gold” Main Riff and Solo by Neil Young