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John Riley: Prep & Practice


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Acoustic Fingerpicking Step-by-Step, Level 2

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Here is an example of a fingerpicking pattern, plus ornaments, being used to create an arrangement for a song.

In this version of the traditional song, "John Riley", you'll hear me use the 4-Step Pattern Variation #1, as well as an A minor suspended 2, and the G suspended 4 figure. All of these figures appear in the tablature below, as well as in previous lessons in Acoustic Fingerpicking Step-by-Step, level 2.

Think of these song projects as examples of how you might use fingerpicking patterns and ornaments to create an arrangement for any song you choose.

Here’s a version of the lyrics for John Riley:


Intro: Amsus2 Figure

---------------Am-------D---------Amsus2 fig.
Fair young maid all in her garden

------------------Am-----------D-----Amsus2 fig.
Strange young man, a passerby

---------------C--------------------------G sus4 fig.
Says: fair maid, will you marry me?

-------------Em-----------Amsus2 fig.
This then, sir, was her reply

Oh no, kind sir, I cannot marry thee
For I've a love who sails all on the sea
And he's been gone these seven years
Still no man shall marry me

What if he's in some battle slain
Or drowned in the deep salt sea?
What if he's found another love
He and his love both married be?

If he's found some other love
He and his new love both married be
I wish them health and happiness
Where they dwell across the sea

He picked her up all in his arms
And kisses gave her one, two and three
Said weep no more, my own true love
I am your long lost John Riley

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