Scroll down for full fingerstyle guitar lesson (with tab/video tutorial) of Angeles by Elliot Smith.
Angeles was written by singer-songwriter Elliot Smith in the mid '90s and appears as track 9 on his 1997 album Either/Or. Although Angeles wasn't released as a single, it's still a very well-known song of Smith's and certainly a favourite among his fingerpicking fans.
Angeles is no. 47 on my Top 60 Fingerpicking Songs of ALL TIME list. If you've not seen the list be sure to check it out and sign up to my weekly email lesson. That way you won't miss learning any of these great fingerstyle songs.
This song certainly has its challenges and isn't for beginners. Likely one of the hardest things you may struggle with is the speed of it, Angeles come in at about 120 bpm and playing sixteenth notes at this tempo is very hard.
There's also a lot of chords to wrap your head around and many different techniques to deal with. Despite all these obstacles I'm sure you can get it together with consistent and steady practice.
Angeles Song Details:
- Capo - 5th
- Key A minor
- Tempo - 120 bpm
- Difficulty - Intermediate/advanced
Intro, verse x2, bridge, verse.
The intro is likely the hardest part of the song, as this is where most of the really fast fingerpicking rolls are. Take your time and bring out the metronome to track your speed.
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The next challenge as you venture into the verse is the quick strumming you have to do. Along with this you also have to often pluck the bass notes with your thumb as you work your way through the chords.
After the second verse there's a quick four bar bridge. Thankfully this section isn't too tricky but it may still require some work.
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I hope you've found this lesson useful and thank you for reading.