Auld Lang Syne is a Scottish poem originally written by Robert Burns in 1788. The poem was then put into a folk song and has since been used for to bid farewell to the end of the year at midnight on News Years eve.
It's a truly beautiful piece of music that works wonderfully well when played as fingerstyle. The arrangement of Auld Lang Syne that we're learning here isn't too hard to play, if you're of an intermediate level you should be more or less fine with it. Having said that it does require a lot of feel to truly make it sound good, so play from your heart and not your head once you've gotten all the changes down.
I hope you enjoy, let's get on with the lesson!
- Key - D major
- Tuning - drop D - D A D G B E
- Tempo - around 90 bpm
- Difficulty - Intermediate
- Capo - 2nd fret (optional)
Auld Lang Syne (Performance)
As you learn to play this fingerstyle arrangement of Auld Lang Syne, be sure to frequently return to the performance as a good reference point and guide.
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The arrangement starts with a quick 4 bar intro based around a D major chord. I've altered the bass-line in bar one, adding in the note of G followed by F#. Then in bar two I simply arpeggiate a Dsus2 chord.
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For the verse of Auld Lang Syne the chords move pretty rapidly, so you really have to know what's coming up next. Work hard on getting the melody to be nice and clear and remember that you're trying to get it to sound as much like a vocal as possible. In other words, put your heart into it.
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The chorus of Auld Lang Syne is very similar to the verse, just with a few small changes. I've also added a tiny scale run in bar 4 just to fill the space a little, this is of course completely optional.
Let me know what you thought of the lesson in the comments section below. Tell me what you found hard/easy and add any song suggestions that you may have.