Big Love Guitar Lesson

Big Love by Fleetwood Mac – Guitar Lesson (TABS)

In this lesson we're going to be learning the acoustic version of Fleetwood Mac's song 'Big Love'. Lindsey Buckingham wrote the song in 1987 and his live performances of it have been staggering people's minds ever since. 

This isn't going to be a walk in the park for a lot of you, it's really very fast and incredibly demanding on the right hand. Your thumb has to work particularly hard and you may find you're getting a lot of strain. Don't worry about this, it's normal,  just avoid working it too hard and rest for a little while if your wrist starts to hurt. 

When Buckingham plays Big Love live, he usually hangs around the 140 bpm mark. However don't feel as though you need to play it at that speed, it still sounds great at lower tempos. So bring out your metronome and gradually build up your technique.

Big Love is no. 57 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. 


Big Love Guitar Lesson

Song Details:

  • Capo - 4th fret
  • Tuning - standard
  • Key - C#m
  • Tempo - 140 bpm
  • Difficulty - advanced 

Intro/Verse:

First of all, let's look at the intro/verse riff. The entirety of this section is over an Am chord, just with a moving bass note. As you can see, straight away your thumb is getting quite a workout!


Learn more about the techniques used in this song.

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Solo:

The lick that's being played through the solo is really quite basic and somewhat cliché; however, with the moving bass notes underneath it instantly becomes 10 times harder and a lot more interesting.


Instrumental:

Nothing lets up here, still very demanding on the right hand.


Learn more about the techniques used in this song.

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Instrumental (Part 2):

This part is very difficult to get up to speed, at a slow tempo you likely won't find it hard to play but as you work the metronome up you may start to fall short of the click.


Recent Fingerstyle Song Lessons:

Neon (John Mayer), God Only Knows (The Beach Boys), Never Going back Again (Fleetwood Mac), Don't Fear The Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult, Papa George (Tommy Emmanuel, Classical Gas (Mason Williams).


If you want to make sure that you're really on the right track with fingerpicking, then try one of my fingerstyle guitar courses - find out more here.

If you have any questions or want to share anything at all, then please leave a comment below.

I hope you've found this lesson useful and thank you for reading.

  1. Adrian left a comment on 7th September 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Hello! As usual, thanks so much for this. I learnt this song in segregations and eventually got it down. Reckoned I should make a video of it to show my appreciation. It’s not my best attempt nor the best quality but it will make do.

    I’ve been playing for about a year now and I’ve followed your site since then, and I’m still not close to ticking off every song on your list, but I won’t stop until I do.

    https://youtu.be/NTlL1Z0HTI4

    Cheers!

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 10th September 2019 at 10:21 am

      Wow! you’ve only been playing a year? There is no way I would’ve been able to play that after a year, not a chance. Great job! Keep it up.

  2. Corina left a comment on 10th December 2019 at 7:43 am

    I find your patience to put together these lessons incredible. I set this song as my goal song and I’m gaining on it. It is certainly challenging, but so very satisfying as I grasp each section. It’s going to be be awhile before I have it all down, but I’m determined to get there.

    Your videos are so great and well done. Thank you for taking the time do make them. I find yours to be clear and of the easier ones to follow. Well done.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 13th December 2019 at 10:46 am

      Thanks Corina, I’m really pleased that you like my lessons.

  3. Hugo left a comment on 30th March 2020 at 5:37 pm

    I just want to tell U how much I appreciate your lessons. Thank you very much.
    Maybe is a dumb question but I can’t catch it on your videos: is it ok to rest the little and ring fingers on the boy of the guitar below the strings or should them hang on the air, grasped like a claw. I feel more confident when I rest the fingers but I have the feeling that it’s not correct and I have adquired a “vice”.

    What do U think abou it?

    Thank you so very much again!!!

  4. Hugo left a comment on 30th March 2020 at 5:45 pm

    Thank you very much for your lessons. I have a question: what shoul I do with my ring and little fingers? Is it okey if they rest on the guitar or should they be retracted? I reckon I feel more confident when I lay then on the guitar but I have the feeling itˋs not okey? What’s your advice about it?

    Best regards and I’ll keep learning with you!

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 31st March 2020 at 11:01 am

      Hi Hugo, I think that it’s probably ok. A lot of people do it and I used to myself. Over time my fingers naturally found themselves tucked in. Bear in mind that if your ring finger is on the body it’s a long way from the strings. Ideally you want it close by so it’s ready to be used at any point. I don’t think it’s quite so important with the pinky as it’s seldom used.

  5. Ltrevo left a comment on 31st March 2020 at 8:04 pm

    Great videos m8 thanks for sharing your excellent skills – can you just clarify the position of your fingers when your hitting the lower strings as sometimes I’m not sure where I should be using my index finger or middle finger (I know in Stop this Train the emphasis is on the index and thumb) would really appreciate your guidance on this one as I want to make sure I’m not making this any harder then it already is. Again many thanks

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 3rd April 2020 at 3:04 pm

      Hey thanks for your comment. I think for this one I’m using my index on the G, middle on the B and third finger on the high e at all times. The position of my hand is quite far back close to the bridge, this allows me to mute the bass notes a little for a better tone. It’s very hard to answer questions like this via just text.

  6. Ltrevo left a comment on 2nd April 2020 at 1:43 pm

    I don’t know what it is but on the second part of the second section after the high E rings out and you move onto the F chord, my base playing just gets completely scrambled..I don’t know if its because of the varied the way he picks through the chords second time round (Like you say Buckingham is one clever dude!) but something just seems off. Any tips for this action as I can do the section after this and everything else – its just this F chord section that is doing my head in! Many thanks

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 3rd April 2020 at 3:06 pm

      My advice is to slow down, play it stupidly slow for a long time until you’re really sure you’re doing it right.

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