Fire and Rain was written by James Taylor in 1970 and is one of Taylor's best-known and most successful songs. The song appears on his album Sweet Baby James and was written after his childhood friend Suzanne Schnerr committed suicide. The song is also about his struggles with addiction and coping with fame.
Fire and Rain uses fingerpicking more or less throughout, only occasionally strumming during the chorus. Taylor has a rather unorthodox style of playing the guitar and tends to grip chords unconventionally. It's entirely up to you whether you want to hold down the chords like he does or just play them as you normally would. It's well worth watching him play the song live before learning it yourself.
Alright, let's pick up our guitars and learn how to play Fire and Rain!
- Capo - 3rd fret
- Key - C major with capo (A without)
- Tempo - 76
- Difficulty - intermediate
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Fire and Rain Guitar Lesson
Fire and Rain is made up of just 3 parts - an intro, verse and a chorus. The good thing is that once you've learnt the intro the verse is virtually the same, just a slightly simplified version of it. Really take your time and, as always, focus on your accuracy over your speed when first starting out.
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How to Play The Chorus
The only other section of Fire and Rain is the chorus and this section is relatively straightforward. I'd certainly say that it's easier to play than the verse.
Want to learn more fingerpicking songs?
Want to learn more fingerstyle arrangements of famous songs?: Can't Help Falling In Love (Elvis Presley), Take Me Home, Country Roads (John Denver), Don't Look Back In Anger (Oasis), Ticket to Ride (The Beatles), Have You Ever Seen The Rain (Creedence Clearwater Revival).
Alternatively you can browse the whole song catalogue: Song Lesson Library
Let me know what you thought of the lesson in the comments section below. Say what you found hard/easy, what level you're at and what your fingerpicking goals are.