Scroll down for full fingerstyle guitar lesson (with tab/video tutorial) of Julia by The Beatles.
Julia was written by John Lennon and appears on The Beatles' 1968 album 'The White Album'. He wrote the song about his mother, who passed away in 1958 at the age of 44 after being hit by a car that was driven by a drunk off-duty police officer. John was just 17 at the time.
Julia is no. 40 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.
The song consists of just John's vocals and him fingerpicking acoustic guitar. After taking a guitar lesson with fellow musician Donavon, Lennon employed travis picking technique and used it throughout the entire piece.
Another interesting thing about Julia is the chords Lennon's used, it's in the key of D major but he's borrowed many from other keys. This is very typical of The Beatles and one reason why their songs are so good.
Julia Song Details:
- Tempo - 135 bpm
- Key - D major
- Capo - 2nd
- Tuning - standard
- Difficulty - intermediate
First of all, the key thing you want to get down is the right hand fingerpicking pattern. The same pattern is used throughout the entire song, with just one small exception in the bridge, so master this and then add the chords in. This will certainly make the learning process for this song considerably easier.
Want to really take your fingerpicking to the next level?
A short ten-bar bridge here; watch out for the slight change in the fingerpicking pattern on the E minor chord.
Finally we have the second verse, thankfully there's nothing in here that should catch you out, as it's more or less the same as the first.
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.
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I hope you've found this lesson useful and thank you for reading.