Over The Rainbow Fingerstyle Guitar Lesson

How to Play Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Fingerstyle Guitar Lesson)

This is the full fingerstyle guitar lesson for Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow was written by Yip Harburg and Harold Arlen in 1939 for the classic film 'The Wizard of Oz'. The song is a beautiful ballad and was sung by the starring actress of the film, Judy Garland. It quickly became Garland's signature song and an instant classic across the world, and it went on to win the 'Academy Award for Best Original Song'. I think you'll agree, it is quite something.

Alright, let's start learning how to play Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Song Details:

  • Key - G major 
  • Tempo - 87 bpm
  • Difficulty - Intermediate
  • Time signature - 4/4

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Somewhere Over the Rainbow Guitar Lesson

The key thing to focus on when doing any fingerstyle arrangement is the melody. The melody is by far the most important part, and it needs to be played as if it were being sung. Really take it slow and focus on your accuracy over your speed.

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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. 

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  1. Roberto Leyva left a comment on 21st June 2018 at 7:58 pm

    I do not speak English, but I am interested in scores of the video that you uploaded from the 10 songs of The Beatles, I await your response, thanks and regards.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 21st June 2018 at 8:16 pm

      Hi, eventually I may get time to do that but all my focus is currently on creating content for this site. There are many scores of all Beatles songs online though.

  2. Chris Werner left a comment on 15th March 2020 at 8:24 pm

    I’ve a question about merging the “Eva Cassidy Version (Accompaniment only)” and the version presented here. Since I’m not a musician, it might be a little awkward. It’s all about bar lengths and time values.

    I am currently comparing the TAB here with the TAB for the “Eva Cassidy Version (Accompaniment only)”. I suppose we can ignore the capo and read the chords just as they are written down to be in the same key. The Cassidy version starts with 4 bars intro, then the chorus follows. The version here starts with the chorus. Then bar 1 here would be identical with bar 5 in the Cassidy version. Is that correct so far?

    The chords of the first two bars here are:
    | G Em | Bm G |
    (Two chords per bar).

    In the Cassidy version, the bar division of the chorus is different:
    | G | Em | Bm | G |
    (one chord per bar, but same chord progression as above, I ignore chord versions like 7 and add9 for simplicity).

    If I now want to play the intro from the Cassidy version before the chorus of the version here, do I have to adjust the bar lengths and note values so that the bar division is also here:
    | G | Em | Bm | G |
    ?

    So in the simplest implementation I could simply convert the eighth notes into quarter notes here without changing anything else.
    Would the two versions fit together then technically?

    I apologize for the circumstantial description and hope that my question is understandable.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 19th March 2020 at 1:33 pm

      Hi Chris, yes I think just adjust the bar lengths to fit the same as Cassidy’s version. Likewise with the eighth and quarter notes. Good Luck!

  3. Chris Werner left a comment on 19th March 2020 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks a lot! I already started that way and it seems to work out. Thanks!

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 19th March 2020 at 3:26 pm

      That sounding great Chris, very good job!

  4. Chris Werner left a comment on 19th March 2020 at 2:14 pm

    At the moment it looks like this (not finihesd yet, it’s just the intro from Cassidy and the first 6 bars of the chorus):

    E |—————————-|—————————-|
    B |–0—–3—–0—–3——-|–0—–3—–0—–3——-|
    G |–2—–0—–2—–0——-|–2—–0—–2—–0——-|
    D |—–0—–0—–0—–0—-|—–0—–0—–0———-|
    A |—————————-|—————————-|
    E |–3————————-|–3——————–0—-|

    —————————-|–3———–3————-|
    –1—–3—–1—–3——-|——–5——————-|
    –0—–0—–0—–0——-|—–5—–5—–5———-|
    —–2—–2—–2—–0—-|–0————————-|
    –0————————-|——————–0——-|
    —————————-|—————————-|

    ————–3————-|–2——–0–2—–3——-|
    ——–0———–0——-|——–3—–3—–0——-|
    –0————–0—–0—-|—–4——–4————-|
    —–0———————-|—————————-|
    —————————-|–2———–2————-|
    –3——–2–0————-|——————–3——-|

    —————————-|—————————-|
    ————–5————-|–3—————–0——-|
    –0—–0—–3————-|——–0——–0—–0—-|
    —–2—–2–5————-|—–0—–0–3————-|
    –3———–4————-|—————————-|
    —————————-|–3————————-|

    —————————-|—————————-||
    ————–3—–1——-|–0———–0—–1——-||
    –0—–0——————-|——–0–2—————-||
    —–2—–2–1————-|—–0———–1———-||
    –3———–3————-|————–2————-||
    —————————-|–3——–2—————-||

  5. Terri left a comment on 1st December 2020 at 2:08 pm

    I’m not finding the tabs for this. Do you have the link?

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 3rd December 2020 at 3:07 pm

      It was removed due to copyright laws, it’ll be back soon.

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