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Willie Is A Bonny Lad

Sandra Goodfellow (6568) · [archive]
Style: Acoustic/Folk · Level: Intermediate · Tempo: 140
Pages: 1 2 3 4

I thought I'd try to present this lesson in a different way to those I've already done. Instead of just publishing the finished arrangement, I want to try taking a couple of steps backwards and show it from where I begin. I don't know how well this is going to work, so I'd appreciate any feedback.

This is a traditional folk tune, and looks straightforward enough for this demonstration. To start with I just have the melody written in notation, and the key which in this case is D. As I can't publish the notation I've picked out the notes in tab (using one string where possible), the first four bars are shown below.

My first step is to look at the notes in each bar to see where I think the important beats are, and which chords fit best, bearing in mind the most likely choices in the key of D are :- D, Em, F#m, G, A7, Bm, C#dim

The first bar goes F# D F# D C# E E G
I divided the bar into two and used D for the first half and A for the second, but this is just a matter of opinion and your choice may be different from mine. I sometimes find it useful to sing the melody whilst strumming the chords, especially if I want to try out several options.
I'll put my choices for the rest of this section later in the lesson. These four bars are repeated once to finish section one. I'll cover section two on the next page.
Willie Is A Bonny Lad