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Guitar Tablature: "All My Trials"

The song "All My Trials" was a social protest folk song during 1950s and 1960s. To play “All My Trials” on guitar, you need to know how to play a Travis-style accompaniment; how to play hammer-ons; and how to convincingly sing a song about toil and hardship without sounding pretentious because you’ve led a life of relative ease and privilege.

Measure 1 uses the lower string group for the G chord, because if you use the higher set, you end up with an incomplete chord. Because measure 2 has only two beats, you play only half the pattern in that measure. Measure 5 begins as if you’re using the higher string set (to smoothly resolve the high note of the previous bar), but then on beat 2, it switches to the lower string set, again to avoid an incomplete chord. Measure 9 incorporates a little bass line into the pattern on the way from G to Em. In measure 12, a pinched hammer-on adds an extra-folky flavor.

After you know the basic pattern, you can create an entire accompaniment to a song by simply stringing together a series of chords and applying the appropriate pattern for each chord. You can play the pattern for any chord by memorizing the following information:

  • Which group of four strings to play for each chord.

  • Which right-hand fingers to use on those strings.

  • By using the phrase “pinch, insides, outsides, thumb,” you can play any pattern for any chord.

    All My Trials
    All My Trials

Click here to download and print this guitar tab.

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