Guitar Tablature: "Greensleeves" - dummies

Guitar Tablature: “Greensleeves”

By Mark Phillips, Jon Chappell

“Greensleeves” is an old English folksong that has a classic melody that is used in several songs. Learning how to play “Greensleeves” on guitar will give you a chance to practice and demonstrate a wide range of guitar techniques: extended chords, altered chords, inside and outside chords, chord substitutions, altered tones, and melodies formed from arpeggiated chord tones.

To play this song, you need to know how to play jazz chord forms, how to combine single-note melody with chords, and how to look cool while playing a 16th-century folksong (this is perhaps the hardest technique to master). You’ll need to work on smoothly blending the single melody notes with the chord-supported melody notes.

When playing the chords, be sure to bring out the top note by plucking it slightly harder or rolling the chord (arpeggiating it) slightly so the melody voice stands out.


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