Guitar Tablature: "Pavane" by Gabriel Fauré - dummies

Guitar Tablature: “Pavane” by Gabriel Fauré

By Mark Phillips, Jon Chappell

Learning to play Fauré’s “Pavane” on guitar gives you a chance to practice your arpeggio patterns. In fact, the song uses 14 of them, including various forms of the three types of seventh chords — dominant seventh, minor seventh, and major seventh.

Gabriel Fauré was a French composer who wrote beautiful pieces using a rich palette of harmonic material, much of it based on seventh chords. In “Pavane,” which is quite a haunting piece, he uses major seventh, minor seventh, and dominant seventh chords with great frequency. (A pavane, by the way, is a slow and stately processional dance.)

In this piece, you can find many opportunities to play legato by employing barres with your 1st and 3rd fingers. You can also play legato by holding down your fretting fingers for as long as you can — or at least until the held finger must move to fret another string. For example, you can play all the arpeggios in bars 2 through 5 using held-down chords.

The reason you use chords is that they make arpeggios sound more legato. They require little or no left-hand movement. Form a chord just before the first note in each half of the measure and hold it there for two beats. Then you simply play the notes of the arpeggio with your right hand while keeping your left hand stationary, allowing the strings to ring.

Not all of the arpeggios can be played using barres and held fingers. Some you must play by fingering each note in a separate motion. So you must master both skills — employing barres and held-down fingers, and fingering each note separately — to play the arpeggios in this song to their best effect.


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