Guitar Tablature: “Simple Gifts”
“Simple Gifts” is a traditional Shaker dance song that is well known and very recognizable, in part because its melody has been used in a number of other musical pieces, most notably Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring.” Learning to play “Simple Gifts” will give you an opportunity to show off your ability to play in position.
This song is in the key of A, making fourth position ideal, because you find all the notes between the fourth and seventh frets. Because you play no open strings in this song, memorize the fingering and then try playing the same melody in other positions and keys. The fingering is the same in every position, even though the tab numbers change. Go on — try it.
To play this song, you need to know how to play in fourth position and what ’tis and ’twill mean. Remember to:
Keep your fingers over the appropriate frets the entire time you’re playing.
Keep all your fingers curled and down close to the fretboard, ready to play.
Relax and take things easy, but remain aware of your movements.