Auld Lang Syne Chord Solo
I recorded and posted this Auld Lang Syne chord solo to Youtube a year ago. There were lots of requests for a transcription and I meant to post one, but with launching the new website and everything else that was going on, this little project fell through the cracks. But I didn’t forget, and have now transcribed and posted the “Auld Lang Syne” chord solo to Soundslice for you to learn and enjoy. It’s meant to be played in a free, rubato style and is pretty easy, taking advantage of open strings to get some nice ringing sounding chords.
About the Song
The song Auld Lang Syne is attributed to the Scottish poet Robert Burns and encourage us to remember old friendships. It’s traditionally been used to say goodbye to the old year year, but also at funerals and as a farewell at other occasions. The song has an interesting history and it’s actually likely that the melody we know is the not the one that Robert Burns originally intended. You can read about it here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/what-to-listen-to/auld-lang-syne-new-years-eve-song-facts/
About this Arrangement
As with most of my arrangements, I did this one at the guitar and didn’t write it down until much later. I put a priority on melody and phrasing and use many standard jazz harmonic devices and substitutions. The original changes are most likely much simpler. For instance, I’m pretty sure that the original first 4 measures are just “C, G7, C, F” whereas I’ve introduced more chordal movement by turning the “C, G7” change into a “I VIm IIm V7” (C6, Am7, Dm7, G9) and the original “C to F” chord change in measures 3-4 gets turned into “C6, C7, Fmaj9, F#o7.” In measure 5, I use a “IIIm7 VIm7” substitution “Em7, Am7” instead of the “I” chord “C” and in measure 6, the original “G” chord is replace with “Bm7, Bb7b5” (a II’m V7 leading the the Am chord). Notice that both measures 4 and 12 I’ve used “IV, #IVo7” (Fmaj, F#o7) which is common way to return to a “I” chord. The arpeggios in measure 12 do involve some stretching but don’t get scared, the notes are not intended to be held down throughout (the diagrams are only to help visualize the chords). I extend the ending by using the bIImaj9 chord “Dbmaj9” which satisfies the melody, but prolongs the harmony, then resolving to the “I” chord, and you’ll also note that those last few chords must be either played fingerstyle or pick & fingers (which is what I’m doing on the recording).
About this Recording
For me this impromptu and heartfelt rendition is bitter-sweet. I recorded it last New Years Eve after a conversation with my dear friend Marilyn Holderfield. Marilyn was a world-class jazz singer in the Cleveland area. As well as being a great singer, she was a wonderful person and was responsible for some of my first jobs as a professional musician. She was in the final stages of terminal cancer and we had a long conversation about old times and the friends, musicians and places we knew. I tried to cheer her up and we even played a song together over the speaker phone. After I hung up, I turned on my iPhone and recorded this. I miss her terribly and this song brings back fond memories of our friendship.
I hope you’ll enjoy learning this chord solo and wish you a happy, prosperous and musical 2016!
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