How to Play Greensleeves on Guitar (2023)

green mangoit's one of those "catchy" songs that everyone is already very familiar with or doesn't even know they're already familiar with. A traditional English folk song first documented in 1580, Greensleeves is a song that has been deeply woven into popular culture for over four centuries, with reference to Shakespeare as early as 1602.The Merry Wives of Windsor.

It is a bizarre and almost absurd thought that more than 400 years later a popular song unrelated to the ice cream business is chosen as the jingle to be played by ice cream trucks around the world.

For many the melody ofgreen mangobetter known as carolWhat kind of child is this?an 1865 poem by English theologian William Chatterton Dix, set to music bygreen mango.

First published in a book of Christmas carols by John Stainer in 1871, this version has become synonymous with the holiday season and has since been performed in the mainstream music world by a variety of artists in all genres from The Moody Blues to Andrea Bocelli. and even Avril Lavigne.

In recent years, a rumor has suggested mangoIt was composed by King Henry VIII to court Anne Boleyn. The 2007 fantasy dramaThe Tudorshe even had a scene where he composed it, and that same year Snickers mentioned him in their "Snickers Feast" ad campaign.

Unfortunately, although widely appreciated as a wives' tale, the story is dismissed in musicology for a number of reasons, chief among them the lack of concrete evidence to support the theory. The first documented knowledge ofgreen mangoThe existence is more than 30 years after the death of Henry VIII and any theory that attributes it to his pen is mere conjecture.

Leaving aside the origins, the music ofgreen mangoit has a rather melancholy, introspective vibe, helped in part by its minor key.

Bringing out that yearning quality in the music is useful when playing legato with a soft-sounding stippled tone, so it's a good idea to work through the technical accompaniment exercises with one ear to explore a deep, deep tone.

(Video) How to play Greensleeves | Easy Lesson | What Child Is This

Greensleeves full sheet

How to Play Greensleeves on Guitar (1)

How to Play Greensleeves on Guitar (2)

Full Sheet Video Greensleeves

technological approach

While rotating the wrist of the holding hand to shift can work over very short distances, it adds a lot of complexity as the knuckles and fingers change their distances relative to the arm during the shift.

Imagine that your guitar is a pool cue passing through your hand, with the position of your arm, hand, and thumb unchanged as the cue moves forward.

(Video) Greensleeves // Easy Guitar Tutorial (MELODY) + TAB

Attach a camera to this pool cue and you'll see the arm and hand move up and down effortlessly, a great way to visualize the shifting action in your hand. Try it in exercise 4.

game tips

[bars 1 and 3]The first fret F can be pinched to the side of the first finger, which is angled towards the first fret C at this point. This "joint" is essentially a temporary two-string barbell - it's a handy tool to use on those rare occasions when you run out of fingers to sustain notes! Keep a consistently designed melody by making sure the top note of all chords is played with a little more weight than the bottom notes.

The same applies to fingered chords as in[Measure 12]- When strumming the chord, be sure to lean your attack towards the highest note so that the melody note is heard above the chord.

[Measure 18]We see the use of a more sparse texture, where the dotted rhythm of the upper melody is offset by a continuous line in the lower voice. He brings out the reflective and mournful nature of this section, gently strumming and layering the notes to create a sense of independence between the two voices.

Entering three-note chords [bar 19] can be simplified by keeping the fourth finger in contact with the first string during the rounds. [bar 22] is an echo of bar 21, but an octave lower; Play this measure a little slower to give the impression that the piece is coming to an end.

practice exercises

Exercise 1. Parallel movement between high and low voices

How to Play Greensleeves on Guitar (3)

(Video) GREENSLEEVES - Easy Arrangement - Full Tutorial with TAB - Fingerstyle Guitar

This exercise is a Mixolydian G scale harmonized in tenths and will be used as a starting point for the next two exercises. The goal here should be to create a legato connection between the upper and lower voices.

To achieve this, try moving your fingers from the next chord to the previous notes instead of skipping your pesky hand fingers to the next chord each time so they land on top of you.

There are no back-to-back chords that involve a repeated finger on the fret hand, so it should be relatively easy to pull off. Once you are relaxed and can move easily between chords, you can proceed to Exercise 2.

Exercise 2. Parallel movement between overlapping compensated upper and lower voices

How to Play Greensleeves on Guitar (4)

In this exercise, we are going to offset the upper and lower voices from exercise 1 by one semitone. The goal here is to maintain the same level of legato between adjacent notes within each voicing, so that the two overlap.

To the holding hand, it should feel like a pair of feet running around the fretboard, each step arriving at the next position well in advance.

This is a real roast for your brain as you basically have to listen carefully to two different voices.

Keep things simple when practicing by focusing on just one voice and making sure it's played legato before moving on to the other voice and doing the same thing - once you've built up legato muscle memory for each voice, it should be a lot easier to layer. they vote.

(Video) Greensleeves Guitar Lesson + TAB

Exercise 3. Parallel movement with contrapuntal rhythmic texture in 12/8

How to Play Greensleeves on Guitar (5)

This exercise continues the melodic movement of Exercises 1 and 2 while exploring a common rhythmic cell within mango. As before, try to keep each voice legato, and when you're sure, experiment with articulation; for example, try playing every third beat staccato to create a livelier character.

You can take this further using rubato, which balances the sixteenth notes: play the sixteenth notes a little later in each dotted rhythm and give more weight to the beat (third octaves) of each dotted measure.

If the two layers of rhythm are too challenging at first, try playing only open strings first, and concentrate on getting the strummed rhythm out of your fingers while playing straight eighth notes with your thumb.

Exercise 4. Develop steady grip hand shape changing skills

How to Play Greensleeves on Guitar (6)

As mentioned in Technical Focus, we want to maintain a consistent arm, hand, and thumb position when moving up and down the arm, as this promotes a consistent and efficient focus shift in the holding hand. When approaching this exercise, focus on keeping one thumb behind the neck and switching to the upper arm instead of the wrist.

Also, avoid looking at the hand you're holding when shifting, and instead look at the fret you're shifting to. One last thing to note is that the fret spacing gets narrower or wider depending on which direction you're going. Therefore, it is important to open the span slightly when diving into the lower fret positions during this exercise.

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(Video) Greensleeves Acoustic Guitar Lesson [TAB] Fingerstyle Cover


1. Tutorial: Greensleeves - Fingerstyle Guitar Lesson w/ TAB | LickNRiff
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2. How To Play Greensleeves On Guitar Easy
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3. Greensleeves - Guitar Lesson Tutorial
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4. What Child Is This? - Greensleeves Guitar Lesson
5. Greensleeves - Beginner Fingerstyle Guitar Lesson
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6. Greensleeves Guitar Lesson - "What Child Is This?" Guitar lesson - How to Play - EP232
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