About the crib sheets
THESE crib sheets will eventually contain all the words and some background for all the songs I've recorded. For songs which are fundamentally piano-based, that's it since I haven't yet written out the sheet music (everything's worked out at the keyboard and played from memory). For guitar-based songs, the sheets also include the guitar chords and some playing tips.
The guitar crib sheets assume a 'musical ear'. I learned guitar by listening to records, though I could read music and knew some theory already, so perhaps I had a head start, but I hope you can pick up these songs from these notes coupled with listening to the recordings.
Chord names are written over the lyrics in songbook fashion, either in a gap (the chord changes during a gap in the words) or immediately at the start of or within a word to indicate where the chord changes. Chord boxes for each song are in the panel to the left, with the relevant chord name written under the box and tuning at the top.
I may put out a music book at some future time but these pages are a guide to be going on with. Many songs are in non-standard tunings and/or use non-standard chord shapes, and many are played at particular capo positions.
Feel free to move the capo where feasible. The tunings and chord shapes are fundamental to the way I play the songs but you can, of course, experiment with different arrangements.
In the chord boxes:
x = string not played
o = open string
blob = finger at this fret
number at left = fret position where the chord box doesn't start at the nut (or capo). If no fret position is indicated, the chord is played at the nut or capo position. If a capo is used, the position shown is the number of frets from the capo (not from the nut).
Names of chords
Chord names are in the actual key of the song, if no capo is used. If a capo is used, they're in the key you're playing in. For example if the song is in C but the capo is at fret 3, chords are named as if playing in A.
Types of chords
m = minor
no3 = no 3rd (neither major nor minor)
m7 = minor 7th
maj7 = major 7th
sus4 = suspended 4th
(1) = 1st inversion (lowest note = 3rd)
(2) = 2nd inversion (lowest note = 5th)
6 = 6th, 9 = 9th, 11 = 11th, 13 = 13th
dim = diminished (flattened 5th)
aug = augmented (sharpened 5th)
PICKING styles and embellishments over the basic chords are difficult to annotate without sheet music or TAB (which I haven't got round to yet) but can usually be picked up by listening. I generally use either a flat pick or a 'thumb & 3 fingers' picking routine with fingernails and no thumb or fingerpicks.
I haven't tried to annotate any guitar breaks, fills, riffs, or bits of tune picked out over (or instead of) the chords. You'll have to figure these out or ignore them. Also I haven't indicated fingering - use what's comfortable. (Remember that sometimes the thumb on the 6th string is more convenient than a barré with the 1st finger - frowned on by classical players, but hey this is folk music!).
If any of this stuff is double-Dutch to you, don't worry about it - just listen and have a go.
If you'd like to discuss any aspect of a song, please get in touch via the contact page.