It will sound good on either acoustic or classical guitar. You could also try playing it on an electric guitar with a clean sound. However, there are several sharpened notes marked with a that you should watch out for if you are reading the music notation as opposed to the tab. The sharp signs raise the pitch of the note by a semitone. You can repeat the whole piece 2 or 3 times. If you are playing the chord part, you could play an A major chord instead of an A minor chord at the end of the final repetition.
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The first is a simple classical style arrangement consisting of melody and bass with some additional harmony notes. The second is a more elaborate folk fingerstyle version that should be played with an improvised feel.
Both versions can be downloaded as a PDF file for easier offline use. Most of the notes are reachable simply by holding the nut position chord shapes marked above the notation staff. The advantage of being able to hold familiar chord shapes while playing the song is that you can improvise, too, to give it more of a folk fingerstyle feel.
You can improvise by filling in with eighth notes between the melody notes using chord tones of the current chord. You can also bring in non-chord tones as passing notes. You can do that quite effectively if you use rest stroke.
The bass notes are shown in the notation with downward pointing stems. All are played with your picking-hand thumb. Use your discretion. Key and Mode To all intents and purposes, Greensleeves is in a minor key. The original Dorian mode D Dorian is very similar to the key of D minor except that the 6th note of the Dorian mode is B, not Bb, which is the 6th note of D minor.
This arrangement is a transposition to A Dorian. The use of E moving to A minor in the harmony is stronger than E minor progressing to Am, so composers began adopting it until it became standard practice.
The use of F major as a chord in A Dorian is another example of minorisation. The main difference is in the extra fill in notes, grace notes and tied notes.
The tied notes cause a slight lilting effect that gives the melody more of a vocal quality. Download both versions of Greensleeves as a PDF file for offline viewing and printing.
Greensleeves by Francis Cutting (Free PDF or TAB)
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