Sunday 19 September 2010

Happy Birthday!

A few weeks ago I did the same winery gig that I did last year, and something happened that I had planned for many years ago, but hadn't kept up with - it was someone's brithday and I got a request to play "Happy Birthday". I couldn't even remember the chords!

Basically if you ever play to an audience you need to keep "happy birthday" in your bag of tricks, because it will come up. Fear not, I dusted off some old notes, did a cross check with other tabs on the net (many had parts that I liked but none were enough by themselves...besides, nobody should ever play a tab exactly as someone else has written it! :))
                                 HAPPY BIRTHDAY

 3/4        C          G                     C

             F(b5) F     C     G     C                   ~~~~~

Here, have a listen to me play it. It's short, mostly in chords, and easily remembered. Only two parts may cause you some frustration: in the first two bars I'm holding a C shape but I bend my second finger backwards to fret the A second fret third string. I do this sort of mini-barre quite often so it comes reasonably natural to me.

The F(b5) chord may throw you -  do it as and F barre chord but don't lay your first finger for the full bar, just fret the low 6, leave the top strings un-barred. Then clamp down the barre for the full F in the same measure.

The rest should be easy for a fingerstyler...don't worry about running up the fret board for the last G and C chord if you don't want to; as with all tabs, make them your own!

...oh and make sure you throw in the heavy vibrato on the end note of "And many more..." I love a bit of comedy in guitar playing, it's not easy to put comedy into guitar playing, so anywhere you can do it you should! :)