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Download Hallelujah tab (.pdf)

Such a wonderful melody…and such an over-covered song. I KNOW. But I just could not resist playing it. It’s just a beautiful tune. (And if you wan to hear words, go straight to Jeff Buckley’s version).

Note that I’m doing a partial capo, at the 4th fret on the E, A, D, and G strings, leaving the B and high E strings open. In the tab, the numbers correspond to the actual frets – so if it’s noted as a “4” on the E, A, D, or G strings, that’s actually played as an open string (that is, not fretted).

If you have any questions, please ask them in a comment, so other readers can benefit as well. I’ll respond as soon as I can!

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I always shoot video of my shows, mainly for my own review, and toward the end of last year I started to notice how lots of my tunes, even ones I think of as being easy to play, had parts that never sounded very good, night after night. Though I do practice guitar every day, I often devote that practice time towards working out new or rarely-played stuff for the next gig. But clearly, simply playing these familiar tunes onstage regularly was not leading to improvement.

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Hence, I’ve decided to take February off and focus on practicing. I went through my catalog of original tunes in current circulation (about 40 at this point, with another 50 or so in mothballs for the moment), and made a list of the parts that seemed most problematic.

Having made this list, I’ve resolved to go through this whole list each day, spending five minutes on each part. I’ve never done anything like this, and it’s been an interesting process so far, now on my third day. Sometimes five┬áminutes feels like a long time to spend on one part, but more often, with devoting that time exclusively to one thing, I soon find many ways to improve how I approach it.Then, I start having fun with it, and hate to have to move on to the next bit! But I know I’ll get back to it the next day.

While it feels a little funny to have a month without a show, I’m already enjoying this very inward-focused time.

I had an unusually reasonable bus departure time, and was able to sleep in and enjoy a relaxed morning before my hosts dropped me at the Greyhound station in Cleveland. Boarding the bus with a small handful of co-passengers (sometimes I wonder how all of their daily runs make money..), I was disappointed to see that this was one of the older buses, which has yet to add electrical outlets and Wifi. But I did some offline writing and stared out the window, which never ever gets old, and arrived in Pittsburgh before I knew it.

It was an overcast day that was quickly becoming nasty as I walked the ten blocks to the Backstage Bar, and when rain started to drizzle down I took shelter in an accommodating lunch joint for an honest-to-goodness salad. No matter where they go, tours tend to be heavy on the alcohol and heavy on the food, and sometimes my body cries out for something fresh and simple. I devoured the pile of greens, admired the beer list without giving in to temptation (I always wait til after the show, thank you very much), and waited in vain for the skies to clear. But the rain got worse, and finally when it was only ten minutes before showtime I knew I had to bolt for it. I arrived at Backstage Bar soaking wet, and with nobody in the place (not even a bartender).

I was glad to have a moment to myself to change shirts and ensure that my new guitar bag was truly waterproof (it was, thank goodness), but shortly the staff straggled in, followed by my co-performer, Eve Goodman. The show was originally to feature my old friends and beautiful songwriters Heather Kropf and Keith Hershberger, but they had to cancel at the last minute due to (very painful) circumstances beyond their control, and Eve was extremely gracious to step in.

This is a nice place to play and I really wanted the bar to do well this night, but the rain was making a crowd unlikely. Thankfully, by the time Eve and I had gotten acquainted and set up the PA, a few handfuls of friends showed up, so at least there were a few people besides bartenders to play for. Eve started up, and I sat down with a Shirley Temple to enjoy her excellent fingerstyle work, sprinkled with spicy jazz chords. As in Chicago, it makes me extra-excited to play when co-performers really know their way around a guitar.

We were trading short sets back and forth, and by the time I went onstage for my first tunes, the place was starting to feel lively, with a few damp regulars and some classy-looking theatre-goers filling the seats at the bar and most of the tables. Though the buzz of conversation was constant. as I made my way through the first set I was able to pick out at least a few listening faces, and every tune brought a nice wave of applause, so I felt like I was part and parcel of everyone’s good time, if not entirely the focus.

By the time Eve finished her second set, the joint was jammed. It was absolutely not the deep listening atmosphere that I’m always trying to find, but there were enough people paying attention and showing appreciation that I didn’t feel offended at being largely relegated to the background. I brought my set to a close, sat down with a beer and some new friends, and within a few minutes the place was empty again as the handful of adjacent theatres opened their doors. It’s a place that serves a certain crowd and a certain function, and it was a pleasure to be part of it all tonight.

 

 

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I managed to sleep most of the night on the train, though the night ended abruptly at 5:30 when we pulled into Cleveland. It was too early for the local buses to start running, so I killed time in the deserted waiting area (I’ve gotten really good at killing time…) until 6:15, then hopped on the bus and arrived at the house where I’d be staying just as the first streaks of light started hitting the sky.

My friends had both left for work already, so I let myself into their quiet house and dumped my stuff on the floor with vast relief. There is nothing as luxurious on tour as a stay in a comfy house, especially after a few days of long rides and weird sleep. I pasted myself onto their guest room bed and napped most of the morning, snoozing the alarm again and again.

I finally roused myself, ran a load of laundry (I usually pack only three or four days’ worth of clothing, and wash often), ate a buffet lunch of extremely tasty selections from their well-stocked fridge, and caught up on computer stuff before another nap. Loooovely.

My friends and their kids got home in the late afternoon, and I played a bit of guitar for the offspring before it was soon time to head out for my happy-hour set at the Barking Spider. I’d played here twice before, and have always had fun. It’s a unique place, an ancient carriage house which was apparently a locus for hippies in the 60’s, and still has a very earthy, old-school vibe (their website may clue you in), while being located in a prime spot in University Circle near the Museum of Modern Art. I greeted the very pleasant bartender and booker, and she got me set up and ready to go.

The Spider is OK with having kids present for the early music sets, another clue to their uber-welcoming attitude. My hosts brought their two little ones, and other friends showed up with theirs, which made for a pretty lively atmosphere as I started my set. It’s a nice-sounding place, and has started to feel very comfortable to me, and I was having fun right away. The kids responded much more to the upbeat stuff, so I stuck with my more rocking tunes and had a fine old time. A few more people showed up just as I was finishing, and one of them came up afterward, saying all they’d heard was my last song, but they wanted to get a CD based on what they’d seen. Nice to hear.

I’m not sure if it’s a secret that Cleveland is a foodie town, but I’ve never had a bad meal here and have had several amazing ones. They tend towards the fresh and seasonal, and while high-minded it’s rarely fussy. I said my goodbyes at the Spider, then we dropped the kids with a sitter and headed to the Greenhouse Tavern, a meaty place (pig’s head, or actually pig’s *face*, is a standby on the menu), but I had a good selection of non-flesh options. After a substantial gin cocktail, I dug into a shaved pickled kobocha squash salad and roasted matsutake mushrooms in a rich sauce with a ribbon of pasta. Top-notch.

We returned back home and, as is typical, ended up with big glasses of wine on their front porch, catching up until midnight. A great day, this.