Acoustic Guitar Fingerstyle Arrangement Part 1

Acoustic Guitar Fingerstyle Arrangement – Gypsy Rover TAB and Notation

What a lot of beginner guitarists don’t realise is many of the better guitar players have done is work on arrangements of tunes to help develop their playing and ear.  It’s not just about learning a few solos, playing a few blues or pentatonic scales or wearing the right outfit.  Being able to sit down and play a couple of dozen solo  guitar pieces is a great way to practice and get a musical response from your practice. There’s always a lot of room for variation and improvisation once you get the basic idea of a song .  And if you’re travelling around the world it’s really nice to sit in a boat in a lake a few hundred miles from Kathmandu, look up at the Himalayas and bliss out playing guitar (something I have done).

I’ve decided to write a half a dozen reasonably simple fingerstyle guitar arrangements, this is the first one.  These sort of of arrangements are also very useful for singer / songwriter acoustic guitar players who are wanting to strengthen their playing, they will help create a lot more options to accompany vocal parts and once you can play this sort of guitar it will help you to play a solo gig and play guitar breaks which consist of more that a single note solo.

What I’ve done is taken the old Irish Tune Gypsy Rover and written a basic part and a slight variation.  You might find that the melody is a fraction different to the original tune, I’ve called it up from memory and that’s roughly what I’ve heard in my head ( poet license).

Gypsy Rover Acoustic Guitar

Gypsy Rover Acoustic Guitar

Here is the Printable PDF, which no doubt you will need it Gypsy Rover Acoustic Guitar Arrangement

Here is a midi file of the tune to give you an idea how the tune goes Gypsy Rover Midi

NOTE: Midi files are not real audio recordings, they are data files, so it will lack the tone of a guitar and the human element so essential to music.  But the file size is tiny.

Take the idea and develop it.  I often work on other peoples arrangements, then I close the manuscript once I have an idea where the tune is going and I have an understanding of the underlying chord pattern and melody and other main parts.  By playing other people’s arrangements will give you new fingerings and options which you might not ever have come up with.

Next week I will write another Fingerstyle Acoustic Guitar Solo Arrangement

The botom line KEEP IT MUSICAL

Tony Hogan Acoustic Guitar Blogger



Filed under Acoustic Guitar, learning guitar, Performance Tips

26 responses to “Acoustic Guitar Fingerstyle Arrangement Part 1

  1. li

    Hey there
    Great post , good info
    is it ok to put a link to it in
    My blog
    if thats ok with you?

  2. Good lesson …as usual Tony

  3. Jerry, Las Vegas

    Very nice piece of music on an old popular tune. This piece perfectly demonstrates a nice accompanyment without full chords to get a rich and lively melody. I’m going to show this to my class. They are learning to play intervals and arpeggios in the finger style. This is a good example of why not to be so eager to jump into full chords too soon.

  4. Jimmy

    Hi Tony, I heard the midi and i know it dosn’t sound to good but, since i’m learning and i would be able to follow up and at the same time learn how to play it. Thanks so much.

  5. Tony,
    Thanks again for this. It is the first time in a while I have felt inspired to pick up a steel string as opposed to nylon. Even with my limited ability it sounds nice. Join spotify, if you have’t already. It’s free – then check out Bill Staine’s singalong version…rather nice! I like his Little Brown Dog too. How about a DADGAD one next?

    • Thanks Alan for the feedback and the tip about Bill Staine. I’ll stick in normal for the next 5 tunes. However, I did do a Gypsy DADGAD in the past.

      I’ll find the link and post later


  6. Pingback: Acoustic Fingerstyle Arrangement Part 2 « Acoustic Guitarist Blog

  7. This is all so great! Thank you for putting this music up.

  8. Nancy Hauser

    This is great! It has always been a favorite of mine. Thank you very much!

  9. Pingback: Acoustic Fingerstyle Arrangement Part 3 – Marees Wedding « Acoustic Guitarist Blog

  10. Pingback: Acoustic Guitar Fingerstyle Arrangement – Bouree De Visee « Acoustic Guitarist Blog

  11. Gail Gray

    I’m trying to find a finger style arrangement for Bette Midler’s The Rose. I’d be most grateful if you could advise me how to proceed. I’m presently studying the RGTs Acoustic Guitar Playing Grade 2 book and would love to learn a finger arrangment of the Rose when I finish this book. Any assistance you can give would be most welcome.I’ve tried on your site but it bewilders me:)

  12. Phil Gilbert

    Hi Tony

    Thanx for your excellent site! I really enjoy playing your fingerstyle arrangements.
    Where can I get hold of more for steel sring and classical?
    Ive been playing electric lead guitar for thirty years and now I’m teaching Ive been getting more into fingerstyle.

    • Phil. Nice to hear from you. I’m not sure what’s floating around the web, but the best stuff I know of is the Duck Baker and Stefan Grossman material on Homespun, I often reckon it’sd better to just grab a few decent books and work through them, and gradually turn the tunes into your own. If I find a good resource I’ll mail you


  13. Phil Gilbert

    Cheers Tony, can you recommend any good fingerstyle books?

    • Phil, I really like a lot of the the stuff on the Stefan Grossman publications, there is a wealth of good material. Particularly the work of Duck Baker. It’s probably in the local music shop, not sure where you are or you can get it online via Sheet Music Plus, there’s a search box on the right hand side bar. Good luck, with it all, it really depends on style, but in the end kwe turn everything into our own as you’d probably realise


  14. This is the reason I love Amazing post.

  15. That’s so true Tony!
    Fingerstyle gives you the chance to play on your own in any situation.

    Playing fingerstyle has also helped me to play duets with singers.
    I liked your idea of playing less. It leaves your audience filling the gaps.


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