What it is about

A crusty old tune acquires a shiny new veneer.

How it was written

Originally written for simple fingerstyle guitar in the key of C, the updated version modifies the basic chord shapes and varies the picking style throughout.

f and ff

Verdigris F chords (0:16)
Verdigris F chords
Verdigris F chords

Verdigris gets round the difficulty of fretting an F chord by using the easier fingerings shown in the score.

The only really tricky chord is the Fadd2. To finger it, wrap the thumb around the neck to fret the sixth string. Fingering the F chords takes advantage of the fact that the note A is part of the F triad, FAC, and can be played on the open fifth string.

The key of C is a favourite for music writers as it is the easiest key to write for. On a piano it is the easiest to play too. But not on a guitar. The C chord is fine, the G chord, though a stretch, rings out with its three open strings, but the F chord is a nightmare. Fretting an F chord requires a really strong fretting hand and even seasoned guitarists find it tough.

Fingers and thumbs

Verdigris fingerstyles (0:08)
Verdigris fingerstyles
Verdigris fingerstyles

Another technique, in addition to changing the fingering of the fretting hand, is to vary the style of the playing hand.

The thumb in fingerstyle guitar often keeps the rhythm by playing an alternating bass on two notes. It often starts on the lowest pitched note. An easy variant is to start on the highest pitched note instead. Sounds easy, but it can be tricky to play if you have not done this before.

There are lots of other techniques used in the music: playing a melody with the fingers, chromatic runs with the thumb, and using both thumb and fingers to play parallel melodies and contrasting arpeggios.

Tech spec

Title: Verdigris

Key: C

Tempo: 120bpm

Length: 3' 00"

Track 1: clean guitar (fingers)

Track 2: clean guitar (thumb)

Genre: Pop, Rock