Lesson Plan

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Lesson notes

Such Great Heights is a song originally recorded by the electronic music band The Postal Service, which was covered by Samuel Beam, better known for his stage name Iron & Wine, for the Garden State Soundtrack.

The lesson breaks down the album version which features a lovely travis style fingerpicking arrangement in swing time. It’s in the key of C, using only the I, IV and V where the guitar is capoed on the 6th fret.

In the lesson we also take a look at how Samuel performs the song on stage since it’s very different from the album version. It involves subtle strumming with straight feel instead of swing, a little palm muting and a few embellishments such as hammer-ons.

He also changes the absolute key by taking the capo down or even off while singing the melody an octave up. Anyone tackling this version is encouraged to play it as random and free form as he does.