Lesson Plan

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Lesson notes

These Arms Of Mine is a song written by American singer-songwriter Otis Redding. It was released in 1962 and became his first successful single. In later and recent years, it was also included on several soundtracks, such as The Boat That Rocked, Perfect Stranger, Road House and most prominently in Dirty Dancing.

The song features only three chords (the I, IV and V) in the key of A, where the guitar is capoed on the first fret. It’s in 6/8 and one could easily flatpick or fingerpick and even strum through it.

This lesson teaches the arrangement in both standard as well as Dropped D-Tuning, where the bottom string is tuned down a whole step to D. The latter works much better in order to dress it up a bit by including a few ascending and descending basslines.

The chorus starts with a very distinctive ascending riff, which is in my opinion a must to incorporate. So even though there are only three chords in the song, it does move from an A5 to Aaug to A6 to A7.