Lesson Plan


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Lesson notes

In 1968 Donovan had just finished recording his Hurdy Gurdy Man album when he was inspired by a performance in the 1931 movie The Threepenny Opera to write a song based on the character played by Lottie Lenya. Laleña went on to break into the Top 40 in the fall and a song he played live for the next few years. The song is a simple 8-measure progression with three verses and a haunting melody sung in two different ranges.

This lesson goes over the progression and a few different ways of fingerpicking the accompaniment. The fingerpicking style can be done using an alternate bass style or arpeggios. It also includes a solo based on the instrumental break done on flute and strings.