The Carpenters 5-Pack

The Carpenters 5-Pack

What's included

  • All tab
  • Chords
  • Chart
  • Guitar pro files


Full Lifetime Access to this package

The Carpenters were one of the bands whose music partly defined the sounds of the 1970s. Karen's angellic voice and Richard's masterful arranging combined to create some of the biggest hits of the decade.

This set of songs includes Neil's personal favorites, some of which he has also done solo arrangements of. These versions are how he accompanies his favorite singer, Corina, and will bring a lot of joy to all who work on playing them.

There is also a bonus lesson from our volal master Jim Bruno working with his friend Renee demonstrating Rainy Days And Mondays.


  • Lesson 1: For All We Know by The Carpenters - Guitar Lesson

    In 1971 The Carpenters released their third album, which included Rainy Days And Mondays, Superstar, and For All We Know, three of their biggest hits. The song was written by Fred Karlin, Robb Royer, and Jimmy Griffin, the latter two being part of Bread with David Gates.

    Richard Carpenter heard the song in the movie Lovers And Other Strangers and thought it would be perfect for Karen to sing. I have been playing this occasionally with Corina and figured it was time to do a lesson on it.

    The accompaniment is pretty straightforward, especially if you pay attention to the bass movement between chords. The introduction can be quite difficult at speed but I go over a couple ways to approach that.

  • Lesson 2: We've Only Just Begun

    We've Only Just Begun was written by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams, starting as a jingle for a California bank, which did not attract desirable customers, but was heard by Richard Carpenter, who brought new life to it when looking for songs for The Carpenters. A longer story is told in the Preview, but it was the second #1 hit for them (and the first for the songwriting team), and is certainly identified as a signature song for the duo fronted by Karen's voice.

    This lesson goes through the jazzy chord progression (with its unusual key changes), double time strumming, and a couple thoughts on incorporating the piano intro. It even includes an unplanned or rehearsed run through at the end.

  • Lesson 3: This Masquerade

    This Masquerade is a Leon Russell tune that became a hit for The Carpenters in 1973. Karen's silky voice brought a beautiful timbre to Leon's smoky composition. Richard Carpenter's arrangement included some harmonic tangents and included a nice piano solo as well as a short flute solo.
    This lesson is based on that and is how Neil would play it when accompanying a vocalist. There are quite a few jazzy chords, and the right hand technique is a percussive style, really a combination of fingerpicking and light strumming.

  • Lesson 4: Superstar (Groupie)

    Superstar has an interesting history. Written in 1969 by Leon Russell and Bonnie Bramlett, and first recorded by Delaney, Bonnie & Friends under the title Groupie. It was the B side of a single that didn't do much, it was also recorded by Rita Coolidge as part of Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs And Englishmen tour in 1970. The next year Richard Carpenter heard Bette Midler perform it on the Johnny Carson show and it went on to be a big hit in 1971 for The Carpenters.

    This lesson goes over the chord progression with accompaniment suggestions using arpeggio picking, as well as lightly percussive fingerstyle technique. There is a detailed breakdown of the intro as arranged by Richard, which is a bit challenging on the guitar. Of course, alternative approaches are shown.

  • Lesson 5: Yesterday Once More

    Yesterday Once More, written by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis, is a hit song by The Carpenters, who sure don’t need an elaborate introduction.

    It is their biggest-selling record worldwide, and appears on their 1973 album ‘Now & Then’. Richard stated (in a Japanese documentary) that it was his favorite of all the songs that he had written. 

    This lesson teaches a fingerstyle/strumming arrangement with chord shapes in the key of D. The original recording is in the absolute key of E, so for that capo the guitar on the 2nd fret.

    The progression features many chords, including several inversions, chords out of the key, a few m7b5-chords and more.

    This is another one of those songs which should come out a little different each time you play it. That said, to get you started we do take a look at a few picking examples as well as how to strum through it, in particular the last 4 measures of the verse and the chorus.

    The strumming could be done in both double time as well as single time, aka the speed of 16th’s and 8th’s. Personally I move into one or the other all the time.

    All in all, keep in mind that the song is doable for most guitar students, but probably not for beginners. 



  • Lesson 6: Rainy Days And Mondays

    “Rainy Days and Mondays” was written by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams in 1971 for the popular duo The Carpenters for their album Carpenters. This song made it to #2 on the Billboard hot 100 chart, and was 1 of 4 #1 hits on the Adult contemporary charts. and then was later covered by Olivia Newton John as a tribute to Karen Carpenter years later. This lesson concentrates on the "chest"voice and is a great song for "Alto" singers.