Sarah McLachlan has graced the music world with wonderful songs, a great voice, and very interesting guitar parts that many students enjoy playing. Quite a few of her songs are done in a slightly altered tuning which really helps her unique sound. This set of lessons include Angel, Ice Cream and I Will Remember You as done by Vanessa Bot, and Neil's lessons on Adia and Building A Mystery.
Lesson 1: Angel - Sarah McLachlan - Guitar Lesson
Angel is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan, from her 1997 album ‘Surfacing’. It later appeared on numerous soundtracks, including the movie ‘City Of Angels’. It was inspired by articles that McLachlan read in Rolling Stone about musicians turning to heroin to cope with the pressures of the music industry and subsequently overdosing.
The arrangement is in ¾ time with swing feel. It’s done in the key of C, where the guitar is capoed on the first fret, although Sarah often performs the song in the key of D instead of Db. The progression uses all the chords in the key, including several colorful chords, except chord VII.
The lesson covers the chords, progression and shows a look at the right hand, which is a combination of picking and strumming. The latter is absolutely my take on how I would approach such an accompaniment done on a piano.
Since Sarah’s playing is very free and different in every performance, students trying to tackle this song are encouraged to work on their abilities to play freeform and random as well. The play through shows a way of how it could be done.
Lesson 2: Ice Cream - Sarah McLachlan - Guitar Lesson
Sarah McLachlan is a Canadian singer-songwriter, known for her emotional ballads and mezzo-soprano vocal range.
Ice Cream is taken from her 3rd 1993 studio album ‘Fumbling Towards Ecstasy’, which became her international breakthrough. Up until that point, she stated that it is her ‘one and only love song, that doesn’t have a bad ending’.
In this lesson we take a look at how she performs it on stage. It covers the chords and the tuning, EADGAD, where the guitar is capoed on the 4th fret.
Since the alternate tuning results in very colorful chords, we also discuss the chord names and their construction.
The progression and arrangement are relatively easy, with a few little embellishments and taught in 3/4 with swing feel, even though Sarah counts it out in 6/8.
Lesson 3: I Will Remember You - Sarah McLachlan - Guitar Lesson
I Will Remember You is a gorgeous song co-written and recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLaughlan. The lesson covers the progression, which consists of only five chords in the key of A.
Since Sarah usually adds a lot of color to the chords in general, on both piano and guitar, we mostly dive into several ways and options of doing the same.
Lesson 4: Adia - Sarah McLachlan - Guitar Lesson
This beautiful song was released on Sarah McLachlan’s 1997 album Surfacing, which also included Building A Mystery and Angel.
Adia is a piano song but it transfers very nicely to the guitar. It is played in the key of Eb, which we get to with a capo at the first fret and thinking in D Major.
There are a few unusual chords for the key, along with a few inversions common in piano arrangements.
The lesson also includes some fills used in the verse and a short instrumental interlude.
Lesson 5: Building A Mystery - Guitar Lesson
Building A Mystery is a song from Sarah McLachlan’s 1997 album Surfacing. At this point she was using a few alternate tunings and this one is done with the top two strings tuned down one step (E A D G A D). It is also capoed at the seventh fret, creating a very unique sound, particularly considering its common, repetitive chord progression. There are just enough embellishments and variations to make this a hauntingly beautiful song.