Up On The Roof (James Taylor Inspired Version)

• Upper-Intermediate Lesson

• Also discusses chord voicing, 'pivoting primary chords'

• Click the tabs below to switch between Instruction and Play-along videos. Click on the video to pause it before switching to the other video.


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• Lyrics Only (PDF)
• Chord Voices / Intervals

  • Instruction
  • Performance Demo

Points to Remember:

• James Taylor does the song in regular tuning with capo on 3rd fret. My version can be played with no capo. However, in my videos I user a 'cheater' trick to make the guitar easier to play: Tune all strings down a whole step, then put capo on 2nd fret (so now back in regular tuning, but strings are slacker and neck is 'shorter'!).

• 'Primary chords' are the I, IV and V chords of a given key. The root of the IV chord is the same note as the 5th of the I chord. Also, the 5th of the V chord is the same note as the root of the I chord. My arrangement makes use of these common tones and 'pivots' on them.

• Diminished 7 chords are sometimes used as passing chords (to connect one chord to another).

• There are two different voicings for the B11 chord in the song. The first one is voiced 1-b7-9-11 (root on 7th fret of low E string). The second one is voiced 1-11-b7-9-5 (root on 2nd fret of A string).

• Notes of 11th chord:

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