Amazing Grace (2nd Variation)

In this edition of Guitar 9 we will be learning the second of two variations to "Amazing Grace." For those of you who are new to this column, this is the third and final installment in this three part series. If you missed the previous two columns, let me do a quick review. In the April/May edition of Guitar 9 we learned a fingerstyle arrangement of "Amazing Grace." In the June/July edition we learned the first variation. That brings us up to date. Finally, in part three we will be learning the second variation which features the melody in the bass. Let me give you a couple of performance notes to aid in the learning of this variation.

Performance Notes

  1. In measures 33 through 40 the melody has been placed in the bass. You will notice something that looks like a math symbol placed underneath the notes in the bass line. These are accent markings and are necessary to the overall performance of this piece. You will have to give special attention to the bass line because you want to emphasis the notes without over playing them. Also, the melody can be easily lost in the accompaniment which is now on top.
  2. In measures 36 and 43 you have hammer-on and pull-off markings.
  3. In measure 46 the A7th chord is strummed with the thumb. You strum the chord in time but in an arpeggiated fashion.
  4. In measure 48 there are harmonics. This is actually a D chord and it should be played as a chord and not as individual notes.
  5. The piece ends with strong strum on the final D chord. Notice that the E or 1st string is not part of this chord.

I hope that you have enjoyed learning this arrangement as much as I have enjoyed presenting it. If you get it under your fingers, I would love to hear it performed. You could send a CD or cassette tape (what's that?) to the following address: Soundhole Publications, P.O. Box 3291 Boardman, Ohio 44513. As always, have fun learning and playing! See you next time.


Steve Pappas is a guitarist, composer and teacher from Ohio specializing in fingerstyle guitar who believes in daily practice, and expressing emotions and feelings through his playing.

His latest CD is entitled "Refuge", a blend of Folk, Spanish, Classical, Latin and Rock influences.

Steve Pappas