Learn to Play "Auld Lang Syne" for New Year's Eve
Many people in English-speaking countries throughout the world are accustomed to singing this song on New Yearâ€™s Eve just after the clock strikes midnight to welcome in the New Year. Based on a very old folk melody and featuring words by Scotlandâ€™s poet laureate Robert Burns (1759â€“1796), the song is also used to mark important events that signify endings and/or new beginnings. â€śAuld Lang Syneâ€ť has been adapted and reinterpreted in other parts of the world and is often attributed to the remembrance, renewal, and rekindling of old friendships.
Iâ€™ve arranged the well-known pentatonic melody for solo guitar in two different keys with varying harmonic accompaniment. The form of the song is essentially AB, and each section is eight measures long. After a short introduction setting up the key of C, the melody starts in measure 5, mostly in a â€śblock chord voicingâ€ť format, as opposed to single melodic lines or contrapuntal motion. When playing these block chords, itâ€™s important to allow the melodyâ€”the top note of the chord voicingâ€”to sing out above the other notes in the chord. You can pluck each chord evenly or â€śrollâ€ť across the strings (low to high), creating a rapid arpeggio with the picking hand. The idea is to create the effect of a congregation of people singing together.
Excerpted from Holiday Songs for Fingerstyle Guitar