I came to know about James Taylor through his cover of Carole King’s song ‘You’ve Got a Friend’. The fingerstyle guitar work in the song really drew my attention, as it was a time when I was working on my finger picking technique. I started to learn more about the artist and found more fingerstyle oriented music in his ‘Greatest Hits’ album. As I soon found out, the album was certified diamond and had been sold more than 11 million copies worldwide. I really enjoyed listening the album, which features most of his best works from the 1970’s.
Although mostly known for his singing in evergreen numbers such as Fire and Rain, Carolina In My Mind and You’ve Got a Friend, James Taylor is also a virtuoso fingerstyle guitar player in his own rights. His intricate finger picking style can be heard through out his songs and are not easy to imitate by an untrained ears. I can still remember listening to the intro to Fire and Rain for the first time and thought it was one of the best acoustic guitar intro that I ever heard. For anyone who’s been looking for an easy way to learn some of his classic tunes on the guitar, now there’s a TAB book that can teach you how to play them!
‘The New Best of James Taylor for Guitar: Easy TAB Deluxe’ is a highly accurate transcription of some of the best songs recorded by the artist. It is notated with a guitar ‘TAB’ and also features complete lyrics for every track. With this book, you can expect to learn 12 songs which are: Cooperline, Country Road, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight, Fire and Rain, Mexico, Millworker, Shower the People, Steamroller, Sweet Baby James, Walking Man, You’ve Got a Friend and Your Smiling Face.
If you’re a complete beginner, it would be a good idea to spend some time on dedicated finger picking lessons, as a through understanding of the basic in this style of playing will help you a great deal when working with this book.
The one thing about TAB books is that, it will only be the most useful when you already know what a particular song should sounds like prior to studying it. For that reason, you are going to need the original recording by your side as reference. By the way, there is nothing better than listening to an original recording by James Taylor himself.