Welcome to The Guitarguy's Golden Classics

The songs in this collection are songs that I (as a fan) consider classics -- most of them are, indeed, old classics. They are also songs that are rarely found elsewhere on the internet, which is why I transcribed them in the first place. And as of September 2011, to no one's surprise more than my own, there are now slightly more than 1,600 of them here.

I'd like to clarify one important point, up front: the whole idea behind this site is to preserve the music it contains. You can't reproduce it from what I provide for you here -- I can't give you a melody, and you'll find no MP3 or Midi files on this site, now or ever. So if you want to HEAR this music, you'll have to BUY the music -- records, sheet music, CD's, whatever. And I encourage you to do exactly that, while you've still got the chance. If you can, encourage more radio stations to play it, because there aren't all that many that do -- and the buying public rarely buys anything they don't hear first, on the radio or elsewhere.

That said...why this site?

As a male singer, I have always sung along with male-singer songs. But I didn't find much Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett or Mel Torme or even Dean Martin stuff on the 'net that had chords, when I looked. Nobody seemed to have them. You'll find them here. The same "Nobody else has 'em" reasoning applies to some female artists, too, such as Brenda Lee.

Some of these songs are neither especially old nor classics. They're here simply because I like 'em. (One such example is "Joanne" by Michael Nesmith -- yeah, the guy from The Monkees.) Other songs (like "Maybe You'll Be There" by Jane Morgan, or the Glenn Miller instrumental "Cherokee") may be so obscure you have never have heard of them, much less actually ever heard them -- they're just exceptionally cool songs, and great fun to play.

The vast majority of these songs are my own transcriptions and interpretations -- but there are exceptions. A few, such as "I Remember You" and "I've Told Every Little Star," credit the sources where I found them -- they're here because I made changes, however minor. A few other songs (especially some of the newer ones) are probably equal parts transcription and derivation of versions I ran across on the 'net, then modified to suit myself. I have no clue who did the preliminary arrangements -- I wasn't interested in retaining that information when I started collecting, because I was doing these charts strictly for my own use. Errors in both of the preceding categories, where they exist, are probably mine. All errors in everything else are definitely mine.

My charts are in the form of chords and lyrics because I can just barely read guitar tablature, and I have neither the skill nor the patience to learn how to write it. Besides, I'm not really interested in cloning songs -- especially when I don't have the voice of a Sinatra or a Bennett. The lyrics and chords can tell me, as a reasonably skilled amateur accoustic guitarist, all I need to know to help me re-create these songs, because I remember them. If you can remember the tunes, you can muddle through these songs like I did. If you don't remember the tunes, the progressions themselves may suggest a melody to you which you can develop on your own -- and that kind of skill development as a musician is as much of the point of this site as keeping this music alive is. I learned a lot about playing guitar by playing these songs...maybe you can, too.

Since most of these are my own transcriptions, a couple of explanatory notes are in order:

1. Many of these songs have been transposed from their recorded keys.

Sometimes I did this for convenience in playing (I hate any chord whose name begins "E-flat") and sometimes I did it to accomodate my vocal range. In all cases, I did the transcription first, then transposed, so the progressions should be accurate, even if they key signature doesn't match up with the record.

If you want to do what I did, and transpose them to a key more suitable to your preferences, refer to the chords page and use my handy-dandy transposition wheel to move the chords where they need to be.

2. These charts represent both transcriptions and interpretations.

Some ultra-simple C-Am-F-G type songs have been enhanced and embellished. Other, more difficult songs, have been somewhat simplified. Some songs ("Scarlet Ribbons" comes to mind as an example) even synthesize multiple originals. The objective on all of them is a playable arrangement that still sounds like the song you're trying to play.

3. I use a lot of diminished chords. And I mis-name them.

Diminished chords add a beautiful sound, but they are confusing. Any one formation can accurately be named for any of the four notes it contains, depending on the function the chord serves in the music. But I'm a player, not a theoretician...and an amateur player at that. So I adopted the convention of using only one name for each form. Thus, in my charts, the chord name "Cdim" means the formation of 001212 (low strings to high) -- even though in practice, the function being served may be F# diminished, E flat diminished, or A diminished. (Hey, I was over 50 when I first learned about diminished chords. I figured, "Why clutter what's left of my brain by remembering four names for the same thing?") If you want to know what function the chord serves, a music theory book can explain it far better than I ever could. But if you just wanna play the doggone song, and have it sound right, these charts should work just fine. (For more on this, click on the "Chords" button at left.)

I'm always looking for songs like these, so if you've got something I don't, feel free to e-mail it to me...or at least let me know where I can find it. My own collection exceeds 1,300 songs now; since most of them can be found elsewhere on the 'net, I haven't posted them here. If you want to swap lists, I'd probably be interested -- just bear in mind, mine's long. And finally...

These transcriptions are intended for private study,
research, or educational purposes only.

The lyric and guitar chord transcriptions on this site are the work of The Guitarguy and are intended for private study, research, or educational purposes only. Individual transcriptions are inspired by and and based upon the recorded versions cited, but are not necessarily exact replications of those recorded versions.