My Favorite Picture of You

by Guy Clark • Lesson #268 • Nov 29, 2019

Video lesson

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Editor’s notes

Hey there friends! Here’s a lesson teaching you how to play Guy Clark’s song “My Favorite Picture of You” – which he released on his final studio album in 2013. This is a great song, with Clark describing the circumstances surrounding a spontaneous Polaroid taken of his wife a few decades ago. Musically, this features fingerstyle guitar played in a very casual manner – primarily focusing on a change from A7sus4 => A7 => Dadd6 => D. I’ll explain how to play these chords, and give you plenty of tips on how to go about practicing this chords. In the back part of the lesson, I’ll show you the rough tab of how I play things – should you want to get a bit more advanced with it.

Note, you’ll need a capo on 2nd fret if you want to play along with Guy Clark’s version. Willie Nelson’s 2019 cover of this song uses a capo on the 3rd fret.

Here’s my timestamps for this lesson:

  • 0:00 Lesson overview
  • 3:08 Chord progression overview
  • 5:28 How to play the chords
  • 9:03 Playthrough: simple strums
  • 12:43 Playthrough: advanced tab
  • 20:39 Farewell & final advice

I hope you enjoy! If you’re hungry for more Guy Clark, I also have lessons for these songs:

Thanks all, and enjoy! David Pots.

Guy Clark’s telling of the tale

Here’s a short video of Guy Clark telling the story behind this song – i.e., him and Townes Van Zandt were drinking & acting afool, which lead to Clark’s wife storming out of the house. Where, chance would have it, a friend with a Polaroid camera was waiting. In this video he also performs the song. It’s absolutely not as sharp as the official album cut, but it’s still valuable in that it shows how a very stripped back, solo, and minimal performance of this song can still work. Enjoy!

Lyrics with chords

INTRO (same as verse)

    | A7sus4   A7  | A7sus4   A7   | Dadd6   D   | Dadd6   D   |
    | A7sus4   A7  | A7sus4   A7   | Dadd6   D   | Dadd6   D   |
    | A7           | A7       A7*  | Bm          | E7          |
    | A7           | A7            |

    (D)              A7sus4     A7          A7sus4             A7
    .....My favorite picture of you, is the one where you're staring
             Dadd6    D      Dadd6    D
    Straight into the lens
                     A7sus4    A7           A7sus4        A7
    .....It's just a Polaroid shot, someone took on the spot
       Dadd6         D      Dadd6    D
    No beginning, no end
                A7                             A7*
    It's just a moment in time, you can't have back
    Bm                      E7                    A7
    You never left but your bags were packed.... just in case

            (use same chord progression for all remaining verses)

    My favorite picture of you, is bent and faded
    And it's pinned to my wall
    Oh, and you were so angry, it's hard to believe
    We were lovers at all
    There's a fire in your eyes, you've got your heart on your sleeve
    A curse on your lips, but all I can see... is beautiful

    My favorite picture of you, is the one where
    Your wings are showing
    Oh, and your arms are crossed, your fists are clenched
    Not gone but going
    Just a stand up angel, who won't back down
    Nobody's fool, nobody's clown... you were smarter than that

    My favorite picture of you, is the one where
    It hasn't rained yet
    Oh and as I recall, came a winter squall
    And we got soaking wet
    It's a thousand words, in the blink of an eye
    The camera loves you, and so do I... click

    My favorite picture of you, is the one where you're staring
    Straight into the lens

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