First Steps in Learning "Fire and Rain"

Lesson #428 • Apr 13, 2022

Video lesson

Instructional PDF 2 pages

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Follow along with the print-friendly PDF!

It includes all of my notes for this lesson, allowing you to follow along at your own pace. You're free to download, print, and share the PDF across your devices.

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Editor’s Notes

Hey there, friends! I’m two days into learning FIRE AND RAIN by James Taylor, and wanted to share this video with some helpful tips – in case you too are just getting started with the song. Instead of diving immediately into the intricacies of James Taylor’s exact arrangement, I want to start off giving you an overview of the chord shapes & finger positions used in the intro and verse sections. I’ll explain things big-picture, shining light on the broad strokes that are initially helpful to get a handle on. I’ll also walk through a few sample exercises you can play (which I’ve also been practicing!) that help you develop fluency with these chord shapes. From there, you’ll be ready to rock when you’re ready to continue with a full lesson.

Be sure to check out my 2-page PDF to accompany this lesson, which acts as a practice guide for you to follow along with when learning these chord shapes. The PDF also includes the sample exercises I show in my video, written out in tab form, which help you develop fluency with these chord shapes and transitions. Let’s do it!

One quick note about capo usage

  • James Taylor plays this with capo 3, but I’m using no capo in this video. Why? Because when you’re first learning these chord shapes, I find it helpful to do so without a capo – as it’s one less variable when initially getting comfortable with jumps to the 5th and 6th frets for the A-major. Once you’ve got these chord shapes under your belt, by all means, throw that capo on and run with it!
  • If you want, you could surely add a capo to the 3rd fret from the outset - and follow along with what I teach in this video. This is up to you - but I don’t see it as an absolute requirement when first starting out.

My full video lesson for Fire and Rain

View my lesson notes & get the song sheet »

James Taylor’s Album Version

Remember, he’s using capo 3rd fret with the chord shapes I show in my video lesson above.

James Taylor explaining the song

Technically he calls this a “lesson” – but he doesn’t explain the details, step by step. But still - this is still a cool video to watch!

Other teachers explaining this song

While you’re waiting for my lesson, here’s some of my other YouTube favorites explaining how to play things.

Justin Sandercoe

Shut Up & Play

Guitar at Work

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