Fire and Rain

by James Taylor • Lesson #429 • Apr 23, 2022


Hey friends – new lesson today diving into Fire and Rain, the James Taylor classic from 1970. This has been one of the most requested songs I’ve had in the past year, and it’s been a joy to learn over the last few weeks. In my video lesson I’ll tackle everything you need to play the entire song, showing more-or-less exactly how James Taylor plays things in addition to some simplified options for some of the tricky bits. Even if you only learn the intro riff, there’s so much fun to be had with this song. Let’s get into it!

Full Song Lesson

Here’s timestamps for my full song lesson:

  • 0:00 Lesson Summary
  • 2:50 Fingerpicking 101
  • 5:08 Intro & Verse Chords
  • 12:13 Intro Riff
  • 22:12 Verse Riff
  • 28:25 Chorus Riffs

Play-Along Cover

Here’s a members-only video showing two full play-throughs of this song, so you can see how it looks & sounds when I put it all together. In the first playthrough (1:04), I’ll display the lyrics and chords on screen while singing along for context. In the second playthrough (4:39), I’ll play at a slower tempo without any singing, showing the tabs for each section as I play. I hope you find this helpful!

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Print-Friendly Song Sheet 6 pages

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First Steps with “Fire and Rain” Chord Shapes

When I first started learning Fire and Rain, I put together this lesson (video + PDF) showing how I approached learning the chords in the intro and verse. This lesson dives into finger position basics, and even shows you some exercises I came up with to help me get fluent with the chords and transitioning between them. View full lesson notes or get the Instructional PDF »

Fingerpicking Overview: Travis Picking vs. Traditional Fingerstyle

If you’re new to fingerpicking guitar and want an overview of different ways your right-hand fingers play the six guitar strings, this lesson is for you. I made it to explain the difference between “Travis Picking” (where your right thumb & index do most of the work) and one-finger-per-string fingerstyle, which is what James Taylor uses here. My video and PDF include some helpful diagrams and example riffs to show you both techniques in action. View full lesson notes or get the Instructional PDF »

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Hey there! My name is David Potsiadlo, and I'm the creator of the 400+ weekly lessons here at Song Notes, going back to 2013. Here’s my guitar story »

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