Danny's Song

by Loggins and Messina • Lesson #95 • Aug 25, 2017

Video lesson

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Editor’s notes

In this lesson I’ll show you how to play the song “Danny’s Song” by Loggins & Messina. I’ll include the chords needed, progressions used, strumming pattern, and of course fingerpicking tabs to get you started with things. To follow along with my video, I suggest picking up the 4-page song sheet linked above. It has all the lyrics and chords on page 1, while also digging into the progression, fingerstyle, and strumming on page 2. Pages 3 and 4 give you tabs for the entire song, including my exact fingerstyle tab.

Chords needed

Standard stuff here, the one exception being the D/C variant I prefer to play for the C-major used throughout the song. For one, it’s easier to switch to. For two, it’s sounds a bit more unique and interesting than a normal C-major. Use it or not, as per your taste.

E ––––2––––0––––2––––0––––0––––3––––0––––
B ––––3––––1––––3––––3––––2––––0––––3––––
G ––––2––––0––––4––––1––––2––––0––––2––––
D ––––0––––2––––4––––2––––2––––0––––0––––
A –––––––––3––––2––––2––––0––––2––––3––––
E –––––––––––––––––––0–––––––––3–––––––––
      D    C    Bm   E7   A    G   D/C

Fingerpicking pattern

Here’s a bit to get you started if you want to fingerpick the song. I’ll start with the intro, which uses only the D chord (played for four measures):

E ––––––––––2––––––––––2––––––––––2––––––––––2–––  <-- right ring
B –––––3––––––––––3––––––––––3––––––––––3––––––––  <-- right middle
G ––––––––2––––––––––2––––––––––2––––––––––2–––––  <-- right index
D –––0––––––––––0––––––––––0––––––––––0––––––––––  <-- right thumb
A –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
     D          

For a simple fingerpicking approach for the entire song, just use this same pattern on all chords you play. It is important you strum the bass note of each chord first – whether that’s the 4th string, 5th string, or 6th string. Afterwards, position your index, middle, and ring fingers freely – but try to use this same pattern.

Here’s the general patterns I use, in a few different contexts (based on the bass note of the chord):

E ––––––––––x–––        E ––––––––––––––        E ––––––––––––––
B –––––x––––––––        B ––––––––––x–––        B ––––––––––x–––
G ––––––––x–––––        G –––––x––––––––        G –––––x––––––––
D –––x––––––––––   or   D ––––––––x–––––   or   D ––––––––x–––––
A ––––––––––––––        A –––x––––––––––        A ––––––––––––––
E ––––––––––––––        E ––––––––––––––        E –––x––––––––––

And here are specific examples, per chords in the actual song:

E ––––––––––2–––        E ––––––––––––––        E ––––––––––––––
B –––––3––––––––        B ––––––––––3–––        B ––––––––––3–––
G ––––––––2–––––        G –––––4––––––––        G –––––1––––––––
D –––0––––––––––   or   D ––––––––4–––––   or   D ––––––––2–––––
A ––––––––––––––        A –––2––––––––––        A ––––––––––––––
E ––––––––––––––        E ––––––––––––––        E –––0––––––––––
     D                       Bm                      E7

See my video lesson for context. Don’t over think it! I’m sure you could get wild and crazy complicated with this - but for now, I want to get you started with what’s above.

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