Bistro Fada Transcription (Lead)-6 Pages


Since I posted a video of this piece on YouTube last year there have been numerous requests for a transcription.  Here is one. This is strictly my interpretation of Mr. Wrembel’s work–I did not attempt to copy his fingerings exactly. However, I did try to represent the parts well, including the 3rd section, which was not included in the first recordings I heard. I did not transcribe the rhythm part. There are some posts of this available on the web, though I can’t vouch for their accuracy.  Keep in mind that not every recording has exactly the same chord progression.

I hope this is helpful!




Bistro Fada Page 1

Bistro Fada Page 2

Bistro Fada Page  3

Bistro Fada Page 4

Bistro Fada Page 5

Bistro Fada Page 6

58. Appendix–Glossary of Terms



Articulation—how a note is played—attack, duration, etc.

Chromatic Scale—all 12 half steps in succession

Fret—a narrow strip of metal embedded in the fretboard to indicate where to play notes.    

Also, the target area between these strips for sounding notes.


Fretboard—the neck of the guitar

Interval—the distance between 2 notes

Pitch—the location of a tone in relation to others

Octave—the interval of an entire major scale, which is the same note—C to C etc.

Unison—2 or more notes of the same pitch

Note—a single tone

Solfege—a language of syllables, one for every note

Degree—the numbered step of any scale

Sharp—higher in pitch

Flat—lower in pitch

Key—the arrangement of notes and chords within a particular scale

Time Signature—a symbol at the beginning of a piece of music indicating the meter

Meter—a measure of time, the grouping of beats into patterns

Beat—the pulse of music

Scale—an arrangement of notes in a particular order

Chord—3 or more notes played simultaneously or as an arpeggio

Arpeggio—a group of notes played successively

Triad—a 3 note chord

Root position—the position of a chord when the name of the chord itself is the lowest note

Root—The tonic, or fundamental note of a chord

Tonic—the note upon which a scale or key is based

Major chord—a chord made from the 1st, 3rd and 5th degree of any major scale

Minor chord—a chord made from the 1st, flatted 3rd and 5th of any major scale

Seventh chord—a major or minor chord to which either the 7th or flatted 7th has been added

Major pentatonic scale—a scale made from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th degrees of any major scale

Minor pentatonic scale—a major pentatonic scale, beginning on the 5th degree ( or 6th degree of the major scale from which the major pentatonic is derived)

Natural minor scale—a major scale, beginning on the 6th degree

Major scale—a series of whole and half step notes, beginning and ending on the same pitch.

Diatonic—derived from a particular key

Diatonic Harmony—the elements of the harmonized major scale

Harmony—the consonant quality of notes when played together

Consonant—a combination of notes or sounds pleasing to the ear, as opposed to dissonance

Dissonance—a combination of notes or sounds that are discordant, creating tension requiring resolution through other tones.

Technique—elements of the mechanical execution of music, externals.

Tonality—the organization of any composition around a scale and its tones

Major key—the tonality resulting from the use of tones in a composition based on a major scale

Minor key—the tonality resulting from the use of tones in a composition based on a minor scale

Progression—an organized series of chords

Diatonic progression-a progression comprised entirely of chords made from a harmonized scale

Measure—a unit of time, containing a fixed number of beats, each separated by vertical lines called bar lines

Rest—a symbol representing a fixed unit of silence

Tie—a symbol showing a note connected to one or more notes, indicating that only the first is played, then is held for the duration of the note or notes to which it is tied

Syncopation—the shifting of accent from a strong beat to a weaker one

Rhythm—the subdivision of time into a defined, repeated pattern

Melody—a succession of tones created for musical expression

Muscle memory—the training of muscles to repeat certain movements innately

Tempo—the fixed speed of any musical piece

BPM—beats per minute

Simple meter—meter where each beat can be subdivided by two

Compound meter—meter where each beat can be subdivided by three

Duple meter—rhythmic pattern in which the measure can be divided by two

Triple meter—rhythmic pattern in which the measure can be divided by three

Notation—any written form of music that contains the notes of a piece

Standard Notation—the traditional written form of notes on lines and spaces on a staff, along with other symbols for instruction for playing a piece of music

Ear training—the process of learning various pitches and their relationship to each other

Playing by ear—learning by hearing and imitation

Transcription—any written form of notation, chord chart, etc

Legato—instruction for playing smooth, connected notes

Staccato—instruction for playing, short, clipped notes

Barre -a temporary nut formed by the first finger of the left hand across some or all of the six strings.

Nut—the ivory or plastic strip across the top of the guitar neck below the tuning heads, containing grooves for each of the six strings

Capo-a device for temporarily moving the nut to various positions on the fretboard

Tonic chord—the fundamental, or I chord of the scale

Dominant—the chord that harmonizes the 5th degree of the major scale, the V chord

Subdominant—the chord that harmonizes the 4th degree of the major scale, the IV chord

Primary chords—the major chords of the harmonized major scale (I, IV, V)

Secondary chords—the minor chords of the harmonized major scale (ii, iii, vi) and the diminished chord (vii)

I-IV-V—the progression of the 1st, 4th and 5th (major) chords of the harmonized major scale, in any order.

Diminished chord—a chord formed by two successive minor 3rds

Circle of fifths—a system for memorizing the order of keys and their respective sharps and flats

Cadence—a closing phrase in a musical piece

Authentic cadence—a closing musical phrase of V-I

Plagal cadence—a closing musical phrase of IV-I

Deceptive cadence—a closing musical phrase of V-vi

Analyzation—the detailing of a musical piece or song respective to its form

Bass—a low note, or lowest note

Clef—a symbol placed at the beginning of a piece to indicate where notes are to be placed on the lines and spaces

Treble clef—a symbol place at the beginning of a piece to indicate where notes are to be played. The treble clef has a range of notes that makes it applicable for all guitar music

Staff—the lines and spaces where notes are placed.

                                 © 2012 Jim Greenfield

57. Scales and Chords–Links



Since there are so many chord and scale sites, I have not listed chords or scales here at greenfieldguitar. If you are a more experienced player you either have good working knowledge of most chords and scales you use, or good reference material, or both. If you are not quite there and want to look up chords and scales, here are 2 sites that I have used.

For chords:

I have not seen a chord site with “all” chords, but there are plenty here. Fingering is not shown, but it does show several different voicings for most chords, which is nice. For any chords that are not listed in a chord site, I suggest type-searching the chord individually.


For scales:

I like scale sites that show individual scales, rather than a complete chord grid of the entire neck, which can make it tough to pick out positions. This site does that. Again, no fingering, but there is a play feature allowing each voicing to be heard.

These are not necessarily the most comprehensive sites, but they have most of what one needs. Some of the more “complete” sites have an exhaustive amount of information in a format that can be hard to decipher for an intermediate player. Quality of reference is very arbitrary past a certain point, and I encourage you to use whatever works best for your needs.

© 2012 Jim Greenfield

32a. Basic Right Hand Technique


Although there are many aspects to proper use of the right hand, I am detailing only the basics here.  Sweep picking, “chicken pickin”, fingerstyle techniques such as Travis Picking, etc. are all subjects for consideration in their own right. 

The most important aspect of right hand technique is similar to that of the left–economy of motion. Players should strive for a minimum of extraneous movement. Inexperienced players tend to use big movements of the hand. With a pick, it might look like this:


Instead, as it should:


Consistent up and down motion with the pick, regardless of string crossing, should be adhered to always before other picking styles are attempted.

When using the fingers (“classical” technique), the tendency is to pull the hand away from the strings. This is wrong:


Instead, a firm but gentle push toward the palm, with no move away from the guitar, is best:


Although the hand should stay relaxed, make sure this simple but important principle of restraint is applied. 

©2012 Jim Greenfield

60. Coming Soon in 2012!


Scales in Context

Tone Color

Extended Harmony

How to Practice

The Importance of Dynamics


Band, Ensemble and Accompanist Work

Get the Best Tone From Your Pick-Change Your Grip!

Songwriting Basics

Ukulele Primer

Amplifiers and Their Use

Strict Tempo is Your Friend

What Comes “Naturally” is Usually Wrong

                AND MUCH MORE!      

59. Original Study Pieces

These are compositions for study. They are chord progressions, with bass, drums and a melody line played on acoustic guitar. Although they are fairly simple in form, there is a fair range of challenge for the player.


Where needed, I am providing sheet music, with notation and tab, and a mp3 sound file for each.

 Basically, they can be used in one of three ways:


1. Players can work chords with them, as they are “missing” the rhythm guitar. 


2. Players can copy the melody that I have provided.


3. Players can improvise in pieces where I have created room to do so.



A short guide is provided for each piece.

1. Study in D

The melody in this piece gives the simple chord accompaniment additional harmony. This melody line is not too challenging to play because the phrasing is the same every two measures throughout. Add the simple chord accompaniment or play the melody. After the repeat, the 4 chord progression in the last 2 bars repeats for around two minutes, giving ample time to improvise a solo if desired.

Here is the Mp3 of the backing track:

And the sheet music:



2. Arpeggio Study in  E Minor

This piece is a good test of one’s ability to play a line that is fairly simple, but well syncopated.  Similarly, a good rhythm accompaniment will be dependent on changing the chords at points that bring out the best in the melody.

Here is the Mp3 of the backing track:

And the sheet music:



3. Minor Pentatonic Workout

This is  primarily for introducing players to working a minor pentatonic scale over a simple four chord progression.  The notes of the melody riffs are optional. (Backing track only)

Here is the Mp3 of the backing track:



And the sheet music:


4. Minor Pentatonic Study

This is a variation, to be played over the same rhythm track.



5.  Open Position Major Scale with I, IV, V

Simple open position scale runs over I,IV,V in G.


6. Study in E Major

Good for working a melody line over simple changes, or applying a rhythm guitar track. A 60’s surf/detective show vibe!

Here is the Mp3 of the backing track:

And the sheet music:



7. Study in G Major

Great for beginners to practice making smooth open chord changes over a simple melody and backbeat rhythm.

Here is the Mp3 of the backing track:


 And the sheet music:



8. The Horse

Shuffle/swing beat practice using simple open chords.

Here is the Mp3 of the backing track:


 And the sheet music:



9. Waltz

Add the simple chord progression in Waltz (3/4) time.

Here is the Mp3 of the backing track:

And the sheet music:



10. Power Chord Study

Keep a simple power chord progression steady with the beat.

Here is the Mp3 of the backing track:

And the sheet music:




11. “D” Practice Track (backing track only)

A long track for improvising over various consecutive progressions in D major.

Here is the Mp3 of the backing track:

© 2012 Jim Greenfield

32a. Right Hand Technique

Basic right hand technique can be broken down into 3 basic types:

1. With a pick

2. With the fingers

3. With a pick and fingers


Almost all examples for how to hold a pick look like this:


However, though it works well for many, I feel it is NOT optimal!

This is simply because…

The largest possible range in grip pressure is best.

I always use the thumb and both the index and middle finger:

 I strongly believe the “tripod” effect provides the best chance to hold the pick very lightly when necessary, particularly useful  for strumming. 


Although there are advanced picking techniques, for single line picking,  a basic up and down motion should be learned.


Whether strumming or picking, economy of motion is key. Beginners will tend to use a very wide arc, a “wild” right hand; this is wrong:

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Restraint is not easy at first, but really pays off:

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Whereas the wrist should be close to the bridge when using a pick:

Fingerstyle and classical position calls for more of an angle, away from the guitar

The basic stroke pushes in toward the palm. Beginners will usually “pluck” away from the strings in an effort to produce volume; this is wrong:

[hana-flv-player video=”” width=”500″ height=”300″ description=”” player=”2″ autoload=”true” autoplay=”false” loop=”false” autorewind=”true” /]

The “push” does a better job, without taking the hand away from the guitar:

[hana-flv-player video=”” width=”500″ height=”300″ description=”” player=”2″ autoload=”true” autoplay=”false” loop=”false” autorewind=”true” /]

Using the pick and fingers together can be handy–This is a topic worthy of its own discussion. 

© 2012 Jim Greenfield

56. Simple and Compound Meter

4/4 time is by far the most common of time signatures. In fact, it is also referred to as ‘common time’ which is an example of simple meter. Any measure where the beat can be subdivided by two is simple meter. There are 4 beats in such measures, and they are referred to as simple quadruple. ¾ time, where the beat can be subdivided by two and there are 3 notes to a measure, is called simple triple:




Any measure of simple meter will usually have 2, 3 or 4 as the top number, though 5/4, 6/4 and even 7/4 do exist. However,  I am only interested in conveying these terms to differentiate between simple and compound meter. Compound meter means each beat can be subdivided by 3. 6/8 is an example of compound meter. Below are examples of quarter and eighth note measures of simple meter, in this case ¾, and compound meter, in this case, 6/8. Note the fact that they are mathematically equal, yet not the same. Yet do they sound the same? Essentially yes. As with other time signatures and note values in general, the choice of what time signature to use depends largely on tempo. A slower or faster tempo will call for whichever time signature is most accessible for reading:






As you can see, these concepts can get complicated quickly. Simple and compound meter were invented to subdivide the beat in different ways, thus giving emphasis to different beats. However, within the same time signature, emphasizing different beats is called syncopation. It is simpler to explain, easier to grasp, and is used constantly is popular music. As a basic example, we could count a simple measure of quarter notes this way:


 instead of                        ONE-two THREE-four

 we could say                   one-TWO-three FOUR

 or…                                 one-two-THREE-four

‘One and ‘three’ are considered ‘strong’ beats, while two and four are called ‘weak’ beats. When emphasis is placed on weak beats, this is syncopation. Syncopation can also be created by using rests and/or notes of different length, yet all are designed to move the emphasis from strong beats to weaker ones. Eventually more complex syncopation can be learned. Some of it is much easier to play than to write in notation, but learning to read notation will give you the ability to get close enough to combine an approximation of these rhythms with imitation and other charts. See 40. Syncopation Defined to address this subject in more detail.

©2012 Jim Greenfield

55. Analysis

I like to have students analyze songs early in their studies. It helps to reinforce the basics of theory and gives a glimpse into the world that awaits them if they are willing to learn these simple structures.


As described in “The 98% Rule” (no. 15 in this section), we see that establishing key is necessary to analyzing a song. Our working knowledge of the diatonic chords in a given key helps to eliminate confusion when the key seems not established, or unclear due to a cadence or movement between the relative major and minor key, which as we have seen, is very common. Particularly deceptive are completely out of key introductory sections, which may function as a prologue, prelude etc, that are best ignored for our purposes. Later, these types of introductory sections are easy to recognize.


Open tunings, interplay between instruments in a recording, and use of a capo can also confuse the ear, but not for long if we keep at it.


Once the key is established, we are looking for diatonic chords in that key. Again, as an example, if the song is in G major, we are looking for G, A minor, B minor, C, D, and E minor. (Again, disregard the F# diminished chord for now). Not only are we looking for these chords, we are looking first for G, C, and D. (I, IV, V).


This is the most popular of all progressions, and even when they are not the only chords in a song, they are very likely to be present, in various combinations. IV-V-I, I-V-IV, I-V-I-IV-V, etc–


These progressions are all very common!

Let’s assume that, most of the time, the first chord of a song is the tonic chord (I). Let’s also assume it is the tonic chord of one of the five favored guitar keys of C, A, G, E, and D. At first, the process of elimination alone will usually lead us to the right chord. Then we have established the key. It is possible, of course, that the song is not in one of these five keys, or that the first chord is not the tonic chord, but we can come back to those.

Once the key is established, write out the chords. Then write the number above each chord that corresponds to the diatonic chart in that key. If an out of key chord appears, or seems to appear, try to name it or leave it blank for now.

     At this point, one might ask, “Why we are doing this, when we can just get a song book or internet tab instead?”


First, songbooks are expensive, and not necessarily reliable.  Internet transcriptions are free, and far less reliable. Just as wrong information on medicine, car repair, job networking, pie baking, etc. can be easily obtained through the internet, so it is with guitar music. Most internet transcriptions I see contain numerous errors, and I tend to see a lot that students bring to me. These are mostly pretty basic songs with completely diatonic progressions in common keys, so it seems clear that developing the ear is very useful, although evidently not popular! This is what we are trying to do.

The second reason to do this is as an introduction to the world of improvisation and soloing. Remember, everything we do with melody and harmony is derived from working knowledge of the major scale, and the other scales that come from it. They connect in a completely systematic way with these chords that harmonize its tones. This is the tool kit all good players work from. It is from this point that other aspects of music and the guitar can be explored.

© 2012 Jim Greenfield

54. I-IV-V Examples


A basic working knowledge of diatonic harmony will assist you greatly in a number of ways. The best and simplest method to start recognizing chord progressions is to first look closely at I, IV, V.  Soon you will become adept at identifying more complex progressions on your own, a valuable skill. You will gain the ability to do the following:


  1. You will be able hear and fix errors in transcriptions.

  2. You will be able to focus on what is most important for learn first from a seemingly inexhaustible and baffling amount of information.

  3. You will be able to learn and remember songs much more quickly.

  4. You will gain a better understanding of the use of chord progressions in songwriting, which is invaluable–whether or not you eventually decide to write your own.

  5. You will begin to understand how to improvise, using scales.


Let’s begin with several very simple songs that are well known and are written entirely with I, IV, and V. Remember, this is the most popular progression of all, regardless of the order. Usually a song will begin and end on I, the tonic chord of the key, and the general movement of the song will be from I to IV or V and back to one repeatedly– even if IV and V go back and forth between each other, they will almost always eventually return to I.

Wild Thing (The Troggs)                                             A     D     E      D    etc.


You Shook me All Night Long (AC/DC)   Intro:    G   D   G   D

Verse:   G C G C D G D G

Chorus: G  C  D  C


Mr. Tambourine Man (Bob Dylan)   Intro:  F

Chorus: Bb C  F  Bb  F  Bb  C

Bb C F  Bb  F  Bb   C  F

Verses:   Bb C  F  Bb F  Bb  F  Bb  F  Bb C

(It is worth noting at this point that Mr. Tambourine Man features a good example of the use of a capo to keep a song in a guitar-friendly chord shape (D) when playing in a less guitar-friendly key (F). If you are not familiar, a capo is a device used to raise the pitch of all six strings at the fret of one’s choosing. It essentially moves the nut temporarily. The placement of the capo at the 3rd fret maintains the key of F but has the chord shapes of D, G and A True, Dylan could have just played the song in D, but usually the choice of when and at what fret to use the capo is a matter of favorable chord shape, tonality, preferred singing key, or a combination).


Other famous I-IV-V examples include Glory Days (Bruce Springsteen), Walk of Life (Dire Straits), Stir it up (Bob Marley), Love Me Do (Beatles), Free Fallin’ (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), and countless more.

©2012 Jim Greenfield