I'll Be Gone In The Dark: Avalanche | fingerstyle guitar + TAB
Photo by Atanas Teodosiev | Unsplash

Avalanche

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The music editor for HBO’s, I’ll Be Gone In The Dark nailed it with, Avalanche. The true crime docuseries opens with a (very mono-tone) vocal performance by Aimee Mann. As the series became more enthralling, the piece rapidly grew on me. Avalanche is pitch perfect, and it could easily work in True Detective too.

This song was originally written and recorded by Leonard Cohen in 1971 – which accounts for the opaque poetry and mono-tone delivery. Aimee Mann’s version is very similar – just in a higher key. Both variations have a rapid acoustic instrumentation — like something Gustavo Santaolalla would do.

I’ll Be Gone In The Dark is a must watch. I didn’t know anything about the story before watching, so the finale was just short of mind-blowing. The series is about author, Michelle McNamara’s obsessive search for the Golden State Killer — a ransacker, turned rapist, turned serial killer — whose reign of terror lasted from 1973-1986. As she’s attempting to write a book about the cold-case, she uncovers new leads, as she synthesizes data from the seemingly dead-end investigations.

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Gear used

For this piece, I used my Cordoba C7 Cedar. It’s dark sounding instrument which was perfect for this arrangement. You can find a current list if my gear here.

How to play Avalanche | fingerstyle guitar

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I discovered this song’s title in the opening’s YouTube comments. Realizing this was an abbreviated cover by Aimee Mann, I had to check out the Leonard Cohen original, to get the rest of the chorus. The relentless acoustic instrumentation was too tough to mimic, so I took the opposite approach, creating a toned down arrangement. My version is spiritually connected to I’ll Be Gone In The Dark¬†(rather than the music itself) so the piece had to be melancholy. That was my only criteria.

The guitar tab for Avalanche is beautifully written across two pages. My order of play looks like this:

Intro, Verse 2x

Verse 2x, End

This variation (like many on this blog) is essentially one long passage played twice. It’s by no means difficult to play, but feels better suited to intermediate level guitar players. Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

I’ll Be Gone In The Dark: Avalanche | fingerstyle guitar

This is a bit if a trick (but easy) tuning. If you’re playing in standard tuning, you simply tune your 2nd B string down to A. Your tuning will look like this, from low to high: E A D G A E.

My version is a 1/2 step down in the Aimee Mann key. Same idea, just a 1/2 step down. Here’s how my tuning looks, from low to high: Eb Ab Db Gb Ab Eb.

(Depending on your tuner, it might look like this: D# G# C# F# G# D#.)

Before your head begins to spin, you’ll notice that I have a capo on the 1st fret. That’s because my guitar happened to be tuned down a whole step.¬†Disregard my capo position.

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Matthew's dad, Jennifer's husband, bass player - New Invisible Joy, YouTuber, film composer - Broken Noons, creator of modern content for guitar.