In What Time Remains – Photo | Derek von Briesen

Breathe Me

Free download of this performance on SoundCloud.

Sia’s Breathe Me, is from her 3rd album, Colour the Small One (2004). The song was used to great effect in the poignant finale of Six Feet Under — a landmark HBO drama that premiered 20 years ago last week.

Created by screenwriter Alan Ball, Six Feet Under was a part of HBO’s “Golden Age” that began with the Sopranos in 1999, and ended with Game of Thrones. It was a sympathetic portrayal of the Fisher family (and their dysfunction) while living and working within the family’s funeral home. Its finale is fondly remembered as the greatest ending in television history.

My wife and I were obsessed with Six Feet Under. We were married 2001 and made sure that our honeymoon hotel room had HBO so that we could watch the last episode of season one. Years later, the much lauded finale, “Everyone’s Waiting,” was a fast-forward through time to witness each of the characters in their final moments of life.

To me, the genius of Six Feet Under was the poking and prodding of American cultural norms in 2001. Today, in 2021, I have no idea if that’s even possible given the faux-sensitivity over just about everything.

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Gear used

For this piece I used my Cordoba GK Studio guitar. You can find a current list of my gear (playing and recording) here.

How to play Breathe Me | fingerstyle guitar

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The guitar tab for Breathe Me is beautifully written across 3 pages. While the chord positioning is relatively easy, I recommend this arrangement for intermediate guitar players and up. Enjoy, the guitar tab and directions are available below:

My order of play, in accordance with the guitar tab goes like this:

Intro, Verse, Chorus 2x, Chorus End

Verse, Chorus 2x, Chorus End

Intro

You’ll mostly be playing this piece with your thumb and middle finger. The middle finger of your fingerstyle hand is the longest and strongest when it comes to fingerstyle guitar. You see that I use an upward swiping motion with my second finger. This allows me to capture two strings at once in a brushing motion – when I feel like it.

I like the smooth tone of brushing the strings rather than the deliberate plucking with both the 1st and 2nd fingers — as you would see in classical guitar or jazz. I think I picked up the brushing technique by watching John Mayer play many years ago.

When you see the < or > symbols in the guitar tab, feel free to brush away at those strings.

Sia: Breathe Me | fingerstyle guitar

Breathe Me is played in a drop D tuning. From low to high: D A D G B E

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