Heaven Adores You: Untitled Guitar Finger Picking Demo (Elliott Smith)

Posted on 15. Feb, 2016 by in Film Score, Method, Pop Music, Premium Tabs, Random

elliot smith

Elliott Smith was a major influence on my musicality in my most formative years. When I joined my rock band in the late 90’s, we were all devouring music by ethereal songwriters like Elliott Smith and Jeff Buckley.

[Buckley has a new album of unreleased covers due in March.]

Elliott Smith was an incredible guitar player to say the least. He possessed a finger-style hand that would rival Lindsey Buckingham.

His musicality was a folk take on the complexity and chord mastery of The Beatles. Like Lennon and McCartney, his guitar lines possessed a myriad of chord changes, creating a broader melody under the principle vocal melody. The guitar was so elaborate in Smith’s songs, that really, the vocals and lyrics almost seem like an afterthought.

Elliot Smith’s personality seemed like an authentic brooding musician. Music was a way to temporarily soothe his own personal troubles — and success just sort of happened as a result of his undeniable talent. Tragically, Smith took his own life in 2003.

I just discovered the documentary, Heaven Adores You: an intimate, meditative inquiry into the life and music of Elliott Smith (1969 – 2003). However, as I write this, I realize it’s been available for the better part of a year now. The soundtrack just showed up on iTunes recently, which prompted this post.

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How to play Untitled Finger Picking Demo by Elliott Smith

My guess is that Elliott Smith probably never intended for us to hear this, and he would cringe if he knew it was the first song of his documentary album. However, as fans we think it’s amazing.

This brings up an important point that helped me overcome my perfectionism, especially if you’re an artist, musician, or creator: What’s obvious to you, is actually amazing to others – an idea coined by writer/musician Derek Sivers. The rest of his ideas can be found in his book, Anything You Want.

Untitled Finger Picking Demo is exemplary of Elliott Smith’s musical thought process. The song or riff as it were, is is broken down into movements — resolving with the introduction. If you’ve spent anytime learning Beatles songs –you can clearly see and hear the influence.

The guitar tab is exactly 3 pages long, and written straight through, without repeats. It serves as an awesome fingerpicking exercise for intermediate guitar players and up. Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

Untitled Finger Picking Demo is played with

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4 Responses to “Heaven Adores You: Untitled Guitar Finger Picking Demo (Elliott Smith)”

  1. Noah

    20. Feb, 2016

    This is beautiful. Thank you for this wonderful piece of art; this piece speaks to me and Im not sure why, but thats the beauty of intellimusica -the variety and uniqueness you have built here. Again Evan thank you for helping better myself at guitar with all your work.

    Reply to this comment
    • Evan Handyside

      20. Feb, 2016

      Thanks Noah, I really appreciate your comment (and your membership). I’ll keep the content coming. I really like this piece too. I’m always facinate with what my guitar heros do when they’re noodling around. I’m a big fan of Elliott Smith’s work, and loved this demo when I heard it.


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  2. Eivind

    21. May, 2016

    Love this song, thank you so much :P and i can not stop thinking about the song “is there anybody out there” by pink floyd.. there is one part in this song that is so similiar, still amazing. LOve your work ; you inspire me.

    Reply to this comment

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