The Parting Glass | fingerstyle guitar
Photo by Annie Spratt | Unsplash

The Parting Glass

Free download of this performance on SoundCloud.

The Parting Glass is a Scottish traditional song written in 1770. (However, evidence of this song has been found in manuscripts from the 1620s-1630’s.) This solo guitar arrangement is heavily inspired by live a-capella versions of Loreena McKennitt and Hozier. The Hozier performance is one of the more powerful things you’ll ever hear. 

I’ve also performed a subtle and delicate performance of The Parting Glass with opera singer Janet Todd. We wanted this to be a largely a-capella performance — so the guitar is gently ghosting in underneath her magnificent voice.

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Gear used

For this piece, I used my Cordoba C7 Cedar guitar. You can find a current list of my gear here.

How to play The Parting Glass | fingerstyle guitar

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The guitar tab for The Parting Glass is beautifully written across only one page. You’ll play the entire tab through, then the refrain — the entire tab again, then the refrain again to finish the song. The chord positions are really easy to play. I recommend this piece for beginner and intermediate guitar players.

Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

You can easily play this tune in standard tuning, or any key you prefer.

The Parting Glass | fingerstyle guitar

I used the Loreena McKennitt key of D minor. My guitar is tuned one whole step down to: D G C F A D.


Written by:

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