The Handmaid's Tale: Their First Time | fingerstyle guitar
Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust | Unsplash

Their First Time

Free download of this performance on SoundCloud.

Their First Time, by composer Adam Taylor, is the standout piece from the Hulu original series, The Handmaid’s Tale. I love the simplicity and repetition of this motif. My hope is to pair back my own songwriting to something this sparse and minimalist. At a certain point, I believe we become bound by our expertise in any domain. The trick, is to see the instrument with the wide-eyed lens of a novice, and to pick the low-hanging fruit.

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My gear

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

How to play, Their First Time | fingerstyle guitar

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The guitar tab for this motif is beautifully written across two pages. It’s essentially one long passage with a short repeated section in the middle. This arrangement is perfect for my 2 Minute Classical Guitar archive. I especially like it for beginner and novice guitar players. This is an obvious étude:

“a short musical composition, typically for one instrument, designed as an exercise to improve the technique or demonstrate the skill of the player.”

While there are no difficult chord shapes — you’ll be (briefly) stretched out and forced into agile trills. This is a perfect piece to enhance your playing on longer and more difficult arrangements. Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

Their First Time is tuned in an Open E Minor tuning. From Low to High, 6-1: E B E G B E

The Handmaid’s Tale: Their First Time | fingerstyle guitar

Rather than tune my 4th and 5th strings up a whole step, I tuned my guitar one whole step down to Open D Minor ( D A D F A D) then placed a capo on the 2nd fret.

Written by:

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