The Walking Dead: Blackbird Song (Terminus Version) fingerstyle guitar

Posted on 02. May, 2014 by in Easy to Play, Film Score, Free Tabs, Pop Music

The Walking Dead

“You have to have numbers. People are the best defense against walkers, or people.”

As you can probably tell, I (sometimes) get deeply affected by music in film. When Blackbird Song first appeared on AMC’s The Walking Dead, I remember saying to my wife — wow, this song is kicking my ass. At the time, it was the only way I could verbalize how affecting the scene and song were together.

Written for The Walking Dead by American Idol winner Lee DeWyze, Blackbird Song could only have been created by a seasoned Walking Dead fan. It’s a deep and desolate hymn that perfectly captures the road to Terminus — the forth season’s ultimate destination.

This is something entirely new for me and this blog. Rather than my usual instrumental interpretation, I decided to take only a cue from the original song. In the spirit of The Walking Dead Season 4, I’ve headed off in my own direction with Blackbird Song, calling it the Terminus Version.

How to play Blackbird Song (Terminus Version) for classical guitar

I originally set out to do an exact arrangement, but I kept hearing different directions for Blackbird Song. For some reason I had the bridge of Massive Attack’s Teardrop on my mind. (Check out my arrangement of Teardrop here.)

The tuning for the Terminus Version is (from low to high): D A D G A D. This tuning was popularized by Jimmy Page — most notably on Kashmir.

I used to be hesitant on using alternate tunings, but I find myself using them more and more. I always start with standard (E A D G B E) until I’m forced into something else to properly convey the song. I always thought alternate tunings sounded bland, but I guess it’s how you use them that really matters.

Although I’m finger picking, you could just as easily use a guitar pick and a steel string guitar. The beauty of an alternate tuning is the whole guitar is tuned in your favor! Its hard to make a mistake, and you can easily take the song in your own direction, as I have.

[My guitar is a newly restrung Cordoba GK Studio. Honestly, I can’t tell the difference in tone or play-ability from Cordoba’s mid-range guitars to there super expensive models. I’ve only adopted the nylon-string guitar in the past few years — so I might have an entirely untrained ear. However, if you’re a layman like me, a mid-range Cordoba like the GK will suit you just fine. If interested, click here for a list of all my gear.]

The tab for Blackbird Song (Terminus Version) is easy to read. If you’re new to this blog, I view the drafting of my tabs as an art-form — equal to the arranging and playing of the song.

I’m doing so much material, so fast, on Intellimusica, that I don’t have time to memorize every song. I set up the tab so I can easily read and play at the same time for my YouTube videos. This also ensures that every note I play is exactly represented in the guitar tab I provide for you.

Check out my free tabs category for all of my free material. I work just as hard on it as my premium material. It’s just slightly easier to produce. Be sure to look for the purple ‘older entries’ link at the bottom of the page.

I hope you enjoy Blackbird Song (Terminus Version). It’s an involved guitar piece, but relatively easy to play if you’re and intermediate level guitarist. The guitar tab is available below:

Blackbird Song by Lee DeWyze (Terminus Version)

Be sure to check out my Walking Dead Theme for classical guitar. It’s an old post, but a good one. Please comment to let me know what you think, or if you have any questions.

6 Responses to “The Walking Dead: Blackbird Song (Terminus Version) fingerstyle guitar”

  1. Matt

    02. May, 2014

    This. Is. Awesome! It seems like ever since around Season 3 of TWD, they’ve really had some great music throughout the show, (IMHO). Great job as usual Evan!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Brandon

    17. Jun, 2014

    This is a blast to learn and play :) I can’t thank you enough for posting these great tabs, they’re really helping me get into the style of playing I want to pursue. Which so far is just this and some of Gustavo Santaolalla’s work (TLoU soundtrack / Brokeback mountain soundtrack)

    Reply to this comment
    • Evan Handyside

      18. Jun, 2014

      Hi Brandon,

      Thanks for the great comment. I appreciate you taking the time. Are the tabs ok to read? My old ones look terrible (to me) but I think I’m getting better with each and every new tab. I’m obsessed with how they read in accordance with the pace and tempo of the songs. I want them to feel right if that makes sense.

      Reply to this comment
      • Brandon

        19. Jun, 2014

        Yeah, the tabs are great for the way I prefer to learn songs. When I watch your videos and go back to the tab I get the exact sound I wanted from it in like five minutes. I started practicing this tab last night and I’m playing it almost perfectly along with your video today :D And seeing as how I’ve only been playing guitar for like two months (and classical a week) I think that proves that your tabs are pretty much perfect lol.

        By the way, there’s one little thing bothering me a bit about this tab… At 0:06 there’s a little variation (or whatever it’s actually called) between the E and D strings. It doesn’t seem to be in the actual tab, and when I tried to play it by ear it just didn’t sound as good. Thanks for the reply :)

        Reply to this comment
        • Evan Handyside

          19. Jun, 2014

          Hmmm, I tried to pick up on the thing at 0:06 but I couldn’t hear (or see) what you’re mentioning. Oh well, as long as you’re close that’s all that matters!

          Reply to this comment

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