Maybe 10 years ago, or a little less, a young rabbi named Jonathan stopped into the retail establishment where I worked part-time.

I was a full time guitar teacher — but due to the favorable hours — I had an abundance of free time in the mornings and early afternoons. I was a runner at the time, so I got a part-time job at Fleet Feet Sports, the local running shop where I live.

Jonathan came in with his family to get fit for running shoes and he brought with him, his mother and new baby daughter, Zahava. At the time, Zahava was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen — absolutely stunning eyes.

I just begun conceptualizing this blog and my move into classical guitar playing, and Zahava sounded to me like the perfect name for a song. You may be unaware, but naming instrumental guitar songs is harder than writing them. A song name must be compelling enough to spark the interest of a listener — but ambiguous enough for that person to create their own mental narrative.

I can’t remember exactly, but Jonathan was either currently living in, or imminently moving to Israel with his family. As I wrote this song over the next 10 years or so, I couldn’t help but imagine where Zahava’s life trajectory would take her.

Like most musicians can attest, some songs come together in the span of minutes — as though an otherworldly force or inspiration has temporarily taken over the artist. Other times, a song may take a decade to develop. Zahava took quite a few years.

Zahava comes from the hebrew word Zahav which means ‘”gold”. Essentially Zahava is “Goldie”. To me the name is very adventurous, and I think that’s what the music of Zahava implies

If you’re interested in hearing more of my music, my two EP’s Sinking Ships & Wooden Kings, and Daylight are available wherever you get your music.

How to play Zahava, a song for guitar by Evan Handyside

The guitar tab for Zahava is 4 pages long. I consider this song for intermediate guitar players and up. Beginners will most likely be overwhelmed. If you are a beginner guitarist try my Easiest of Easy to Play and Easy to Play archives. You can work your way up nicely with those songs.

This particular guitar is a 1970 Yamaha that is stuck in a 1/2 down tuning. You could just as easily play Zahava in standard tuning. If you want to match my guitar, the tuning is as follows from low to high: D# G# C# F# A# D# or Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb.

Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

Zahava: a song for guitar by Evan Handyside

Please comment to let me know what you think, or if you have any questions.

Written by:

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