How to read jerryssongbook Tutorial One – Love Me Tender
Unless otherwise specified, the default time signature is always 4/4.
This means that every bar of the song must total 4 beats and/or notes.
If you can count to 4, then you can sing in time.
This is the very essence of my Songbook – the lyrics of my songs are transformed into countable entities.
Let’s see what I mean by learning a nice and easy song by Elvis Presley.
Apart from the usual lyrics and chords, there are other things in there that will be unfamiliar to you.
1st bar. ||: Love me ten der |
The first unusual symbol is this ||:
This is a Repeat Bar and it tells the singer that when you reach :|| (a mirror image that can be found further down the song ), it is time to go back to the next ||:
Remember that I said that every bar must contain 4 beats and/or notes? Notice that “tender” has 2 syllables, which is conveniently split into 2 notes, “ten der” . And, together with “Love me”, the 1st bar does indeed add up to 4 notes.
2nd bar. | love me sweet tt |
The “tt” after “sweet” means that the same note is stretched to 2 beats. Thus, together with “love me” , adds up to 4 notes. Because a beat or note has the same value in timing, I have decided to call it a “bon”. Thus, from now on, every bar should have 4 bons.
3rd bar. | nev er let me |
“nev er” (like ten der) is split into 2 bons, which together with “let me” adds up to 4 bons.
4th bar. | go oo oo oo |
The “oo oo oo” after “go” means that the same note is stretched to 4 bons.
7th bar. | and I love you |
All notes are usually made up of 2 or more letters, except for one-letter words like “A” or “I”, as in this case. Otherwise, single letters equal ½ bon each.
9th bar. | Love me ^ten der r |
Notice that tender is written thus ^ten der r . This means that ^ten equals ½ bon, der equals one bon and r equals ½ bon, making a total of 2 bons. Add “Love me” and we have 4 bons again.
Please note that ^ten der r can also be written like this.. ten^der rr, but have the same bon value, of course. It is important that you fully understand what is happening here. Let me explain.
The ^ symbol in front “ten” not only functions to tell us that the value of “ten” is ½ bon, but that if it joins 2 syllables like ten^der, it tells us that it is joining two ½ bons. The value of ten^der thus equal 1 bon.
I promise that you will soon get used to them as they appear very frequently in all my songs.
The underline simply means that it is part of the Chorus or Bridge.
15th and 16th bars. 1. 2. | And I al l ^ways | will ll ll / :||
The 1. 2. in front of the 15th and 16th bars means that the same 2 bars are sung twice. The first time the bar is sung at the end of the first verse and Chorus. We then hit the Repeat Bar :|| which then sends us to the second ||: which is also the start of the second verse.
At the end of the second verse and Chorus, the 2. tells us that the same bars must be sung again. The Repeat Bar is met for the 3rd time, which sends us to the next ||: which is now the 3rd and last verse.
Before we get to the last 2 bars, there is something in the 15th bar that needs explaining.
Notice that “always” is written al l ^ways This means that al l is stretched by another ½ bon and ^ways is made up of ½ bon – equalling 2 bons, plus “And I” , which again totals 4 bons.
16th bar | will ll ll / :|| After “will” has been stretched to 3 bons, it is followed by / I use this symbol to represent a silent bon. Altogether, totalling 4 bons.
Last 2 bars. 3. | And I al l ^ways | will ll ll ll ||
After the last verse and Chorus, the 3. tells us that we should finish the song with this line. It is also normally indicated by || .
Lastly, unlike all guitar lyrics and chords sites, all my chords are not only correct (although some are simplified for my own use) but that they are placed exactly where they should be in the song.
Click here for the RETURN TO SENDER page with tutorial video.