All the Pretty Little Horses

I am teaching this wonderful lullaby to my HooteNanny Parent Guitar class, which meets on Tuesdays in my living room. We are learning first position, mostly 3-chord songs this winter, but everyone loves fingerpicking. This fingerpick is called an arpeggio, and it is similar to “um-chuck” in that the three fingers (I, M and A, or index, middle and ring) each stay true to just one string on the guitar.

I=first string, or E string
M=second string, or B string
A=third string, or G string

The thumb, or “P”, alternates among the bottom three strings (E, A and D) depending on the chord being played.

The song can be chunked down like this:

First phrase=Am Am Dm G7 (play one arpeggio per chord)
Second phrase=C walk down to Am (see video–you “walk down” the A string with your thumb, playing the notes C, B and open A.)

Then there’s a third phrase: C C Am Am  followed by the second phrase C walk down Am.

And that’s it!

Hush a bye, don’t you cry
Go to sleep you little baby
When you wake, you shall have
All the pretty little horses

Dapples and greys, pintos and bays
All the pretty little horses.

The song is in 6/8 time, which gives it a lovely rocking quality–great for lulling a baby or young child. My children loved this one when they were babies.

About nields

musician, writer, mom
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