Willin by Lowell George

Been looking at this song in open G tuning on and off for a while now. A very different arrangement to Little Feat’s, that’s for sure…
I learned this version from Martin Simpson’s Alternate Tunings Demystified dvd.


That was simply beautiful, Ruaridh! :smiley:

Lovely playing and singing. You make it seem so effortless, but the picking seems quite complex and not easy at all. And then adding vox on top like that - just wow! Sounded really great. :clap:

Way above my playgrade to offer anything than applause! :slight_smile:

Thanks for sharing.

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That was excellent Ruaridh. Very nice finger work.

Interesting piece. What is this tuning?


Well played, well sung!


That is quite an arrangement, and certainly different to the way I play the song. Nicely done. Wouldn’t you know it the DVD is out of stock.

Wow… :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:. :man_bowing: :boom: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Hi Ruaridh ,
Unbelievable, your voice is absolutely beautiful on this, your guitar playing is breathtaking and fun to watch and this all together is one of the best things I have heard here on this place ,
BIS BIS BIS :clap: :clap: :clap: :bouquet:

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Beautiful Ruaridh!!
I just echo what @roger_holland said. One of the best performances i have seen here in the forum.
Seriously skills on both fingerpicking and singing.

Thanks so much everyone for all the encouragements. It’s a song I’ve had part-baked for a while , and having the forum to aim at has been the main reason I’ve managed to get it red-light-ready.
@Lisa_S getting the chorus vox independent was probably the trickiest bit performance -wise
@TheCluelessLuthier cheers Mark, it is satisfying to get round this one for sure
@ivan_d Hi Ivan, it’s in open G tuning
@beejay56 Thanks Brian!
@Malz Thanks Mal, Funnily enough I was at a Show of Hands gig a week ago where they included it (played straight) as part of their playing their “early days repertoire” I had no idea they did it!
@roger_holland That’s very kind of you Rogier. I’m very pleased to have got to the enjoying stage with this, having wrestled with it off and on for some time!
@tRONd Thanks Ron, very kind of you. I’ve still a way to go with those double flick-offs however!


That was nothing short of brilliant Ruaridh. Beautiful performance. :sunglasses:

Very nice. I’ve never heard this version.

Very beatiful! Sounds super sweet! Seems also so difficult to my eyes! Thanks for sharing it!

Fine work Ruriadh, enjoyed that immensely, bravo :clap:

Thanks for the thumbs up!
@SILVIA and @Notter It’s a really fun song to have a go at, and there’s loads of different ways to approach it
Must admit, a while ago I thought I’m never going to get this thing tamed, but I’m pleased with it now

@SILVIA The backbone of the song really isn’t as difficult as it might look - it’s simply based around harmonising the descending scale
G - D/F# - Em - D - C
it’s the ornaments and then fitting the vocal around it that was tricky


Lovely stuff Ruaridh.
You make great choices of songs to cover.
I saw Martin Simpson (along with Martin Carthy) a few months ago.
He is a consummate and brilliant player. That DVD must contain some goodness. :slight_smile:

That was so beautiful Ruaridh! :clap:
So well done, both playing and singing, Thank you for sharing.
I enjoyed listening and also everything I’ve seen you play, you’re an inspiration for me :sunflower:

Thanks @Richard_close2u
Martin’s done quite a few teaching dvds, but Alternative Tunings Demystified is genuinely wonderful. Dates from about 2014 It’s much, much more than a " how to play this tab" kinda thing. It’s quite scholarly regarding the whole family of root - fifth - root based tunings.
The Willin’ example, he says, is a “little exercise” or something like that :joy: Then there’s songs from his actual live repertoire, guitar technique aplenty, and proper general musicianship. I could go on, but you get the picture…
Not available as a dvd any more, but this is a happy serendipity… because it is available online as a digital library, or download complete woth pdf workbook from Homespun and that lead me to a whole world of stuff. There’s a link from this youtube taster vid to the site

Thanks so much Jasmine, @Avalon426 it means a lot to me that I’ve made something that connects with people :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


A great performance, well done mate.

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Cheers Jk, appreciate it,

The piece I have been learning, and struggling with, is in a very peculiar tuning. Not one of those on Martin’s list.
I hope to be able to play it at the open mic or record it soon.

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