Let's Play: "Wayfaring Stranger" (Guitar Lesson)

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Jim Deeming

Let's Play: "Wayfaring Stranger"

Jim Deeming breaks down the song sections to the classic tune "Wayfaring Stranger".

Taught by Jim Deeming in Basic Guitar with Jim seriesLength: 29:20Difficulty: 2.0 of 5

Video Subtitles / Captions

Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

DavideITUKDavideITUK replied on September 21st, 2018

I think you should slow down when you explain - this lesson really puts me off

Freshw1ghtFreshw1ght replied on November 12th, 2017

Excellent! Love this song and really enjoyed trying to play both parts. Really felt I was making progress. Jim is an excellent teacher

alan@wb5plj.org[email protected] replied on April 17th, 2016

This lesson video seems to have a repeating glitch, where the video seems to stop for a second and then continues... I have gone thru it two or three times, and the glitch seems to be in the lesson vid, not my computer, so you might want to look at it...

simonw170simonw170 replied on June 17th, 2014

I'm a bot confused have tried reading the tab but am not sure whether its the same as played in the video …. can someone point me in the direction of the lesson material that i should use for the first part of the song rhythm before the chorus ????

melody lafountainmelody lafountain replied on January 9th, 2014

Are the tabs for the song as you played it somewhere?

mattbrownmattbrown replied on May 1st, 2014

Hi! I'm currently working on updating the tablature/notation for this lesson as well as some other old ones. I'll include a transcription of Jim's performance in Scene 1. Stay tuned!

horsepuckyhorsepucky replied on April 3rd, 2013

Jim - I enjoy your teaching style. I also thought the breakdown and delivery of this lesson was excellent.

rickmundanerickmundane replied on December 4th, 2013

My hero, Gordon Lightfoot, used this tune as a basis for a song "The Way I Feel"

lynnnclynnnc replied on March 25th, 2013

Jim, this is beautiful. I have got int the habit of listening to the lessons all the way through one time and then joining in with my quitar. I love this song. It reminds me of another one called Poor Wayfaring man of grief.

thundleythundley replied on February 21st, 2013

This truly is a beautiful song

thundleythundley replied on February 21st, 2013

It may be just me but I think this song sounds best on a nylon-string guitar

serismonserismon replied on February 8th, 2013


mesajmesaj replied on October 1st, 2012

I found it easier to play the chorus rhythm from the F barre, then slide up or step up to the G chord and then to the C barre (A shape). It is an easy move to go from the barred G to an E by sliding down. The barre chord shape lesson provides a great foundation!

jessman25jessman25 replied on March 28th, 2012

Pretty darned cool playing along with you Jim. I am getting a little less self-conscious when I play.

martinfendermartinfender replied on July 14th, 2012

Beautiful song. Does anyone remember the tv show from the 60`s that used this as the theme song, with the lyrics? Great show.

bcgaraybcgaray replied on February 28th, 2012

Great lesson. I seem to be having trouble finding the great base runs you use. Could please provide them some place. Thanks jim. I am almost through the beginners phase and can not wait to learn how to play the meiody with my right hand while alternating base notes. Keep up the great lessons thanks

coribillcoribill replied on August 1st, 2011

this is an excellent lesson. I hope to see more that are similar in teaching style. Great builds. Thanks.

pj boatwrightpj boatwright replied on July 4th, 2011

Jim, where is the tab for the whole thing, the way you play it? I'd like the challenge of playing the entire thing, rhythm and melody and bass notes all at once.

revcarevca replied on April 26th, 2011

beautiful song, excellent guitar and teaching style but the F barre is a stumbling block for me

doughaledoughale replied on September 14th, 2009

tried to print off lesson but would not work

jamplaygaryjamplaygary replied on April 16th, 2011

You have to click on the check boxes. I was able to print.

goosiegoosie replied on February 5th, 2011

FANTASTIC, I definately want more of this. I know my chords pretty well, but love learning lead. Thanks !!!!

goosiegoosie replied on February 5th, 2011

Sorry, don't know how to use the "user rating" but I would give this a super ten.

Jim.DeemingJim.Deeming replied on September 14th, 2009

tab is coming - hang on!

mwainemwaine replied on January 11th, 2011

How do we online students of yours get the new tab of this performance? I can't wait to learn it. Thanks for sharing this tune!

saddlemansaddleman replied on May 13th, 2010

Jim, Your teaching style is fantastic and your playing is just 'off the charts'. The number system does not go high enough to rate your playing style. Hope to see the complete tab sometime. Thanks for all you do.

frbassfrbass replied on April 19th, 2010

Love your style - I wish you would post the whole tab with walking bass and all as you play it.

mwainemwaine replied on January 11th, 2011

Nice guitar-nice sound! What is it?

mhwatmhwat replied on February 20th, 2012


oneqwestoneqwest replied on October 12th, 2010

Seriously tab it like the performance, that is what i want to learn

nash24nash24 replied on September 23rd, 2010

I like your lessons, but I think it might be helpful if you slowed it down a little for those of us who haven't been playing for years. Thanks.

forinstance872forinstance872 replied on August 16th, 2010

very nice tune and lesson , but just like other comments the tab for version he played is what i need

gilbert714gilbert714 replied on February 3rd, 2010

Complete tab would be great because i have not learned to figure the bass and melody together by ear yet

BERTIEBERTIE replied on January 22nd, 2010

having difficulty printing the song. Any suggestions. I would like to practice the tabs. ...

mvarneymvarney replied on January 7th, 2010

So when do we actually learn to play in the combined fingerstyle like you are.

ronnie gronnie g replied on October 28th, 2009

I really like this song . Been playing for eight years with flat pick.I am learning to fingerpick. This is a great song to start on .I have been watching over & over to see how you do it. Getting close. Wish I had known about Jamplay years ago. I just joined. Thanks

scoffeyscoffey replied on October 25th, 2009

Hey Jim, Please post the fingerstyle version of tab. Your performance is awesome. Thanks.

jackloganbilljackloganbill replied on October 19th, 2009

I a bit lost, does the tab follow the performance video? Just does not seem toooooo

scoffeyscoffey replied on September 16th, 2009

Hey Jim, Who wrote this song? It sounds similar to "unchain my heart" by Ray Charles. Maybe it's just me. Do you think maybe he got influence from this, or the other way around? Thanks for another great lesson.

mritalian55mritalian55 replied on September 16th, 2009

Hi Jim, love you're playing and instructions. As a newbie, should I learn to fingerpick or try and stay with the flat pick for awhile? I should be asking Can you do the same sounds of playing both rytham and lead as you do with the thumb pick as well as with a flatpick? Thanks

indischgelbindischgelb replied on September 16th, 2009

Love this song. Could you post a tab or better even do a lessen on what you are playing, I mean the full song? Would be great!

gone workingone workin replied on September 16th, 2009

I really like this lesson. I very much appreciate the trading parts between rhythm and lead style you use, Jim. I want to be able to play both. And it's a good Phase 1 level lesson that sounds cool and makes me want to play it. Yes, I would love to see more like this. Incidentally, I can't help but think this tune is not unlike "Summertime", only not quite so dramatic and bluesy. I wonder if this influenced that song.

swajiiswajii replied on September 15th, 2009

this is one of my favorite songs. I sing it to my baby all thetime

dagchristiandagchristian replied on September 15th, 2009

Why cant you guys make the lesson and the tab available at the same time.. This is just teasing :D

jaybirdjaybird replied on September 14th, 2009

Excellent lesson. This is something I can learn and impress my wife. Keep it coming. thanks

currannicurranni replied on September 14th, 2009

nice. i might learn this...

james_93james_93 replied on September 14th, 2009

Great job, I love this song, and even more, you version =)!!!

Basic Guitar with Jim

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Fingerstyle master Jim Deeming teaches you the basics of guitar playing. With over 30 years of experience teaching and playing, Jim will definitely start you in the right direction. This is a great series for beginners and guitarists looking to refresh their knowledge.

Lesson 1

Introduction Lesson

In this short lesson, Jim Deeming will introduce himself and talk about his upcoming lessons.

Length: 6:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Choosing a Guitar

Jim gives his thoughts on purchasing your first guitar.

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Goal Setting

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Changing the Strings

Jim Deeming walks you through the process of changing your strings. He gives some excellent tips on this important process.

Length: 41:09 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
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Meet Your New Guitar

Jim introduces proper playing technique. Then, he explains how to play your first chord.

Length: 52:24 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
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Learning More Chords

Jim teaches you the 3 primary chords in G major. He also explains how chords relate to specific keys. A great lesson!

Length: 39:15 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Right Hand Revisited

Jim discusses a plethora of right hand techniques that are essential to guitar playing.

Length: 35:19 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

New Chords and Keys

This lesson provides additional information about chords and keys.

Length: 19:08 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

Let's Play

This lesson is all about playing. Jim will start you off playing a song. You will have the opportunity to play along with him.

Length: 20:10 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Alternating Bass and Chords

Jim teaches you a few more commonly used chords. Then, he discusses a technique known as the alternating bass line.

Length: 40:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 11

A Shape Chords

Jim covers all possible fingering options pertaining to the basic open A chord shape.

Length: 17:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

Basic Guitar Checkup

Jim talks about the future of his Phase 1 guitar series and where to go from here.

Length: 4:18 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 13

Notes, Scales and Theory

Jim delves into basic music theory. He starts from square one in this lesson.

Length: 29:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Chord Fiesta

Jim Deeming invites you to a veritable chord fiesta. He demonstrates common dominant and minor chord shapes.

Length: 43:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 15

Movable Chords

This lesson is all about movable chords. Learn the importance of barre chords and other movable shapes.

Length: 40:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 16

Proper Practicing

Jim Deeming explains how to create a productive practice routine. Make sure you aren't wasting needless time!

Length: 30:00 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 17

The Pinky Anchor

Many guitarists use their pinky as an anchor. Jim explains the pros and cons of this technique.

Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 18

Palm Muting

Jim discusses an important technique--palm muting. He explains how palm muting is used by flatpickers and fingerstyle players.

Length: 7:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 19

Reading Tablature

Jim Deeming covers the basics of reading guitar tablature. Knowledge of tablature will help with JamPlay lessons as well as learning your favorite songs.

Length: 21:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 20

Tuning Extravaganza

Jim explains various tuning methods. He provides useful tips and tricks that will ensure that your guitar is sounding its best.

Length: 31:45 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 21

Let's Play: "Red River Valley"

Jim is back with another "let's play" style lesson. He teaches the classic song "Red River Valley" and encourages you to play along.

Length: 52:38 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 22

Drop D Tuning

Jim Deeming introduces drop D tuning. Drop D is a popular alternate tuning used in many styles of music including rock, fingerstyle and blues.

Length: 25:25 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 23

Let's Play: "Wayfaring Stranger"

Jim Deeming breaks down the song sections to the classic tune "Wayfaring Stranger".

Length: 29:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

More On Drop D

Jim Deeming takes another, more focused look at drop D tuning.

Length: 6:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 25

Your Friend, the Metronome

Jim Deeming discusses how to use a metronome for practice, skill building, and speed building.

Length: 24:02 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only

About Jim Deeming View Full Biography Jim Deeming got his first guitar when he was only six years old. His Dad was taking fingerpicking lessons, and Jim wanted to be just like him. The Mel Bay books didn't last very long before he strapped on a thumb pick and added the Chet part to Red River Valley so it sounded better.

Most of Jim's early learning was by ear. With unlimited access to his Dad's collection of Chet Atkins albums, he spent countless hours decoding his favorite songs. They were never "right" until they sounded just like Chet. Around the age of 12, Jim heard Jerry Reed for the first time and just knew he had to be able to make that "Alabama Wild Man" sound. The styles of Chet & Jerry always have been a big influence on his playing.

More recently he has pursued arrangements by Tommy Emmanuel and Doyle Dykes, in addition to creating some of his own and writing originals.

Jim has performed in front of a variety of audiences, including concerts, competitions, weddings and the like, but playing at church has always been a mainstay. Whether playing in worship bands or guitar solos, gospel music is deep in his roots and is also the driving theme behind his debut CD release, titled "First Fruits".

Jim has been playing for about 38 years. He also has taught private lessons in the past but believes JamPlay.com is an exciting and better venue with many advantages over the traditional method of weekly 30 minute sessions.

Jim lives in Berthoud, Colorado with his wife, Linda, and their four children. Although he still has a "day job", he is actively performing and is already back in the studio working on the next CD. If you wonder how he finds time, look no further than the back seat of his truck where he keeps a "travel guitar" to take advantage of any practice or song-writing opportunities he can get.

The opening song you hear in Jim's introductory JamPlay video is called, "A Pick In My Pocket". It's an original tune, written in memory of Jim's father who told him early on he should always keep a pick in his pocket in case he ever met Chet Atkins and got the chance to play for him. That song is slated to be the title track for his next CD, which will feature several more originals plus some of his favorite covers of Chet and Jerry arrangements.

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