Free guitar tabs that include standard treble clef notation and chord symbols will make this piece very usable for your students, particularly for group sessions. And this song is FUN! Kids love mastering the famous "circle" pattern which crops up with the first Bm chord and starts again with the next A chord. Two versions.
This is a great song for guitarists and fiddlers to get together on! Check out the video below:
Download free guitar sheet music Devil's Dream
A lot of beginner guitar players don't "get" the down-up-down-up stroking of flat-picking unless they are shown. They may hear a song, acquire the guitar tabs, and start to play it, but with every pick stroke going down instead of down then up.
This is too slow, of course. So Devil's Dream, with almost the entire melody made up of eighth notes, is perfect for polishing that down-up-down-up technique. (Quarter notes = down; 2 eighth notes in a row are down-up. A dotted quarter followed by an eighth will be a down, then an up.)
A very fun but tricky part comes in measures 4, 13, and 14, with the Bm chords. Some arrangements have the player lift the finger off string 2 in order to play the note "b" as an open string. I have fingered it on string 3 instead, fret 4, so that the player can just press a Bm chord (or portion thereof) and leave the hand there.
The pick travels back and forth over the 3 strings in a bouncing fashion that is a lot of fun! Same thing with the A chord in the measures just before the Bm; finger a partial A chord and bounce back and forth across the strings.
Here is the very same arrangement as Devil's Dream above, but spread over two pages to make it easier to read.
Once beginner guitar players have heard Devil's Dream, they just have to have it. There are lots of little variations on the basic melody, so I won't pretend this version is the final word!
Do you have a story or a question about teaching guitar? Do you think it is a hard instrument for beginners, or easy? What have been your challenges?