This is another great collaboration from Sting and Dominic Miller (see my last post on “Shape of My Heart”). I first heard this song from Sting’s 2009 Winter-themed album, ‘If On A Winter’s Night…’ . However, it was originally released years before this along with the single release of “You Still Touch Me ” (1996). I haven’t spent any time comparing the guitar part on the two different versions, but I suspect that there is not a huge difference between the two of them (in regard to the guitar part). That said, the transcription above is based on the If On A Winter’s Night… release. Also, I only transcribed the verse section, not the chorus. One strange side note, the original release of this song was under the title “Lullaby To An Anxious Child,” but the recent 2009 version was changed to “Lullaby For An Anxious Child.” I don’t know if this is significant, or if it was even intentional, but there you have it. Dominic Miller also released a solo guitar instrumental version of this song under the title “Lullaby To An Anxious Child” on his album Second Nature (2000).
In regard to the above transcription, Miller does natural harmonics on the 12th first during the first measure with the exception of the D (this is the 5th note of the guitar line). He doesn’t do a harmonic on this particular note, but plays the 10th fret on the high E-String. However, I notated it as a harmonic on the 7th fret of the G-string. This is what I had always thought that he did until finding the video below, which is a great live performance, and a good look at Miller’s hands. Nevertheless, I went ahead and left it as a harmonic in the transcription, but purists out there would be in good company to play it the way Miller does.
A few notes on natural harmonics for those unfamiliar:
- First of all, in the transcription above, on the top line (standard notation, treble clef), I used diamond shaped notes to indicate the notes that are to be played as harmonics. Also, there are different ways to notate harmonics, but the notes pictured are the actual pitches that are sounded (not always the fret location). I used the tablature line (bottom) to indicate the fret location of the harmonics.
- With natural harmonics, use one of your left hand fingers to press lightly directly above the actual metal fret in the locations indicated on the tab. To clarify, normally when you fret a note on the guitar, you try and put your finger near the fret for optimal results. For harmonics, you put your finger directly over the fret in question.
- Do not push the string down to the fretboard like you normally would on a fretted note. On the contrary, lightly touch the string above the fret without pushing down on it.
- As soon as you pluck the note, pick up your left hand hand finger off the string for maximum resonance and tone. The note will continue to ring after you pick it up. While you can leave your finger lightly touching the string, it will ring out better if you lift it. Of course, make sure you lift your finger after you pluck the note and not before.
- Also, you will get better results when your hands are relaxed. The more you try to “muscle” these notes out, the less success you will have. RELAX!!! Don’t be too tense.