Welcome to the second classical guitar lesson here at Eat Sleep Guitar Repeat. In this lesson, we will be looking at the Tears in the Rain TAB. We will break down this classical track by guitar legend Joe Satraini and learn this beautiful sounding piece of music one step at a time.
Last time, we looked at the piece known as Romance. You can find the Romance guitar lesson here. Something I didn’t mention during that lesson was that Romance was actually the first classical piece that I learned on guitar. The reason that I’ve chosen Tears in the Rain for the second classical guitar lesson is that it was the second classical piece that I learned on guitar. I learned both of these tracks during my first year of guitar playing, so this one, and Romance are open to anyone.
Tears in the Rain will feel more difficult though. It will feel that way because it is more difficult. Romance had easy parts that gave your mind a rest but this time, there’s not much room for that. There are quite a few tricky chord changes but with practice, there’s no reason why any guitar player can’t get the hang of this track.
Like Romance, this one is to be performed with the finger picking technique. I’m not going to give you finger by finger chord and picking instructions in this lesson for two reasons. Firstly, life is short. Secondly, the more experienced guitarist should be able to figure out which fingers to place where for the chords and which fingers to use for the picking. For the less experienced, I will provide a small amount of instruction with some of the chords to set you on the correct track.
Another trait that Tears in the Rain shares with Romance is that it’s split into two sections. They both follow a similar vibe, but the second section feels somewhat more intense than the first.
In section two, take note of the use of diminished 7th chords. This track is a great example of those chords used to their versatile potential.
Rhythm and Tempo
Tears in the Rain is in 3/4 and it uses a fairly simple looking rhythm that utilises eighth notes resulting in a piece that generally contains six notes per bar (1 and 2 and 3 and). The piece doesn’t feel as simple as this however because of the approach to the tempo. I’ve set the tempo in the TAB to 140 beats per minute, but if you listen to the track, you’ll find that the tempo is somewhat elastic.
Don’t try to emulate the tempo exactly. Learn the TAB and simply try to capture the same vibe that’s created in the recording. Follow the same trends and try to create the same mood.
Let’s get to the Tears in the Rain TAB now, starting naturally with section 1.
Tears in the Rain TAB section 1
I’ll split this piece up into the clearly identifiable sections starting naturally with the first. I shall break these two parts up into bite sized chunks. The first image you see below is the first eight bars of Joe Satriani’s Tears in the Rain.
Tears in the Rain TAB section 1 bars 1-8
This first eight bars set the tone for the whole piece. There are only four bars to learn in the above image as bars five through eight are a repeat of what went before.
The first chord may feel a bit of a stretch for some. This chord is performed with your first, second, and fourth fingers, your fourth being on the D string. The other chords are like a shifting open D major chord shape. The little chords are easy but you may find it tricky changing back to the big chord.
Tears in the Rain TAB section 1 bars 9-12
These next bars will feel comfortable to some as they feature two fairly common minor barre chord shapes.
The fast change may present a problem but compared to the chord changes that came prior, this should feel easy enough. By the way, this is the only section in the piece where I made a change. I think the original may have used a minor 6 chord but I swapped it for the first barre chord when I first learned the song. Can’t remember why. I just liked the sound.
Only two bars to learn there as the second two are a repeat of the first two.
Tears in the Rain TAB section 1 bars 13-16
This is the second time I’ve formatted a lesson in this way and I can honestly say I hate the bar counting headings. You won’t see many more like this. Anyway, back to the lesson.
These next four bars are easy if you can spot what happens.
For that first chord that’s played twice, you leave the previous chord in place and fret the 8th fret A string with your fourth finger and pick the relevant strings. Once you’re done with that chord, you then make the minor finger adjustments for the next chord. Not much movement there at all.
This part feels nice thanks to the fact that the chords repeat. Not much left for this section now.
Final part of Tears in the Rain section 1
Above, you have another slight adjustment to take you into the first chord. I recommend the third and fourth fingers for the 7th fret notes and a barre at the 5th fret with the first finger. That will lead you nicely into the next chord which is the same as an open C dominant 7 chord but shifted up. This section ends with a nice little lick.
It’s not in the recording, but I sometimes like to hit a natural harmonic at the 12th fret A string at the very end. Try it and see what you think.
Tears in the Rain TAB section 2
There’s a little more to this next section of Tears in the Rain but nothing you can’t handle. The first eight bars are pretty much the same. It’s just the bass note that’s moved.
Tears in the Rain TAB section 2 bars 1-8
No guidance is needed here as there’s only one note different. I used to not even bother changing the bass note but to be honest, the change does have an impact so copy the TAB.
Section 2 bars 9-12
This next part kind of does what it says on the tin. The two chords are performed exactly how you’re expecting them to be. Little tip. The C bass note on the low E that you see is played with the second finger.
Section 2 the next 8 bars (I’ve lost count)
The last four bars of this section are a repeat of the previous image but the first four bars may prove tricky at first.
For the first chord, the second, third and fourth fingers will all live at the 7th fret with the first finger living at the 5ith. There’s a quick shift as the second finger jumps to the 6th fret and the third and first surround it. This is where I most commonly make a mistake with this piece as I often hit an A bass note instead of an E. Don’t be me.
The first and second fingers shift up a fret for the following chord and then we have a barre chord we used earlier, only the picked strings are different.
After the repeat of the chords we saw earlier and a short break, we move on to one of the most fun parts of the piece.
Tears in the Rain shifting diminished 7th chord part
For these next four bars, there is just one chord shape that moves down the fretboard as the bars progress. If you want to learn more about this trick, click here.
Not much need for guidance here. This is a standard diminished 7th chord shape and as I said, the shape doesn’t change, it just moves. We shall continue with this theme next.
Tears in the Rain TAB – Almost there
Just two parts left now. Some may find this part a little difficult but the inclusion of that standard A minor shape should help you transition through the chords and there’s a little break at the end.
The first chord has the first finger at the 3rd fret and the second and third fingers at the 4th fret. The second chord is a shift down of the previous only first finger is replaced with open strings. After that you’re at that A minor that I mentioned which is followed by an easy transition. Simply remove the third finger and move the first finger up a string.
Tears in the Rain – the final moments
This last part is another cool sounding little moment. There’s only one chord there and it’s the standard six string A minor barre chord.
Pick the strings as instructed and then you have those two little chords at the end which are fingered with the second and third, and second and first fingers respectively.
Let that last chord ring out and hit that final bass note on the low E string with the middle finger of your picking hand. Like a tap.
You made it.
That about wraps things up for the Tears in the Rain TAB, guitar lesson, and guide. Just like last time out, linking to similar content is tricky as this is only the second classical guitar lesson here at Eat Sleep Guitar Repeat but I’ll try my best. I do have more Joe Satriani related content such as the Joe Satriani Joe Satriani album review which was the very first piece I wrote for the website. I also have an article on the Joe Satriani Coldplay copyright dispute. Hopefully, one of those will be of interest to you.
Hello. My name is Ryan J Mellor and I play the guitar. I’m also the creator of Eat Sleep Guitar Repeat. I’ve ben a guitarist for many years and my guitar playing has been described as “above average”. My guitar and music knowledge is somewhat impressive but most importantly, I have a passion for creating great guitar and music related content.