California Dreamin‘ | The Mamas & The Papas | Solo Guitar Fingerstyle Arrangement | Guitar Tab

California Dreamin' Guitar Tab

When my former guitar teacher came up with the song California Dreamin‘ by The Mamas & The Papas for me to practice during summer break I couldn’t really get into it at first. I mean, this song is sooo old and we’ve heard it sooo many times on the radio. That’s usually not the kind of piece that catches my interest so much that I say: I want to learn how to play this on my guitar.

BUT in the first lesson after summer break we talked about how you can take a piece of music and make it your new favorite by forgetting all about the versions you know. And starting to work it out from the very beginning on an empty sheet. Use more exciting versions of the chords than the standard versions. Play around a little. Do it together with somebody else and combine the ideas of two musical minds.

This way we came up with this beautiful arrangement which I love to play now! After a tricky intro it starts relatively simple. Moves to an interesting and more complex intermediate level in the second verse. And takes another turn in the solo. I plan on uploading a video recording, soon. Until then, this audio export from our Musescore file will have to do.

You’re in for a 1960ies folk-pop evergreen? Get guitar tab on Sheet Music Plus!

You’re in for a 1960ies folk-pop evergreen? Get guitar tab on Sheet Music Plus!

One of the 500 greatest songs of all time?

And here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it: „California Dreamin'“ is a song written by John Phillips and Michelle Phillips and first recorded by Barry McGuire. However, the best-known version is by the Mamas and the Papas, who sang backup on the original version and released it as a single in 1965. The song is No. 89 in Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The lyrics of the song express the narrator’s longing for the warmth of Los Angeles during a cold winter in New York City.

The song became a signpost of the California sound, heralding the arrival of the nascent counterculture era. „California Dreamin'“ was certified as a Gold Record (single) by the Recording Industry Association of America in June 1966 and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001. The song is recorded in the key of C-sharp minor.

Original The Mamas & The Papas Recording the music sheet / guitar tab refers to: