“Sakura Sakura” – Japanese Folk Song

Below is the lesson for “Sakura Sakura”.

Helpful Tips

Learn a traditional Japanese piece that’s perfect for the intermediate fingerstyle player. The title of this song translates to “Cherry Blossoms, Cherry Blossoms”; while the lyrics depict the coming of Spring and the bloom of the cherry blossom trees. The melody of this song is derived from a pentatonic scale known as the, “In Scale”. This is a five-note scale which is commonly used in traditional Japanese music. In the lesson video, we will analyze and learn this scale.

Our arrangement was written using double stops. A double stop refers to playing two notes simultaneously. By using this approach to arrange, we can create a unique tonal landscape. For example, bar 5 uses contrasting movement; whereas the melody walks up in pitch, while the bass walks down. This type of movement will be challenging to play as it requires the left hand to stretch upwards of six frets in length.

* Correction: The In Pentatonic Scale used in this song is out of A (not D): A (1) Bb (b2) D (4) E (5) F (b6).

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Part 1 – Performance & Free Lesson

Tab Play Along