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How to Play 'Lay Me Down Lowly' by Albert Loebe

Nov 6 | Posted by: Rebecca Loebe |

I received an email over the weekend from someone inquiring about the chord changes to Lay Me Down Lowly. I had so much fun writing a response I figured I’d post it for anyone else who may or may not be interested :-)

Hey there!

What a sweet note! So glad to hear from you :-)

I’m so thrilled that you want to learn Lay Me Down Lowly! I’m sure my dad will be too when I tell him. I’ve never written out the chords before, but I’ll give it a shot. Try this and let me know if you have any questions —

 

VERSE:

C / G / C / C

C / G / C / C7

F / G / C / F (*walk down C —> F)

C / G / C  C

 

CHORUS (1st and 2nd)

F / G / C / C

F / G / C / C

F / G / C / F * walk down C —> F 

C / G / C / C

 

*LAST CHORUS:

F / G / C / C

F / G / C / C

F / G / C / F * walk down C —> F 

C / G / Am / Am

F / G / F / G 

F / G / C / C

 

The basic strum pattern is what I call (in my head) “Pluck/Strum.” I also sometimes call it “Boom/Chunk.” That’s what gives it such country charm :-) 

 

To do this you pluck the bass note of the chord and then strum the rest of the strings. The pluck falls on the downbeat and the strum on the upbeat. So if you’re counting “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and” the numbers are bass notes and the “ands” are strums. 

 

To really take it up a country notch, I suggest you use an alternating bass line, which means that on the first pluck you pluck the bass note of the chord and then on the second pluck you pluck another low note of the chord, usually the neighboring string. 

** Rule of thumb is that if the first pluck is the 6/low e string, then next pluck will be the 5/a string. If you start on the 5/a, then the next pluck will be the 6/e.  

 

It really helps to play the C chord by covering the 3rd fret on the Low E string with your ring finger, and the 3rd fret on the A string with your pinkie. Growing up my dad told me that’s the “British” way to play the C chord, I think because that’s how the Beatles did it. 

Here’s a diagram in case that’s helpful:

 British C!

So on the British C chord, your first pluck will be the 5/a string, then you strum all the strings, then you pluck the 6/e string, then strum all the strings. If this is totally new to you, I recommend you just practice over and over again with the British C chord, since it comprises about 80% of this song. Once you get a natural groove going, try playing through the rest of the chords of the song. If you get stuck on anything, stop there and practice it over and over and over and over. 

 

Hint: On the F & G chords you alternate the bass line by playing the E string first (then strum) then the A string (then strum).

 

Later in the song, when the Am chord arrives, you plus the 5/a string first (then strum) and then pluck the 4/d string (then strum).

 

Hope that’s helpful! Good luck! Let me know how it goes :-)

xo

~becca

 

PS: My dad really plays it best! When I was recording The Brooklyn Series I cornered him in his room and asked him to play the song for me once so I could test out my recording gear (I knew if he knew I was recording for the album it would make him nervous). He nailed it in one take (of course) so you can hear his fancy picking for yourself :-)

 

PPS: Here are the lyrics!

 

Lay Me Down Lowly by Albert Loebe

 

V1:  i don’t understand the ways you love me

i don’t even know the reasons why, oh why

i just understand the softness of your hand

and the bright look of love that’s in your eye

 

C1:  lay me down lowly when you love me

tell me everything will be alright

lay me down easy and don’t look around

and you know i’m going to love you all the time

 

V2:  i don’t understand what makes you happy

i don’t even know what i should try, oh try

i just understand the softness of your hand

and the bright look of love that’s in your eye

 

C2:  lay me down lowly when you love me

tell me everything will be alright

lay me down easy and don’t look around

and you know i’m going to love you all the time

 

V3:  someday i will know just how to love you

to thrill you and still fulfill your mind, your mind

until that day i will try to find a way

to stay with you and never be unkind

 

C3:  lay me down lowly when you love me

tell me everything will be alright

lay me down easy and don’t look around

and you know i’m going to love you all the time

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