The Mist-Covered Mountains of Home: Fingerstyle Guitar Tab, Notation and Audio

Updated on January 4, 2017
Loch Tulla - Central Highlands, Scotland
Loch Tulla - Central Highlands, Scotland | Source

The Scottish folk song, The Mist-Covered Mountains of Home, also known in Gaelic as Chi mi na Morbheanna, is a song that lends itself well to fingerstyle guitar arrangements of it. This particular arrangement of it that I've made is around lower intermediate level of difficulty.

The video contains the tab and notation staffs along with a score-generated audio track. The complete tab and notation are also shown below the video. At the bottom of the score, there's also a link to a PDF file so that you can download the score and study it offline or print it out.

If the video's pages appear fuzzy or unclear, increase the quality with the 'video settings' control. You can see that in the bottom right-hand corner of the video screen, (although it sometimes doesn't appear until you click play). Choose 1080 HD if you can as that's what the video was recorded in.

The Mist-Covered Mountains of Home

The Mist-covered Mountains of Home - Guitar Tab and Notation


PDF score

Click the link to download a free PDF version for offline reading or printing.

The Mist-covered Mountains of Home

Learners' Playing Tips


As The Mist-Covered Mountains of Home is originally a vocal rather than an instrumental melody, try to convey some vocal qualities to it with vibrato, slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs. The melody is shown in the notation with upward pointing stems.

You can see many instances in the score where the last note of a bar is tied to the first note of the following bar. It's a way of bringing the first note of the bar in early for a more expressive effect. This, too, is to capture the singing quality of the melody as it's what singers tend to do even when it's not written in the music like that.


The arrangement stays mostly within the first position of the guitar, but it moves to the 3rd position when the C major chord is followed by the same-shaped D major chord in bars 9-10, and again in bars 25-26.

The chords are all simple and familiar chord shapes. Most are cut-down versions of the chords in order to accommodate the melody notes and ensure that they're always the highest notes of the piece. Although your fretting hand doesn't have a lot to do, your picking hand has to keep the rhythm flowing and uninterrupted while you pick out the melody.

You can spread (roll) some of the chords as I've done. I've left those 'rolls' (normally a squiggly vertical line) out of the notation as choosing which ones to spread is a matter of personal taste. Choose different ones if you prefer. Don't spread every chord, though, but do spread some. It suits the folky style of the accompaniment.


The bass is simple. It's usually just the root of each chord with a couple of passing notes between the roots of each chord (e.g., where the bass passes through F sharp to get from G to E as the chord changes from G major to E minor).

Optional Repeats

The song is in two sections that are very similar to each other. Section A is 16 bars long. Section B starts with the last two notes of bar 16 (notes C & E). You can use that as a repeat point. So you'll have section A played twice and section B played twice. The recording has each section played once only, but you can repeat the sections to extend the duration of the piece as it's quite short.

About the song

The song was written by John Cameron in 1856. The lyrics were written in Gaelic and titled Chi mi na Morbheanna. The title translates into English as "The Mist-Covered Mountains of Home". That's how it's most commonly known now and any recordings of it usually go by that title rather than the Gaelic title. There are many arrangements of the song available, especially for fiddles and flutes.

As the song's title suggests, it's a song about homesickness and homecoming. You can find the original Gaelic lyrics and their English translation on Wikipedia - under the Gaelic title.

The song is modal rather than tonal or key-based. That's common for folk songs of that period in Britain and Ireland. The mode is Dorian, and for this arrangement, I've chosen A Dorian. A Dorian is very similar to the key of A minor, except it has a raised 6th note, which is F# instead of F. It also avoids any use of a raised leading note (G#), which is a hallmark of minor key music.

Coincidentally, the mode A Dorian has exactly the same notes as G major (all natural notes except for F#). In tonal or key-based music, A Dorian is seen as the 2nd mode of G major. In modal music it's not. It's its own mode and nothing to do with G major. It's far more closely related to A minor. so, make sure you emphasise the note A as the tonal centre of the song and also make the most of F sharp and G natural notes to capture and convey the Dorian quality of the song.

The John Renbourn Version

The late, great English fingerstyle guitarist, John Renbourn has the widely-acknowledged definitive guitar arrangement of the Mist-Covered Mountains of Home, which appeared on his Black Balloon album. He also produced an excellent tutorial DVD with book containing notation, tab and video demonstration of this song and other folk guitar pieces using altered tunings. The tuning he uses for this song is 'open G minor' (D G D G Bb D). The DVD and book are highly recommended if you want to explore the art of folk fingerstyle guitar more deeply.

Make your own Fingerstyle Guitar Arrangements

This kind of fingerstyle guitar arrangement is quite easy if you approach it in steps, starting with the melody and adding chords, bass and rhythm. You can see how it's done in this tutorial hub I've made.

How to make solo fingerstyle guitar arrangements of simple songs

© 2014 chasmac


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)