“Why I Cry” by The Magnetic Fields – Guitar Tutorial

In addition to being a songwriter, I’m also a music fan and a teacher. Therefore, I was happy when a longtime client approached me with the possibility of creating video tutorials and tablature for some of his favorite songs. Incidentally, they are some of my favorite songs too! This tutorial is fairly thorough, moves pretty slowly, and doesn’t assume a lot about your guitar skills. I hope that you’ll find it a useful tool!

If you enjoy this free tutorial, please look around Custom Serenade and consider getting a custom song from us!

Why I Cry Chart

I go back a long way with The Magnetic Fields. The picture above is of an “indie rock” that one of their early guitar players threw into the crowd the first time I saw them. At that point in time, The Magnetic Fields were one of those bands whose records you couldn’t get. I would go to the record store weekly and ask for them, the person behind the counter would always say they didn’t have them but could order them but they never came. I remember one day I was sweeping the floor of the house that I shared with punk rock band Pipe when their lead singer walked through the door and casually mentioned that he’d been at Schoolkids Records and that they had a Magnetic Fields 7″. I literally dropped the broom right where it was (not like anyone but me cared about the mess) and ran to the record store to buy it.

Rumor had it that singer Susan Amway had left the band and they had broken up. But, lo and behold, when Merge Records turned five years old, The Magnetic Fields were on the bill for their anniversary show! Stephen Merritt was handling lead vocals. Once Merge was involved, the Magnetic Fields records were released and re-released to the delight of myself and other fans. Their next two albums (and the b-sides of their accompanying 7″ records) featured Merritt as the only vocalist. The second of these two, “Get Lost” is thought by some to be their best album. “Why I Cry” is one of many great songs on that album.

I could go on and on about The Magnetic Fields and Stephen Merritt’s other projects. He’s probably my favorite songwriter of all time. One thing I like about his work is that the songs are simple but powerful. They were some of the first songs I figured out on my own, and I’m very glad to be sharing these tutorials with anyone who is interested. I hope you have gleaned something from this tutorial. Please check out some of the other ones!

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