Watch the I Believe online guitar lesson by Stephen Bennett from Fingerstyle Finesse
OK, so here's the thing with notating my tunes accurately: if every single element of the tune is to be notated 100%, the page is going to be filled with ink. And you're going to have a miserable time deciphering it all. I'm just not sure if that is a good idea. In particular, many of the percussive sorts of things that I do are tricky to notate.
In I Believe, I have chosen to notate the frequent chop sound that occurs on beats 2 and 4 - commonly known as the backbeat - with the letters bb (backbeat) rather than to fill up so many measures with too much information. All you need to remember is that a little downward move with a couple of fingers (generally the middle and ring fingers) will do the job. They just have to chop a couple of adjacent strings. The resulting sound can be heard clearly as notes - or not. The main thing is to create the illusion of a drummer playing along with you who is hitting his or her snare drum on those beats.
I included an extra staff to indicate a couple of measures which have percussive sounds created by hitting the side of the guitar. I could have indicated the backbeat thing here as well, but again, I'm trying to not overwhelm you with information.
Another note: I have indicated the chords in I Believe, but they are there only for reference. In some cases they will happen to coincide with common shapes for these chords; in other cases, they are only present as a harmonic guide. Or perhaps for an accompanying instrument to play along with you...
Additionally, in many cases if you were to look at a slice of the music, you would find that the chord indicated does not match up with the notes at that particular point. That's ok - don't panic. I haven't lost my mind. So maybe I have, but it's not relevant here. That's because there is a lot of suspending of non-chord tones intended in the music. For example, in measure 65, there is an E indicated in the bass and an F lingering from the end of the previous measure indicated in the melody. I am well aware that the combination of these 2 notes does not constitute a C chord, that being the chord indicated at that point. However, the harmonic reality at that point is a C major. And the offending F goes away in the very next beat. I could have filled in a separate chord for that one beat, but it seemed like overkill to me. And I'm the composer! Ha! Write your own damn tune if you don't like it!!!