All the best

John Prine

Here's John Prine's All The Best from the album The Missing Years. This is my first attempt at writing tablature, so please forgive any mistakes.
John Prine was on the Larry King radio show several years back. This transcription is based on that night's solo performance of All The Best. I chose that version because it was easier to hear his guitar. For the most part, it matches The Missing Years.
A couple of comments about the song. First, standard open chord fingerings for D, A, and E are all used, but the main trick to this song is a variation of an open A chord followed by a hammer-on which forms the next chord, a D with an A bass (D/A).
A -> D/A
------ ------ 1 1 ------ ------ XO111X 2 X0 1 x 2 ------ ------ 3 2 3 ------ ------ 4 3 4 ------ ------
Next, fingerpicking. If you're new to this, you might want to practice by playing various patterns while going through a few chord changes. If you haven't yet learned to fingerpick, it's well worth the effort. A nice thing about fingerpicking is that you can fret strings that aren't really part of a chord if you find that convenient. Just avoid sounding those strings when you're fingerpicking. A good example is the alternate A and D/A fingering above. I fret the high-E at the third fret (as part of the index finger barre), but don't pick that string.
The tab will pretty much show you the notes, but there are a number of places where you'll need to rely on your ears for timing. There are several parts, such as the hammer-on chord transition, that have kind of a roll feel to them. I think all the notes are there, but you'll need your ears for the phrasing. In this song, I pick all of the notes on the low-E, A, and D strings with my thumb. My index finger picks the notes on the G string, my middle finger picks B string notes and my ring finger gets the notes on the high-E. That's just a suggestion, and you may find it easier to do it differently.
This song is really not all that hard once you learn it. It's one of the few I can usually play all the way through without messing up. Standard tuning, capo on the third fret to match the album (second fret for the Larry King performance), and the tab is relative to the capo. I put the chords at the top of the tab to help with the left hand fingering. Also, I marked a note (in a couple of places) with an asterisk. While learning the song, it might help you to think of that note as starting a 5-note phrase. It definitely helped me when I was first trying to figure out the song.
That's about it. If some parts don't sound right to your ears, you may want to leave out or add a note or two. Also, the A to D/A hammer-on part might make your left hand cramp at first. It takes some time, but if you stick with it, it'll eventually stop.
(Capo at 3rd fret)
Intro (very similar to verse):
A D/A A |---------------------------------|------------------------------- |------------2--------------2-----|-----------3-----2------------- |-----2--2------------2-----------|-----2--------------------2---- |--------2------2--------2--------|--2*----------4-----2---------- |-----0------0-----0-----------0--|--------0--------0-----0------- |---------------------------------|-------------------------------
D/A A E ---------|-----------------------------------|-----------0---------- ---2-----|-----------3-----2--------------2--|---------------------- ---------|-----2--------------------2--------|-----1-----------1---- 2--------|--2-----------4-----2--------2-----|--------2------------- ------0--|--------0--------0-----0-----------|---------------------- ---------|-----------------------------------|--0-----------0-------
A D/A A ---------------------| ---0--------3--3--2--| ---------------------| 2--------2-----4-----| ------0-----0-----0--| ---------------------|
Well, I wish you love and happiness A D/A A |--------------------|--------------------------------------|------- |--------------------|-----------3-----2--------------2-----|------- |--------------------|-----2--------------------2-----------|------- |--------------------|--2*----------4-----2--------2--------|--2---- |--------------0-----|--------0--------0-----0-----------0--|------- |--------------------|--------------------------------------|------- I guess I wish you all D/A A E ------------------------------|--------------------|-----------0---- ------3-----2--------------2--|-----------------2--|----------------
2--------------------2--------|-----2-----2--------|-----1---------- ---------4-----2--------2-----|-----2--------2-----|--------2------- ---0--------0-----0-----------|--0-----0-----------|---------------- ------------------------------|--------------------|--0------------- the best And I wish that you A D/A A D/A A ---------------------------------------------|---------------------- ------------------3--3--2--------------2-----|-----------3-----2---- ---1-----------------------------2-----------|-----2---------------- ------2--------2-----4-----0--------2--------|--2-----------4------- ------------0-----0-----0-----0-----------0--|--------0--------0---- 0--------------------------------------------|---------------------- don't do like I do and ever fall in
D/A A ------------------|--------------------------------------|---------- ------------2-----|-----------3-----2--------------2-----|---------- ------2-----------|-----2--------------------2-----------|-----2---- 2--------2--------|--2-----------4-----2--------2--------|-----2---- ---0-----------0--|--------0--------0-----0--------------|--0------- ------------------|--------------------------------------|---------- love with someone like you E A D/A ------------------|-----------0--------------|-----------------| ------------------|--------------------------|--------3--3--2--| ---------2--------|-----1-----------1--------|-----------------| ------------2-----|--------2-----------2-----|-----2-----4-----| ------0-----------|--------------------------|--0-----0-----0--| ------------------|--0-----------0-----------|-----------------| Cause if you fell like I did NC D A (standard) ------------2-----------2-----------------------|------------------- ------------3-----------------------3-----2-----|------------------- ------------2-----2-----------2-----------------|-----2-----2------- ---------0-----------0-----------0-----------0--|-----2--------2---- 0--2--4--------0-----------0-----------0--------|--0-----0---------- ------------------------------------------------|------------------- you'd prob'ly walk around the block like a little 0-----------------------|-----------------0------------------------- ------------------------|------------------------------------------- ------2-----2-----2-----|-----2-----2-----------2-----2-----2------- ---------2-----------2--|-----2--------2-----------2-----------2---- ---0-----------0--------|--0-----0-----------0-----------0---------- ------------------------|------------------------------------------- kid Ah, but kids don't know E A D/A A |-----------0-----------------------0-----------|------------------- |-----------------------0-----------------------|--------3--3--2---- |-----1-----------1-----------1-----------1-----|------------------- |--------2-----------2-----------2-----------2--|-----2-----4------- |--------------0--------------------------------|--0-----0-----0---- |--0-----------------------0-----------0--------|-------------------
they can only guess how hard it is
D/A A ------------------|-----------------------------------|------------- ------------2-----|-----------3-----2--------------2--|------------- ------2-----------|-----2--------------------2--------|-----2------- 0--------2--------|--2-----------4-----2--------2-----|--------2---- ---0-----------0--|--------0--------0-----0-----------|--0---------- ------------------|-----------------------------------|------------- to wish you happi ness E A D/A A ---------------------------------|-------------------|----------------| 2--------------------------------|--------3--3--2----|--------2-------| ------2-----2-----1--------1-----|-------------------|----2-----------| ---------2--------2-----------2--|-----2-----4-----2-|------2---------| ---0-----------------------------|--0-----0-----0----|--0--------0----| ---------------0--------0--------|-------------------|----------------|
I wish you love and happiness I guess I wish you all the best I wish you don't do like I do And ever fall in love with someone like you Cause if you fell just like I did You'd probably walk around the block like a little kid But kids don't know they can only guess How hard it is to wish you happiness
I guess that love is like a Christmas card You decorate a tree you throw it in the yard It decays and dies and the snowmen melt Well I once knew love I knew how love felt Yeah I knew love love knew me When I walked love walked with me And I got no hate and I got no pride Well I got some much love that I cannot hide
Say you drive a Chevy say you drive a Ford You say you drive around the town till you just get bored Then you change your mind for something else to do And your heart gets bored with your mind and it changes you Well it's a doggone shame and it's an awful mess I wish you love I wish you happiness I wish you love I wish you happiness I guess I wish you all the best

Thanks to Peggy for the request and to OLGA for the inspiration. If you have any comments, improvements, suggestions, etc., please e-mail me at

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