The best approach for learning to play Brian May’s masterful solo guitar accompaniment in this live version of “Love of My Life” smoothly is to break down his parts and study the fret-hand and pick-hand duties separately, rather than jumping in and trying to learn the chord shapes and fingerpicking all at once.
Starting with the fret hand, first familiarize yourself with the chord shapes illustrated at the beginning of the transcription, as the fingerings for many of them may not be readily apparent from the tablature alone. “1” signifies the index finger and “4” represents the pinkie. At the top of each chord frame, o’s tell you whether any un-fretted strings are played open, while x’s mean a string is not to be played.
When fingerpicking this song, May generally uses his thumb to play the lowest note in each chord while assigning individual pick-hand fingers to sound the higher strings as needed. However, the moderately slow tempo means the picking can actually be accomplished with virtually any combination of fingers; you can use as many or as few as you like to play through the melodies and chord arpeggios.
For the most authentic performance, use multiple fingers to pluck, rather than strum, chord tones sounded together, as indicated by vertically stacked tab numbers. Note, however, that, for dramatic effect, May sometimes will strum a chord with his thumb, indicated in each case by a squiggly vertical line in the tablature.
For Jeff Perrin's tab of this song, pick up the June 2018 issue of Guitar World.