Transcriptions of Bert Jansch compositions

Bert had always planned to have his music written down in a book, but sadly, he died before this could happen. Now to facilitate all the musicians clamouring to know how he produced his special sounds, and how to perform and sing his songs, the Bert Jansch Foundation has brought this to fruition.

The Foundation gathered dedicated and skilled guitarists who have been transcribing Bert’s material for decades. Expertly managed by Jon Riley, they have revisited their own transcriptions and compared each other’s work, sharing their insights and experience to create what they agree are optimum versions for achieving Bert’s sound and style.


Bert Transcribed — Bert Jansch Song Book with its 24 songs was published byWise Publications – an imprint of Music Sales, (since taken over by Hal Leonard) in August 2017, supporting the Foundation and coinciding with the Bert Jansch Tribute concert at the Queens Hall Edinburgh.

Songs included are:

  • Alice’s Wonderland,
  • Alman
  • Angie
  • Bird Song
  • Birthday Blues
  • Blackwaterside
  • Blues Run the Game
  • Bright New Year
  • Chamberlain
  • Crimson Moon
  • Curragh of Kildare
  • The First Time Ever I saw your face
  • Fresh as a Sweet Sunday Morning
  • In the Bleak Midwinter
  • Is It Real?
  • Joint Control
  • Moonshine
  • Needle of Death
  • Orlando
  • Peregrinations
  • Reynardine
  • Running from Home
  • Soho
  • Strolling Down the Highway

The book has been rapturously received.

Comments from reviews include:

‘… highly accurate and accessible work. I could rave on… but I am working on Reynardine right now… BRAVO!!!’ 
‘The foundation provides a ton of info on Bert, his style, the songs, his equipment. It’s a really well-done book and I’m absolutely obsessed with it right now.’ 
‘This book is long overdue and an excellent guide to the genius of Bert Jansch. I hope it will be followed by others’.

The next 24 songs are being prepared for a Volume 2.  If you have favourites you would like to see included, or if you want to donate your own transcriptions to the Foundation to be put to into the pot for the team to consider, contact

You can purchase the book here or amazon


‘Bert Transcribed’ workshops

Jon Riley, who has managed the transcription process for publication, and Thomas Fairhurst of the Bert Transcribed group have been running successful Bert Transcribed workshops for the Foundation with support from Yamaha.

Wherever you are, we can help you create a workshop for up to 20 people and send teachers – if you can arrange the venue and the participants e.g. from your college or guitar club. To discuss such a partnership in bringing a Bert Jansch guitar workshop to your area, please contact

The Bert Transcribed Group
Musical Coordinator Jon Riley

To achieve Bert’s wish of having his music available in book form, the Bert Jansch Foundation brought together experienced professionals and passionate amateurs from around the world, including compilers of out-of-print books and online tablature. In addition, two of the most prolific and acclaimed American transcribers and teachers of Bert’s music have joined the team as consultants.

Members of the group include Thomas Fairhurst (Kent UK), Chris Fowler (Cardiff), Remy Froissart (Paris), Harald Høyvik (Oslo), Lars Ingesman (Aarhus, Denmark), Doug Kennedy (Birmingham), Jamie Phillips (New York), Jon Riley (London) and Mike Walker(Edinburgh) Some transcriptions were prepared by Bert’s colleague, performance partner, friend and fellow progenitor of the so-called folk-baroque guitar style, the late John Renbourn.Rolly Brown (Pennsylvania) and Glenn LaSalle (Florida) have been pleased to join the team as much valued consultants.  

Geraldine Auerbach MBE, who directed the project for the Bert Jansch Foundation says, ‘The Trustees are very grateful to all members of the group for their skill, dedication and generosity in donating their transcriptions to support the Foundation, and especially to Jon Riley for his proficiency in coordinating and managing the whole process. Everyone is excited to be part of this project enabling Bert’s music to reach a wider audience.

To support the Bert Jansch Foundation, please click the ‘Donate’ button below.