In classical guitar we have two ways of plucking the strings; rest stroke where the string is plucked by a push of the finger or thumb which then rests on the adjacent string, and free stroke where the finger plucks free of the next (thicker) string. Rest stroke gives a warmer, fuller tone and is used for single-line melodies; to help a melody stand out from an accompaniment, or to accent or emphasise a single note. the Satie scale (or when it includes the minor 7th,Dorian #4 (fourth mode of Harmonic minor)), and is transposed to each of the three main key areas in the piece: Dm, Gm, Am (Am, Dm, Em in the original).
Gnossienne No.3 was written in free time, without bar lines or time signature, to imply a floating sense of time, but I’ve included them here for clarity. The rhythms imply a slow 4/4 with a lilting pattern in the accompaniment, which stresses beats 1, 3 and 4. To make the piece rather more idiomatic for the guitar, I’ve transposed the original key of A minor down a 4th to D minor, with drop D tuning which allows me to keep practically every note from the original. Other than that the arrangement is very close to the original - something quite rare for solo guitar arrangements of piano pieces!
Despite the slow tempo, it may take some practice to maintain a lyrical melody and keep it balanced with the chords, so use the tab captions to help you through. I’ve also translated Satie’s surreal performance notes for you to enjoy as you learn this wonderful piece.