Monthly Archives: October 2020

When I Paint My Masterpiece: Guitar Solo

When I Paint My Masterpiece

Jerry Garcia Guitar Solo 10/3/87

Bob Dylan wrote “When I Paint My Masterpiece” in 1971. The Band delivered the first recorded version of the song on their 1971 album "Cahoots," with Dylan’s rendition appearing a few months later on Bob Dylan’s "Greatest Hits Vol. II." Although Jerry Garcia had been performing “When I Paint My Masterpiece” as early as 1972 with his solo projects, the Grateful Dead didn't add the song to their repertoire until 1987. The solo taught in this lesson comes from 10/3/87, and can be found on "View from the Vault III."

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Alabama Getaway

Alabama Getaway

On the surface, “Alabama Getaway” sounds like a standard, Chuck Berry-esque 12 bar blues. However, the song is anything but standard, and instead of being a 12 bar blues, it follows an 8 bar blues form with a couple of twists.

"Alabama Getaway" was first performed by the Grateful Dead on November 4, 1979, at the Civic Center in Providence, Rhode Island. It became a concert perennial in the early 80s before slowly dropping out of the band's repertoire in June 1989, only to be revived in 1995 for a total of 4 shows.

The Dead played "Alabama Getaway" a total of 141 times, with 88 of those occurring in its first three years (1979-1981). In 1980 alone, they played it during 50 of their 86 performances that year.

The studio recording of "Alabama Getaway" that appears on "Go To Heaven" opens with a 4 bar guitar solo which the Dead dropped when they played the song live. In this lesson, I’ve given 3 variations of the intro (2 solos and one “rhythm only” intro as they would play it live). We’re also going to take a look at the way Jerry approached rhythm guitar on this tune.

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