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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Mountain Jam Guitar Lesson

Epic Jam

I'm always getting requests for The Allman Brother’s “Mountain Jam”, and this makes sense as there is no other one song that wholly represents the Allmans as much as this. Clocking in between 30-45 minutes, the song truly is a musical journey and gives everyone in the band a chance to really shine. The first recorded version of Mountain Jam dates back to May 4, 1969 and the was last played on the very last performance by the ABB on October 29th, 2014.

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Fretboard Fluency – Learning the Notes on the Fretboard

I'm not going to lie, I'm surprised at the number of guitarists that are quite good and have been playing for a considerable amount of time that don't know the names of all the notes on the fretboard fluently. Don't be tempted to skip past this post if you kind of know the notes and are able to figure them out if given enough time. The objective of this lesson is to know all the note names fluently. And by fluently, I mean able to play or name a note instantaneously, without thinking. If I told you to play every C on the guitar, you could play 12 of them, one after another, in less time than it takes you to read this sentence. Or, if someone points out the 15th fret of the second string you call out D without thinking twice.

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Allman Brothers Band – Blue Sky – Dickey Betts’ Solo

In the 3rd and final installment of my Allman Brothers Band "Blue Sky" lesson we take a look at the 2nd guitar solo (Dickey Betts' solo) from the "Eat A Peach" album.

Dickey Betts' solo is pretty much a masterclass in taking a handful of notes and weaving them into an endless number of beautiful melodies. This solo is based out of an E major pentatonic scale with the added 4th degree (also known as a hexatonic scale).

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Allman Brothers Band – Blue Sky – Duane Allman Solo

In this lesson, were taking a look at the first guitar solo (Duane Allman's solo) on "Blue Sky" from the Eat a Peach album.

Duane's solo (as well as Dickey's solo) are both great examples of using only a handful of notes to craft a very melodic and memorable solo. Unfortunately, this was one of the last songs Duane played on before his sudden and tragic death on October 29, 1971. His playing was spectacular on this recording, including effortlessly switching between whole step and step and a half bends with spot on accuracy.

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They Love Each Other – Jerry Garcia 5/8/77 Solo

In this lesson, I bring you Jerry Garcia’s solo on “They Love Each Other” from the legendary May 8, 1977 show at Barton Hall, on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca New York.

"They Love Each Other" is a Hunter/Garcia composition that appeared on Jerry Garcia's 1976 solo album "Reflections". It was debuted February 9th, 1973 at Roscoe Maples Pavilion at Stanford University alongside a number of other soon-to-be Grateful Dead staples. It was performed 226 times after the initial Stanford performance.

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Sugar Magnolia Guitar Solo (Video Lesson)

In this lesson we will be examining Jerry Garcia's 10 bar guitar solo from the 10/29/77 version of "Sugar Magnolia"

"Sugar Magnolia" was released on the Grateful Dead's 1970 album "American Beauty", and was co-written by Robert Hunter and Bob Weir. "Sugar Magnolia" went on to be the band's most played original, played nearly 600 times between its inception and the Dead's last show on 7/9/95.

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