How to play Slipknot! by the Grateful Dead – Video Lesson

Explore Jerry Garcia's guitar part on one of The Dead's most adventurous compositions from their 1975 album "Blues for Allah".

The Grateful Dead's 1975 album "Blues for Allah" marked a new chapter in their compositional playbook, and many of these songs went on to become great vehicles for improvisation in their live shows. The song we're looking at today is "Slipknot!", which served as a musical segue between the opening track "Help of the Way" and the now classic "Franklin's Tower".


Make sure you download a copy of the transcription below.

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  • Ben Turner says:

    Hey Craig,

    Thanks so much for the transcription it’s really wonderful it has really helped me nail down that rhythm! One question though! In measure 23, we have to switch to 5/8 in order to keep the melody we hear in time. Is it possible to add/subtract something to the melody so that we could keep each beat a quarter note (so any time signature in 4 like 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, 6/4, whatever, and it sounds natural? Because I want to perform it at some point and it might be difficult to switch to 5/8 for only a bar.

  • Ben Turner says:

    Hi, just adding to the previous comment. What I guess Im asking is could it be manipulated so it kind of follows like measure 8 and 9?

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