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.


Although the Dead would jam out on "Sunshine Daydream" (the coda to "Sugar Magnolia"), the first guitar solo in "Sugar Magnolia" only last for 10 bars. On "American Beauty" Garcia played the solo on a pedal steel guitar but would perform the solo on guitar in concert. This solo was taken from their 10/29/77 show, and to me is a perfect illustration of the type of pithy solo Jerry would play in those 10 bars.

Download the complete transcription below.

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  • Erik v says:

    Thank you Craig…Ive been lurking on your lessons, great job..thanks for your deadication 🙂

  • Good job on the Lost Sailor. I like to interpret what you refer to as the A7Alt (making the next chord a C7Alt) as both landing on the bottom of a 9th chord. Making the A7Alt land on a “C9” and the C7Alt has landing on an “Eb9” Both chords comprise the majority of 9th chords.

    The A7Alt would imply a flat 7th but there is no flat 7th in either chord so I suppose “Alt” is a good way to approach these highly jazzed influenced chords Bobby is using.

  • BlueBoogieBruce says:

    Fantastic Lessons- Txs for sharing your knowledge!

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