Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #1304  by bigfootcounty
 Fri Dec 17, 2004 6:13 am
Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone has any tips on playing the rhythm to New
Speedway Boogie.

Primarily on the long E parts it sounds like Bobby is hammering
somewhere. Also, it could be the use of upstrokes. My band just
started messing with it last night so I still need to work it out but
thought I would get some insight while I'm at work.

thanks in advance,
Chris :cool:

 #1343  by jhc
 Mon Jan 03, 2005 5:49 pm
Try starting with an E7 (play around with different voicings) and then hammer the D up to an E to make a regular E major chrord. Alternately you can play single note D's and hammer up to a single note E.

I'm not sure how to tab out the rhythm, but the canonical riff (like during the intro on the album version) is almost all based on downbeat quarter notes and down/up eigth note pairs. Of course you can play any way that sounds good to you.

 #10400  by shakedown_04092
 Fri Nov 17, 2006 7:36 pm
Anybody got any tips/tricks/licks for playing this song? We do a pretty good version, but I'm looknig to spice it up a bit. :drink:

I usually stick to an E minor Pentatonic scale, and throw in occasional color notes here & there. Was wondering what others do for this song?

Thanks in advance for the feedback :) :cool:

Especially looking for some good "runs" if anyone feels like tabbing them out for me!

 #10425  by b weird
 Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:27 pm
Code: Select all
E7                D#7     E7
Please don't dominate the rap Jack,
D#7        E7             D#7  E7
If you got nothin' new to say.
D#7    E7      D#7   E7
If you please, don't back up the tracks,
D#7   E7            D#7   E7    D#7
This train's got to run today.

I spent a little time on the mountain,
Spent a little time on the hill.
I heard some say, better run away;
  G        D            A7
Others say better stand still.

    E7           D#7  
Now I don't know but I been told that
     G       D            A7
It's hard to run with the weight of gold
E7          D#7            E7
Other hand, I've heard it said,
     G         D           A7
It's just as hard with the weight of lead
Here's how I play it.

 #10426  by b weird
 Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:39 pm
By the way when play in the chords don't play them in the open position play E7 on the fifth fret then slide up to the fourth and play D#7. I hope this helps. :-)

 #18905  by strumminsix
 Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:50 am
Don't forget one of the favorite Bobby chords the 6.

Think of the D6 which is comprised of:
D F# A B

This plays really nicely against an E7 which is E G# B D

So you have the common notes of D and B so the transitions and colouring is more subtle.

This, IMO, is part 1 of the key to Bobby's rhythms, covert.
Part 2, as we all know, is being overt!
 #18932  by Winterland
 Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:38 am
So in a major 1 4 5 progression would I play all the relative minors or each chorg?
 #18934  by strumminsix
 Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:56 am
Winterland wrote:So in a major 1 4 5 progression would I play all the relative minors or each chorg?
No. It's about flavor and mingling and interweaving.

If you do it all the time it is not longer flavor but construct.

Am is call the relative minor to the C - also the 6th in the maj scale.

So let's take you 1 4 5. Firstly I have to say that adding flavor and spice can either enhance or detract from the song. In my experience this is dependent on the rigidity of the song's construct and the mood of the vocals/solo. A relative minor still sounds minor.

So for a 1-4-5 that is rigid I'd play it straight. But let's use it as an example anyway...

1-4-5 in G = G C D

Us playing together: The G is the top of the measure so I'd play G. If you are playing with C I might compliment it with an Gsus4. Then when you are playing the D I might compliment it with a Bm.

But as you are soloing over me I might play this:
|G / / / | Gsus4 / C / |
|G / / Em | G / / / |
|Gsus4 / C / | C / Am C |
|G / / Em | G / / / |
|D / C6 Bm| C / / / |
|G / / / | G C C# D |

 #18982  by deadguise
 Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:58 pm
...And the riff at the end of the verse:
G D A7
It's just as hard with the weight of lead

 #53179  by extract9
 Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:02 pm
Many get stuck on the intro riff alone but rythmically, Speedway is a lesson in dancing around E w/E7 chord inversions in the appropriate timing (to keep the rhythm alive and moving). And also a lesson in when to bring it back it all back home and keep it simple stupid and sustain the chords and/or when return to the intro riff. I don't know much about the other posts w/CMaj7 and Am stuff here...maybe a different recorded version...but if you want to play the song that everyone will know and you'll rock to, here's the secret:

Lyrics - all E & 'E7 based'. Don't just strum then E7, get tasty and vamp off it dude! >> E7, E7/B, E7add6, E7/D, E7/G#, E7no3, et al (simple forms with 1 note changes to the previous chord works best) - funked up, acid-tinged, campfire strum along... And then throw in a timely: E7sus4no5/D >> E7no3/D (simple forms) - you'll know when (...ain't got nothin to say... '___' '__').

I'm no chord afficianado (had to cheat and look at examples to explain examples to you), so here's a more basic explaination of E7 chords needed. Try playing a E7 chord and moving your pinky/ring/middle/index or finger around (up or down or off until it sounds right), and then remember that 'inversion' position and use them. Also try playing 2-3 notes instead of the whole chord, or moving the bass notes or top end notes around - both on a held E7 chord guts.

See example inversions here - plug 'em in:

Chorus: G/D/Asus (A) Keep it simple, and sustain he G & D, but play with emphasis 1x when played. Would get a little fancier on the A - try going up positions on the A to work up (slide up fret below to the chord to for affect) all the way to the octave and give it brilliance and sustain there with a slides off before back to the E7 workhorse.

I might be able to share a few ideas of chords at a later date if some one is interested. Let me know.