Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #62409  by weizzer
 Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:15 pm
Hey there,

I'm just wondering, fingers crossed if there are any cats out there that know any dead tabs for bass...

I'm trying to work out shakedown street, touch of grey, and a few other jams and would love if any friendly stranger could help me out.

not many bass tabs surprisingly for such a fan favourite band.. but here's hoping!! BassMasta isn't so great... and that seems to be the best and even more surprising is no books either. Phil is sick and it'd be incredible to learn more lines and well my novice ear is trying but help would sure be great!

thanks and happy jams to all :)
 #62418  by Rusty the Scoob
 Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:11 am
I don't really do tabs. I don't like reading them and I don't find them very musical... but I'll be more than happy to help you learn. Shakedown is easy. The chord changes are posted here. If you don't know how to translate them onto a bass, now's a great time to learn! If you already know, sorry for my assumption... your question is a little vague so I'm sorry if I give you info that you already know.

The main reason there are so few tabs for Phil is that he does something different every time he plays a song. Tabbing just one version is too limited - you have to learn to think like him or at least have a good handle on chords and scales and how to use them. Shakedown is one exception, where he generally sticks with one version of how to play it. Here's my interpretation of it. This is meant as a sort of companion to the chord chart that's posted here:

The song starts out with a big, fat sustained D note. Use the biggest and fattest one you have. This hits twice. Then when the groove comes in, play D... A C A C D like this:


I'll call that: "The lick"

Then comes the chorus:

G C/G F C9
You tell me this town ain't got no heart.
Dm (play the lick one time)
Well, well, well, you can never tell.
G C/G F C9
The sunny side of the street is dark.
Dm (play the lick one time)
Well, well, well, you can never tell.

Fmaj7 - here you're going to want to get floaty in FMaj7, up the neck starting with the F on the 8th fret of the A string. Play around with this scale.


Maybe that's cause it's midnight,

Here you'll play around with this scale, or the good old Em Pentatonic - also in the same range. (Phil does not often go below the low A compared to other bassists)


And the dark of the moon besides.
Maybe the dark is from your eyes

(maybe the dark is from your eyes).
Maybe the dark is from your eyes
Ebm7 Dm7
(maybe the dark is from your ey es).
Maybe the dark is from your eyes

(maybe the dark is from your eyes).
You know you got such dark eyes.

Now for the chorus, you play the same lick as above, but down two frets in C. Make it a little louder and groovier if you can, to give the song some shape.


Nothin' shakin' on Shakedown Street;
used to be the heart of town.
Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart.
You just gotta poke around.

That's about all you need to know! There's a guitar solo over the verse, and a jam out on the C lick... you can play around with it during the jam, or you can just keep it steady and let your bandmates play off of it.

Here's one version by my band: ... St_vbr.mp3 taken from this show: ... embroke.MA to give you some ideas.
 #62429  by astroman99
 Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:33 am
scoob, I am not a bass player( well actually just bought one-more fun then I even imagined), but isn't that riff really a quick jump from G to A and than C, and does that a whole step down at the end of the verse.