Lesson: How to Play the Grateful Dead's "Friend of the Devil"

by Acoustic Nation
Posted Mar 18, 2014 at 2:07am

In this lesson brought to you by our friends at Alfred Music, you'll learn the main riff and rhythm guitar parts for the classic Grateful Dead song, "Friend of the Devil."

Dig in and then at the end of the lesson, you can play along with a recording of the song.

The music for "Friend of the Devil" was written by Jerry Garcia and John Dawson and the lyrics are by Robert Hunter. It is the second track of the Dead's 1970 album American Beauty.

The song was introduced in concert on February 28, 1970 at the Family Dog in San Francisco.

Later in the band's history, the song slowed down significantly in live performances. Loggins and Messina, whose version of the song was slowed down, might have inspired the Dead to do the same.

In more recent history, Phil Lesh with Phil's band Phil Lesh and Friends do a more up-tempo version similar to the original.

"Friend of the Devil" has also been covered by a diverse group of artists including Elvis Costello, Counting Crows, Lyle Lovett, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, John Mayer and many more.

And now it's your turn! Check out this video and if you like you can download the tab here>>

And now...try it out!


Add a Comment
0 Comments

Similar Guitar News

Cover Story: Trey Anastasio Talks Phish, Grateful Dead, Guitar Geekery and New Solo Record 'Paper Wheels' (12/3/2015)
The following is an excerpt from the January issue of Guitar World. For the full interview, pick up your copy here. Trey Anastasio can’t contain his enthusiasm. “Check it out, man!” A giant grin splits his light-red beard, eyes twinkling behind ...
Touch of Grey: Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia Talks Gear, His Near-Fatal Illness and 'In The Dark' (7/5/2015)
Here's an interview with The Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia from the December 1987 issue of Guitar World, which featured Joe Perry on the cover. The original story by John Swenson started on page 34 and ran with the headline, "Back From the Dead: ...
Rhino Releases 'Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead' DVD/CD (11/24/2015)
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Grateful Dead, the "core four" original members—Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir—reunited at Chicago's Soldier over three nights in July, marking the original members' last-ever performanc...
Review: Alvarez 50th Anniversary Grateful Dead Series Guitars — Video (5/11/2015)
In the history of modern music, few bands have captured as many hearts and inspired entire generations like the Grateful Dead. Alvarez, which has had a long-standing friendship with band members Bob Weir and the late Jerry Garcia, has commemora...
Readers' Poll: The Best American Rock Band Ever — Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Vs. Grateful Dead (10/2/2015)
When Labor Day came and went early last month, it reminded us of the American labor movement and the contributions American workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of the good ol' U.S. of A. However, since we're Guitar World...
Readers' Poll: The Best American Rock Band Ever — The White Stripes Vs. The Grateful Dead (9/15/2015)
When Labor Day came and went earlier this month, it reminded us of the American labor movement and the contributions American workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of the good ol' U.S. of A. However, since we're Guitar Wor...
Not Fade Away: Grateful Dead, Trey Anastasio at July 5 Fare Thee Well Show — Concert Review (7/6/2015)
Last night’s final Fare Thee Well show; the final joint appearance, ever, by the Grateful Dead’s "core four" of Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann—if you take them at their word—began and ended the same way: with a group bow an...
Grateful Dead Celebrate 50th Anniversary with '30 Trips Around the Sun' Box Set, Featuring 30 Unreleased Shows (6/2/2015)
The Grateful Dead played 2,318 live shows, more than any other band in the history of music. For 30 years, the band's live performances were constantly morphing and evolving, making every show a unique experience. Now, in the midst of their 50...
Grateful Dead Announce 'Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead' Live Box Set (6/26/2015)
As we've reported, the Grateful Dead will perform several "Fare Thee Well" shows in celebration of their 50th anniversary. The shows will take place June 27 and 28 in Santa Clara, California, and July 3 to 5 in Chicago. The band will play two s...
Autographed 'Fare Thee Well' D’Angelico Grateful Dead Guitar Up for Grabs at Auction (6/24/2015)
HeadCount, a non-partisan, non-profit organization with a mission to promote participation in democracy through the power of musicians and their music, and D’Angelico Guitars will auction off a one-of-a-kind D’Angelico guitar signed by original ...
How The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir Utilizes Online Mastering Tool LANDR (3/23/2015)
If you’re anything like most musicians, you probably don’t have more than a vague idea of what mastering really is. Once you attempt to produce your own recording, however, you learn quickly that quality mastering is essential if you want to end...
With 'Workingman’s Dead,' the Grateful Dead Shifted from Uncommercial Jam Band to One of the World's Most Popular Acts (11/4/2013)
What a difference a year makes. In February 1969, the Grateful Dead recorded a series of shows at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom and Fillmore West in the hope of finally capturing on tape the psychedelic alchemy of their already legendary onsta...
Warren Haynes Discusses His Grateful Dead Tribute Show and Gov't Mule's Star-Studded New Album, 'Shout!' (9/23/2013)
This is an excerpt from the November 2013 issue of Guitar World magazine. For the rest of this story, plus a John Petrucci cover story and poster and features on Santana, Guthrie Govan, Zakk Wylde, Lamb of God, Joan Jett, Slash and more, check o...
Hear an Unreleased 1972 Live Version of The Grateful Dead's "Playing In The Band" from 'Sunshine Daydream' (9/19/2013)
Today, GuitarWorld.com presents a live version of the Grateful Dead's "Playing In The Band," a track from Sunshine Daydream. The album was released Tuesday, September 17. On August 27, 1972, fresh off their European tour, the Grateful Dead trave...
Premiere: Hear a 1972 Live Version of The Grateful Dead's "Playing In The Band" from 'Sunshine Daydream' (9/19/2013)
Today, GuitarWorld.com presents a live version of the Grateful Dead's "Playing In The Band," a track from Sunshine Daydream. The album was released Tuesday, September 17. On August 27, 1972, fresh off their European tour, the Grateful Dead trave...