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

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

Dig in! 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, with lyrics by Robert Hunter. It is the second track of the Dead's 1970 album, American Beauty.

The song was introduced in concert 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 and Phil Lesh and Friends do a more up-tempo version that's similar to the original.

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

Now it's your turn! Check out this video; if you're interested, you can download the tab here>>

Acoustic Nation

Acoustic Nation is written by Laura B. Whitmore, a music industry marketing veteran, music journalist and editor, who has contributed to, Guitar World, and others. She has interviewed hundreds of musicians and hosts the She Rocks Podcast. As the founder of the Women’s International Music Network, she advocates for women in the music industry and produces the annual She Rocks Awards. She is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Positive Grid, making the world safe for guitar exploration everywhere! A guitarist and singer/songwriter, Laura is currently co-writing an album of pop songs that empower and energize girls.