Here’s an intermediate lesson on how to play this amazing tune by Charlie Daniels. I’ll show you how to play the opening riff as well as Johnny’s solo

The song was included on the Urban Cowboy soundtrack and became a huge cross-over hit. I’m tempted to say that it was a hit because it included elements of rock, country, funk, and even heavy metal. But when it comes down to to it, it’s just a great story-song.


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Preparation

The tune is in D minor. Warm up with D Dorian or Aeolian modes as well as F Major.

D Major

D Major scale: D0-1-2-3-A0-1-2-3 | E0-1-L2-3-4 

D Aeolian scale: D0-1-L2-3-A0-L1-L2-3 

F Drone

F Major scale: DL2-3-A0-L1-L2-3-E0-L1 

Review and practice the scales if you need:


The Riff

Short audio

Full play along tracks (with slow to fast tempos) are available to All-access users. Subscribe here.

Full audio tracks


Full tabs

A part 

first line: A3-L2-3-E0-L1 L1-L2-3 3-L4-3-L2-L1-0

The remaining tabs are available to All-access users.


Full sheet music


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Johnny’s Solo

Short audio

Multi-tempo full audio tracks


Full tabs

A part 

first line: (E0-0)-L1-0-L1-L2-L1-0-A3-E0-L1-0-L1-L2-L1-0-A3-0 The remaining tabs are available to All-access users.


Charlie’s version!

 

 

FiddleHed Jan’s version!

3 responses to “The Devil Went Down To Georgia

  1. Hey all, if you see this… that C# and the F# are both notes you shift up to play. Especially that F#! If you strain to reach notes like that you can injure your tendons. Move your forearm, wrist and first finger altogether up to the A note on the E string, placing that first finger on the note. Now you are in third position and the C# will be easy to play with your 3rd finger. Yes you can stretch for it if you want, but you can’t stretch for that next one, so shifting up most of the way already is a big help. That F# next is actually meant to be played while in 5th position. You can just move your hand up higher and it will be accessible. Technically, your first finger would be anchored on where that C# is. Learning a bit about shifting and doing it smoothly will help a lot. At least get familiar with shifting to third… you can use that position often enough in fiddle music if you want to. 🙂 Cheers!

    1. I have really small hands and short fingers too so I feel your pain. It will get there. Your hand flexibility will improve over time. I do find that most of the time I cheat. I can’t keep my first and second fingers down and still hit the fourth finger accurately most of the time…..so I pick up fingers 1 and 2, anchor with the 3, and then play the fourth fine. Because of some arthritis pain in my first finger on my left hand I find I pick up that finger a lot unless it’s actually needed to finger a note.

      One thing that helps in this song is that the fourth finger on the E plays B flat (low fourth) instead of having to reach all the way to play the full B!

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