Guitar lesson for
Where Rainbows Never Die
by The Steeldrivers • Lesson #112
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In this lesson, I’ll teach you how to play the intro riff “Where Rainbows Never Die” by the Steeldrivers. This is a fun riff, repeating over the D-A-Bm-G chords, which is heard through most of the song. I’ll break down how to approach this riff from a practicing standpoint – and show tabs breaking down the musical phrases to tackle one by one.
- 0:00 Playthrough & lesson overview
- 2:27 Where I start the actual lesson
Capo 2nd fret
If you want to play along with the Steeldrivers version, add a capo to the 2nd fret.
Here’s the main riff you hear, which is repeated in the intro and verse.
e –|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3––3––3––3––|– B –|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3––3––3––3––|– G –|–––––2––––––––2–––––2–––––––––––––––––0––0––0––0––|– D –|––0–––––––––––2–––––2––––––––4––––––––0––0––0––0––|– A –|–––––––––––0–––––0–––––0––2–––––––––––2––2––2––2––|– E –|––––––––3–––––––––––––––––––––––2––3––3––3––3––3––|– 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + D A Bm G
Alternate ending to the riff
And, here’s the version of the riff with the special ending, heard on the 3rd playthrough of the intro. For the 4th playthrough, they go back to the “main” riff shown above.
e –|–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3––––––––|– B –|–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3––––––––|– G –|–––––2––––––––2–––––2––––––––0–––––––––––0––––––––|– D –|––0–––––––––––2–––––2–––––––––––4––0–––––0–––––0––|– A –|–––––––––––0–––––0–––––0––2––––––––––––––2––0h2–––|– E –|––––––––3–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3––3––––––––|– 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + D A Bm G
How to practice the riff when learning it
Here’s what I practiced over and over while first learning the riff. The focus here is learning (1) the chords, and (2) the bass note transitions. Don’t worry about the timing (yet) and don’t worry about the precise melodic bass notes (yet). Once you get this down, then you can worry about those.
e –|–––––2––– ––––––––––– –––––––(2)– ––––––––3–––––– B –|–––––3––– ––––––––2–– ––––––––3–– ––––––––3–––––– G –|–––––2––– ––––––––2–– ––––––––4–– ––––––––0–––––– D –|––0–––––– ––––––––2–– ––––––––4–– ––––––––0–––––– A –|––––––––– –––––0––––– ––0––2––––– ––––––––x–––––– E –|––––––––– ––3–––––––– ––––––––––– ––2––3––––––––– D A Bm G
Chords needed for the song
Here’s the normal way you play the chords used in this song. When strumming the verse, try to only emphasize the bottom 2-3 strings of each chord (as this song as a very bassy sound to its progression).
e –––2––––0––––3––––2–––– –––2––––(2)––––0––– B –––3––––2––––3––––3–––– –––3–––––3–––––0––– G –––2––––2––––0––––4–––– –––4–––––2–––––0––– D –––0––––2––––0––––4–––– –––4–––––0–––––2––– A ––––––––0––––2––––2–––– –––0–––––0–––––2––– E –––––––––––––3––––––––– –––––––––2–––––0––– D A G Bm Bm/A D/F# Em
But for the intro, I recommend the following voicings / finger positions:
e –––––––– x--- don't play this string B –––2–––– <--- left hand index finger (barred) G –––2–––– <--- left hand index finger (barred) D –––2–––– <--- left hand index finger (barred) A –––0–––– E –––––––– A e –––3–––– <--- left hand pinky finger B –––3–––– <--- left hand ring finger G –––0–––– D –––0–––– A –––x–––– x--- don't play this string (mute it) E –––3–––– <--- left hand middle finger G ## Strumming patterns
Here’s three ways you could strum this.
Continuous down-up strumming:
D A Bm G 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + d u d u d u d u d u d u d u d u
Continuous down strums:
D A Bm G 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d
Conventional strumming pattern:
D A Bm G 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + d d u u d u d d u u d u
Lyrics w/ chords
Capo 2nd fret
INTRO e –|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3––3––3––3––|– B –|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3––3––3––3––|– G –|–––––2––––––––2–––––2–––––––––––––––––0––0––0––0––|– D –|––0–––––––––––2–––––2––––––––4––––––––0––0––0––0––|– x4 A –|–––––––––––0–––––0–––––0––2–––––––––––2––2––2––2––|– E –|––––––––3–––––––––––––––––––––––2––3––3––3––3––3––|– 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + D A Bm G VERSE D A Bm G D A Bm G ........I'm an old man now... I can't do nothing D A Bm G D A Bm G ....Young folks don't pay me no mind D A Bm G D A Bm G ....But in my day I sure was something D A Bm G D A Bm G Before I felt the heavy hand of time (D / A / Bm / G) I'm an old man now... I'm bound for glory Time to lay these burdens down Had enough of this old world of worry Gonna trade my troubles for a crown (D / A / Bm / G) I will make my way across the fields of cotton And wade through muddy waters one last time D A Bm G And in my dreams I come out clean CHORUS Bm Bm/A G D/F# Em G (let ring) ...When I reach the other side, waste away the sunsets (G) D ...Where rainbows never die [ instrumental verse x4 ] BRIDGE A ...I've got on last thing to do G ...One more mile before I'm through A ...Casting off these early chains G A ...Going where theres no more pain [ instrumental verse ] (D / A / Bm / G) I will make my way across the fields of cotton And wade through muddy waters one last time And in my dreams I come out clean Bm Bm/A G D/F# Em G (let ring) ...When I reach the other side, waste away the sunsets (G) D ...Where rainbows never die (D / A / Bm / G) I'm an old man now... can't do nothing Young folks don't pay me no mind (end on D)
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