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Easy Flatpicking Intro – Grateful Dead

Lesson ID: A0197

In this guitar lesson, we’ll take a look at some simple rhythm and lead from the song “Ripple” by Grateful Dead. First, we’ll work through two basic chord progressions in G and we’ll add some vocals for those of y’all wanting to sing with this song. Then, in the second half of this lesson, you’ll learn a nice guitar intro that mixes the melody of “Ripple” with country & bluegrass strumming.


Flatpicking Intro

Video 1 – Playthrough with Tablature – Flatpicking Intro

Video 2 – Full Breakdown – Flatpicking Intro

Video Start Time Lesson Topic
00:00 min Measures 1 through 4
04:16 min Measures 5 through 8
07:49 min Measures 9 through 12


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George Lange
George Lange(@georgeanddoris66hotmail-com)
3 years ago

Sounds great Devin

Roy Baker
Roy Baker(@roy)
3 years ago

Thanks, like this lesson , good choice

Susan Wagner
Susan Wagner(@shysue)
3 years ago

Love it! Thanks, Devin. :^)

3 years ago

Great Lesson Devin.

3 years ago

I’ve been wanting to learn some more Dead songs. Thanks Devin

Patrick Tembo
Patrick Tembo(@tom-grace)
3 years ago

been waiting for this one!!

David Webster
David Webster(@dwebman)
3 years ago

I’m really enjoying learning this intro. The focus on the right hand steady up down pattern makes learning the flat picking a lot easier. That’s a wonderful piece of advice you emphasize in these lessons. Thanks Devon.

3 years ago

My neighbors appreciate the new song. They’re probably tired of hearing my play list!! Thanks Devin fun learning!

3 years ago

I couldn’t work out how you were getting back to the d chord from the G. It wasn’t working for me until on closer inspection i noticed you were making a D chord with your pinky. This is a first for me. I’ve never made a D like that before, but it’s a useful thing to learn.

BTW, thanks for posting this old favorite of mine.

2 years ago

You had me at “easy”!!

2 years ago

Oh, I could play everything right now!

2 years ago

PLEASE Make a video of the whole song with tabs and lyrics. PLEASE

KYLE JONES(@redicoyote)
2 years ago

I love this song!

Paul Murphy
Paul Murphy(@1malandro)
2 years ago

A really useful session!
The Grateful Dead released 2 albums in [I think] 1973, the song Ripple is taken from “American Beauty”, their other album of this year being “Workingman’s Dead”. Both albums have some great acoustic guitar, provided by the late lamented Jerry Garcia – whose own background was in bluegrass. For us aspiring pickers and strummers, these 2 albums are a goldmine!

Jean Campbell
Jean Campbell(@jcampbell)
2 years ago

Wish I could get the nice bassline walk from verse to chorus in Ripple. I have to learn to read the Tab. I am not leaving this song till I can play it well.

George Ovitt
George Ovitt(@nmgo)
1 year ago

Not only are these lessons outstanding for bluegrass/country/folk, they are excellent for learning how to create bass lines and leads from scales and arpeggios. So glad I found Devin’s site for deep dives into my favorite music.

Heidi Schwab
Heidi Schwab(@heidi)
8 months ago

I like this song. The flatpicking tab doesn’t show the Am.

Lee Van Buren
5 months ago

Thanks Devin good lesson. You’re a great teacher and have a fantastic site.