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The Dead Flag Blues tab

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About this tab version
This version has been updated to match the correct tunings that the band uses, and is more accurate than previous tabs in Standard. Was this info helpful? Yes No
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             The Dead Flag Blues - Godspeed You! Black Emperor
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E-mail: vtimdon@gmail.com

Notice: this song (and most Godspeed songs, for that matter) is NOT played in standard
tuning. Rather, on this track the band alternates between two different tunings during 
the entire song.

The whole song has a hall reverb at maximum setting, any pedal model will do.

LISTEN TO THE ORIGINAL PIECE FOR TIMING. I cannot stress this enough, as it would be 
impossible for me to capture the feel that the band does with just text. 

The Dead Flag Blues (Intro):

Tuning: F# A# C# F# A# C#

The song obviously opens with strings, but there is also a guitar melody that comes up.

C#|------------------------|
A#|------------------------|
F#|------------------------|
C#|-------------7----------|
A#|-------7-------7--------|
F#|-4---7------------7-7-7-|

There are two guitars playing at once in this section, these are the Guitar 2's parts

C#|------------------------|
A#|------------------------|
F#|------------------------|
C#|-------7----------------|
A#|-------------7----------|
F#|-4---7------------7-7-7-|

The guitars sometimes modify the melody slightly, here are some of the variations they 
play.

GUITAR 1:
C#|------------------------|
A#|------------------------|
F#|------------------------|
C#|-------------7----------|
A#|-------7-------7--------|
F#|-4-4-7------------7-7-7-|

C#|------------------------|
A#|------------------------|
F#|------------------------|
C#|-------------7----------|
A#|-------7-------7--------|
F#|-4---7------------7-7-2-|

GUITAR 2:
C#|------------------------|
A#|------------------------|
F#|------------------------|
C#|-------7----------------|
A#|-------------7----------|
F#|-4-4-7------------7-7-7-|

C#|------------------------|
A#|------------------------|
F#|------------------------|
C#|-------7----------------|
A#|-------------7----------|
F#|-4---7------------7-7-2-|

These parts can be combined and used to your liking.

After this a third guitar comes in, soloing over the two guitars.
Improvise accordingly.
Then the chamber orchestra comes in, just keep playing until the monologue returns and 
ends the section of the song.

Slow Moving Trains:

Tuning: F# A# C# F A# C#

This section is pretty impossible to tab, it's all improvised.
Here's what you do.
Use a screwdriver as a bow/slide, this technique is quite difficult to describe but 
searching up "gybe screwdriver" should bring up several videos showing how it's done.
At around the 9:27 mark rest your screwdriver at the 12th fret. Sustain/freeze pedal in 
this part before "The Cowboy..." fades in is optional. 

The Cowboy...:

Tuning: F# A# C# F# A# C#

GUITAR 1:
Chords:
C#|---------7-------------4-------------0-------------4-|
A#|---------7-------------3-------------0-------------3-|
F#|---------7-------------4-------------0-------------4-|
C#|---------7-------------4-------------0-------------4-|
A#|---------7-------------3-------------0-------------3-|
F#|---------7-------------4-------------0-------------4-|

Bass guitar:
F#|-----------------------------------------------------|
C#|-----------------------------------------------------|
A#|-----------------------------------------------------|
F#|-4-6-7---------7-6-4---------4-2-0---------0-2-4-----|

Every once in a while play the C# major chords with a 7th fret harmonic, and optionally
follow that up with a 5th fret harmonic. The open F# major chord can also be played with a 
12th fret harmonic. 

GUITAR 2:
Now here's the hard part. To get the technique and feel of the solos on this song, you
have to play the lowest note in that specific phrase and bend up and down accordingly.
This will give you the slide guitar sound that the band has.
To make things easier to read I will not be writing which notes are bending to which
notes, only the notes that are being played. It should be relatively simple figuring out
how to play the solo based off of this and the original recording.

SOLO 1:
Played over Guitar 1's chords. 
C#|--------------------------------------|
A#|--------------------------------------|
F#|-16-14---11---11-9-7---7-9-11---12-11-|
C#|--------------------------------------|
A#|--------------------------------------|
F#|--------------------------------------|

C#|----------------------------------------------|
A#|----------------------------------------------|
F#|-16-14---14-16-14---11-12-11---11-9-7---7-6-4-|
C#|----------------------------------------------|
A#|----------------------------------------------|
F#|----------------------------------------------|

Then Guitar 2 follows the bassline. 

Then comes the violin solo, which is doubled by a tremolo picked guitar mixed right in the 
center.

C#|-19-17-16-17-16---17-16-14-12---14-16-17-16-|-19-17-16-17-16---17-16-14-12---14----|
A#|--------------------------------------------|-----------------------------------12-|
F#|--------------------------------------------|--------------------------------------|
C#|--------------------------------------------|--------------------------------------|
A#|--------------------------------------------|--------------------------------------|
F#|--------------------------------------------|--------------------------------------|

After the violin solo Guitar 2 plays the second solo. 

SOLO 2:
C#|-------------------------------------|----------------------------|
A#|----12----12----12----12-12-12-13-12-|-12-12----12----12----12-10-|
F#|-11----11----11----11----------------|-------11----11----11-------|
C#|-------------------------------------|----------------------------|
A#|-------------------------------------|----------------------------|
F#|-------------------------------------|----------------------------|

C#|----------------------------------------|----------------------------|
A#|-12----12----12----12----12-12-12-13-12-|-12-12----12----12----12-10-|
F#|----11----11----11----11----------------|-------11----11----11-------|
C#|----------------------------------------|----------------------------|
A#|----------------------------------------|----------------------------|
F#|----------------------------------------|----------------------------|

After this, improvise a solo based off of the same feel that was in the previous solos 
for one bar, then the song slows down and ends.

The Dead Flag Blues (Outro): 

Tuning: F# A# C# F A# C#

Contrary to what I previously thought there's actually guitar in here, and it's the 
only time Godspeed have ever actually used a slide too. 

C#|-----------------------------|
A#|-----------------------------|
F#|-----------------------------|
C#|-----7-----9-12-12-12-12-9-7-|
A#|---7-----9-------------------|
F#|-7-----9---------------------|

Repeat until the song slows down and end with a simple C# Major chord. 

Any questions, email me or message me.

            
            
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