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Dead Or Alive - Bon Jovi  - transcribed by Gary Chapman

Mostly played with a 12-string acoustic.

Note:   Do not play the rhythm figures until advised.


                              (keyboard part is played a second time here)
Keyboard part                 v         Dadd2
                       H  H   H
E --17----------- ----------------------0---|
B ----18---17---- ----------------------3---|
G ------19------- ----------------------2---|
D --------------- -----7------12--------0---|
A --------------- --------12----------------|
E --------------- --------------------------|

Main run:  (play twice)

E -------13---------12----------10---------8--------5--------3---------1-|
B -----------------------------------------------------------------------|
G ----14----14\12------12\10-------10\9-------9\5------5\4------4--4\2---|
D --0-------------0-----------0----------0--------0--------0-------------|
A -----------------------------------------------------------------------|
E -----------------------------------------------------------------------|

Rhythm fig.1:

        B --15(w)13(r)15(w)13(r)15(w)13(r)15~~-- (hit note at 15, lower it with
                                                 whammy to 13, release, repeat)

        <-- play 3 times, 2nd    -->   C   F   Dadd2
            time play rhythm fig.1

E ------+--------------0-----------+-------1---0-----|
B ------|------------------2-------|---1---1---3-----|
G ------|--------------------2-----|---0---2---2-----|
D ------|----0-3'-0------0---------|---2---3---0-----|
A --0-0-|-3'---------------------0-|---3-------------|
E ------+--------------------------+-----------------|


       D         (D/Dsus4/Dadd9)   C                   G

E -----2-------2-----2-3-2-0--0^2-----------3---------------3-------|
B -----3-------3-----3-3-3-3--3-------------3---------------3-------|
G -----2-------2-----2-2-2-2--2----0--------0---------------0-------|
D -----0-------0-----0-------------2--------------------------------|
A ---------------------------------3--------------------------0^2---|
E -----------------------------------------------------3------------|

  It's all the same,               only the names will change.
  Another town,                    where the faces are so cold.

    C        G                C  F     D

E ------3-------3----------------1-----0-----0^2----------|
B ------3-------3-------------1--1-----3-----------3------|
G ------0-------0-------------0--2-----2-------------2----|
D --2-------------------------2--3-----0---------0-----0--|
A --3--------2----0^2---------3---------------------------|
E -----------3--------------------------------------------|

    Ev'ryday,     seems we're wasting away.
  I travel all night just    get back  home.           I'm


     C        G              F             D        Dadd2

E --------3---3--------------------1----------2-----0----------|
B --------3---3---3----------------1------------------3--------|
G ---0--------0--------------2-----2--------------------2------|
D ---2--------0--------------3-------------0-----0--------0----|
A ---3--------------0^2------3---------------------------------|
E ------------3------------------------------------------------|

   a cowboy,            on a steel horse I ride.          I'm

E --------3---3----------------------2---0^2----------|
B --------3---3---3-----------------------------3-----|
G ---0--------0-----------------------------------2---|
D ---2--------0---------------0--3'--0-------0------0-|
A ---3--------------0^2--0^3'-------------------------|
E ------------3---------------------------------------|

     wanted,               dead or alive.
     wanted,               dead or alive.

Rhythm fig.2

        E ------------------------------------------------|
        B -13(b)15--13------------------------------------|
        G --------------12(b)14--12---10---12(b)14-12-----|
        D --------------------------------------------12~-|
        A ------------------------------------------------|
        E ------------------------------------------------|

Rhythm fig.3  (keyboard arranged for guitar)

        E -15-14----------------|
        B -------15-------------|
        G ----------14-12-11----|
        D -------------------12-|
        A ----------------------|
        E ----------------------|

(main run) w/rhythm fig.2
(main run) w/rhythm fig.3

Sometimes I sleep, sometimes it's not for days.
And people I meet, always go their seperate ways.
Sometimes you tell the day by the bottle that you drink.
And times when you're alone all you do is drink.

Rhythm fig.4

        E -13(b)15--------------------------------------------------|
        B -----------15~------12------------------------------------|
        G -----------------------12(b)14-12(b)14--12-10-------------|
        D -----------------------------------------------12-10-12~~-|
        A ----------------------------------------------------------|
        E ----------------------------------------------------------|

(chorus) w/rhythm fig.4
(main run) x 2

                                  ah   ah   ah   ah
E --------------------------------------------------------|
B --------------------------------------------------------|
G --------------------------------------------------------|
D -----------------------------5(b)7-(b)7-(b)7-(b)7-5-3~--|
A -x\--5\3/5---5-3-/5~---3--5-----------------------------|
E --------------------------------------------------------|

E -------------13-15---15(b)17~-15-13-15(b)17~~---------------------------------|
B -------13-15------------------------------------------------------------------|
G -12-14-------------------------------------------------------------------5/7~-|
D ------------------------------------------------------5(b)7~--------7\5--5/7~-|
A -------------------------------------------------0--0---------0--0--5\3--3/5~-|
E ------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

          ah         ah ah ah ah                 ah ah ah ah
E -----------------------------------------------------------|
B -----------------------------------------------------------|
G -----------------------------------------------------------|
D ---------3'---------3--5-5'-3~-----0^3^0--------3-5'-5-3~--|
A -x\--3-5-----5--3-5-----------------------3^0-5------------|
E -----------------------------------------------------------|

                     ah                      ah     ah
E ---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B ----------13----------------------13---------------------------------------|
G --12(b)14-----12(b)14-10--12(b)14----(b)14-12-10--10~\---5-5-5-5-5-5--5/7--|
D ---------------------------------------------------------5-5-5-5-5-5--5/7--|
A ---------------------------------------------------------3-3-3-3-3-3--3/5--|
E ---------------------------------------------------------------------------|

(after the solo, accompany main 12-string chords with distorted power chords)


Rhythm fig.5

        E -10-10-10-10-10-10-10--13(b)15--13^10---------------|
        B -10-10-10-10-10-10-10-----------------10---10\8/10~-|
        G -11-11-11-11-11-11-11-------------------------------|
        D ----------------------------------------------------|
        A ----------------------------------------------------|
        E ----------------------------------------------------|

I walk these streets, a loaded six string on my back.
I play for keeps, cause I might not make it back.
I've been everywhere, still I'm standing tall.
I've seen a million faces, and I've rocked them all.  (w/rhythm fig.5)


Rhythm fig.6

        E -15(b)17------13-------|
        B -----------------15~~--|
        G -----------------------|
        D -----------------------|
        A -----------------------|
        E -----------------------|

(chorus) w/rhythm fig.6

(main run)
(main run) end with Dmaj as last chord


Mr.Scary (Gary Chapman)

From: holywood@acy1.digex.net (Robert Smith)
Subject: Re: REQ - Dead or Alive - Bon Jovi


e ----13---------12---------10----------8----------5----------3------------1---|
b -----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
g --14--14-----12--12-----10--10------9---9------5---5------4---4----4s2-2-----|
d -O----------O----------O----------O----------O----------O--------------------|
a -----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E -----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

e ----------------O---------------------------O---------|
b ------------------3---------------------------3-------|
g --------------------2---------------------------2-----|
d -------O-3-O-----------------------O-3-O--------------|
a -O-O-3-----------------------O-O-3--------------------|
E ------------------------------------------------------|

Intro continues with the following chords, which also make up the verse of
the song:

D    Dsus    D    D*   D    C/G    G    C/G    G    F    D

To get the rhythym down, they go along with the words like this:

It's all the same                          only the names have changed
D                    Dsus   D   D*  D      C/G                 G

everyday     it seems were wasting away
C/G       G                F        D             etc.


D    Dsus    D*   C/G   G    F

2     3      0     0    1    1      key for
3     3      3     1    0
2     2      2     0    0    2      D* is not the real name for this chord
0     0      0     2    0    3      I just can't remember it and don't
X     X      X     3    2    3      like looking it
X     X      X     3    3    1      "X" means don't play that string.

Good Luck,



H   - Natural harmonic
ah  - artificial (pinched) harmonic
^   - hammer/pull
'   - Semitone (1 fret) bend
(b) - bend
/   - slide


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16 comments total. Showing first comments.
+1 reply
Skating Kow 10 Aug 22, 2004 08:00 PM

The chord you've labled as D* is Dsus2, the one labled as Dsus is Dsus4, just so you know

0 reply
80s_rock_girl 10 Oct 06, 2004 08:00 PM


+4 reply
tones2006 10 Mar 12, 2006 12:15 AM

I think the transcription that is out there of this song is a pretty good attempt. It?s the same way the intro was shown to me years ago when it was one of the first ?cool? intro riffs I played. I haven?t played it for years and when I heard it on the radio recently I remembered how cool it was, however my ear and guitar playing has come a long way and I hear the intro a bit differently these days.
I have searched the web every where for a version like I have transcribed and can not find one.
Mine seems to be the only one out there so I am not saying it is right, (but I am pretty sure it is, therefore any feedback is welcome!


This is more like it (listen carefully for the timing)

E ----17-13--------15-12---------13-10-----------8---------5---------3-------1---|
B -------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G ----------14\12---------12\10---------10\9---9---9\5---5---5\4---4---4-4\2-----|
D --0------------0-------------0------------0---------0---------0----------------|
A -------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E -------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

And here is another minor correction

E ------+--------------0-----------+
B ------|------------------3-------|
G ------|--------------------2-----|
D ------|----0-3'-0------0---------|
A --0-0-|-3'---------------------0-|
E ------+--------------------------+

As for the main body of the song the other transcriptions are pretty good, besides after the intro you need to play the rest of it more by feel than note perfect.
It also depends on if you are playing it solo, or in a band.


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