Math and Blues with Dylan

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Uh oh. Two days in a row. I’ve been messing around with a cover version of Bob Dylan’s Rainy Day Women 12 and 35. I was driving a few weeks ago when it came up on my music shuffle– a song I’ve heard plenty of times, but this was the first time I said- wow, that sounds like just a basic 1-4-5 blues riff.

When I looked up the tabs, as usual they were all a bit different; the one I settled on was just E-A-B7 but with a capo on the first fret. When I listened to the song, the tabs I noticed was missing that whole series of dropping tones- you know “WAHHHHH WAH WAH WAH”.

Just plucking around on the low E, I found what worked to me B-A#-A down to E. And down on the open E, if you hit the A string with the next note in the chord (a B on the 5th string) you could do that shuffle but by going back and forth from the B to a C# along side the open E string.

Huh? Well I tried the first time to use a Guitar Tab Creator, here is a basic bit to show the notes

E|------------------------------------------
B|------------------------------------------
G|------------------------------------------
D|------------------------------------------
A|--2--2--4--4--2--2------------------------
E|--0--0--0--0--0--0------7--7--7--6--5--0--


E|------------------------------------------
B|------------------------------------------
G|------------------------------------------
D|--2--2--4--4--2--2------------------------
A|--0--0--0--0--0--0------7--7--7--6--5--0--
E|------------------------------------------

It’s the E progression, then up a string repeat for the A, back to the E, and then top of with a B7 chord (this is all capo-d at the 1st fret but no reason why you could not do it standard).

I like the shuffly feel to it. Here’s a one take sloppy recording

As usual, with TABs, I shop around, mix and match, and then try to morph it with my own bits (usually simplifications).

But if it’s three chords, 1-4-5, that’s mint.

Heck, even the Beatles blues it up (or down)

I’m no song meaning expert, but everybody knows it as the “Everybody Must Get Stoned” song, with a wink suggestion as a drug reference. But my hunch is that Dylan was never that literal. To me it’s the stoned as in your society pelting you with stones. No matter what you do, being good, playing your guitar, sitting down in your grave, they’re gonna come at you with stones.

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