Where Rainbows Never Die

by The Steeldrivers • Lesson #112 • Dec 10, 2017

Video lesson

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Editor’s notes

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.

Video timestamps:

  • 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.

Main riff

Here’s the main riff you hear, which is repeated in the intro and verse.

See song sheet for the full tab.

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.

See song sheet for the full tab.

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 song, depending on your preference / taste / ability.

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

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