Devil Went Down to Georgia

This is an online fiddle lesson for "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" by the Charlie Daniels Band.

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Genre: Country, Bluegrass
Skill Level: Advanced
Key of Dm

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Video #1: Here is a video of me playing "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."

The Devil Went Down to Georgia - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle.

The Devil Went Down to Georgia - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle.

The Devil Went Down to Georgia - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle.

The Devil Went Down to Georgia - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle.

The Devil Went Down to Georgia - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle.

The Devil Went Down to Georgia - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle.

The Devil Went Down to Georgia - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle.

The Devil Went Down to Georgia - Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle.

 

"The Devil Went Down to Georgia" is a song written and performed by the Charlie Daniels Band and released on their 1979 album Million Mile Reflections.

The song is written in the key of D minor. Vassar Clements originally wrote the basic melody an octave lower, in a tune called "Lonesome Fiddle Blues" released on Clements' self-titled 1975 album on which Charlie Daniels played guitar. The Charlie Daniels Band moved it up an octave and put words to it. The song's verses are closer to being spoken rather than sung (i.e., recitation), and tell the story of a boy named Johnny, in a variant on the classic deal with the Devil. The performances of Satan and Johnny are played as instrumental bridges. The song was the band's biggest hit, reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100.

source: Wikipedia

The Devil Went Down to Georgia

Prelude

The Devil went down to Georgia
He was lookin' for a soul to steal
He was in a bind 'cause he was way behind
He was willin' to make a deal

When he came across this young man
Sawin' on a fiddle and playin' it hot
And the Devil jumped up on a hickory stump
And said, "Boy, let me tell you what"

"I guess you didn't know it
But I'm a fiddle player too
And if you'd care to take a dare
I'll make a bet with you"

"Now you play a pretty good fiddle, boy
But give the Devil his due
I'll bet a fiddle of gold against your soul
'Cause I think I'm better than you"

The boy said, "My name's Johnny
And it might be a sin
But I'm gonna take your bet, and you're gonna regret
'Cause I'm the best there's ever been"

Johnny you rosin up your bow and play your fiddle hard
'Cause hell's broke loose in Georgia and the Devil deals the cards
And if you win you get this shiny fiddle made of gold
But if you lose the Devil gets your soul

The Devil opened up his case
And he said, "I'll start this show"
And fire flew from his fingertips
As he rosined up his bow

Interlude

And then he pulled his bow across the strings
And it made an evil hiss
And a band of demons joined in
And it sounded something like this

Devil's fiddle break

When the Devil finished Johnny said, 
"Well you're pretty good old son
But sit down in that chair right there
Let me show you how it's done"

Fire on the mountain, run boys, run
The Devil's in the House of the Rising Sun
Chicken in the bread pan peckin' out dough
Granny does your dog bite? No child, no!'

Johnny's first fiddle break

The Devil bowed his head
Because he knew that he'd been beat
And he laid that golden fiddle
On the ground at Johnny's feet

Johnny said, "Devil, just come on back
If you ever wanna try again
I done told you once, you old dog,
I'm the best there's ever been"

He played, 'Fire on the Mountain', run boys, run
Devil's in the House of the Rising Sun
Chicken in the bread pan peckin' at dough
Granny does your dog bite? No child, no!'

Johnny's second fiddle break and ending
Posted in Advanced, Bluegrass, Country Tagged with:

Best Online Fiddle Lessons Forums The Devil Went Down to Georgia

This topic contains 14 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by cricket cricket 2 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #34343

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Charlie Daniels most famous song and one I get a lot of requests for.  I hope you enjoy!

    The Devil Went Down to Georgia

    #34346
    nagumaq
    nagumaq
    Participant

    Yeehaw John, that was great ! Cant wait, I ve always wanted to learn this one, and people ask for request also all the time, thank you so much !
    I noticed 5 different shirts ! You must have spent a lot of time on this one , could tell by the number one quality in your playing , as always , and I love the devil John in red and the angel John in white on top of your shoulders , classic , reminded me of the Flintstones in that funny way .
    What a prize piece and lesson ! Amazing !
    Merci,
    Gu

    #34354
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Oh gosh!  This one would be a great thing to know…people love it.  More work ahead…lol…keeping us out of trouble!  I can’t wait to get the chance to start on this!  Thanks, John…you make me feel so lucky!  So many great learning opportunities!

    #34359
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    That was pretty neat…I’m glad in red had to go…lol.  Finally got time to watch the video…the lessons…lol…one of these days!

    #34360

    Angela
    Participant

    Wow. The lessons are awesome and I love the creative drama with the devil and angel.

    #34362

    Breece
    Member

    So excited for this lesson!

    #34368

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Haha both Johnny’s break and the Devil’s break have two fiddles, so I thought it would be fun to do the little shoulder-angel and shoulder-devil. Like the song, I guess they are also kind of a metaphor for spiritual warfare, lol. Hope to hear this one from someone in the Lion’s Den eventually!

    #34903

    Bruce Stewart
    Participant

    John this is just an awesome lesson on a great tune. Thanks again for enriching my life with all the great music.

    #34932

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Thank you Bruce!

    #35532
    Great Scott
    Great Scott
    Moderator

    Johnny — This is possibly your most awesome video to date.  Awesome and brilliant!

    At 1:00“Doh – doh – doh – doh – doh – doh – doh – doh…  Doh – doh – doh – doh – doh doh – doh.”

    At 1:10 “Should I do that?”  Yes!   You should definitely do that!   It’s a wonderful mating call that is sure to bring the Doh – doh bird back from extinction.   🙂   🙂

    #35569

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    If I keep it up, I hope to soon be rolling in the doh.

    #54014

    Rick
    Participant

    Hi John.  I’m new to this site and actually pretty new to this instrument.  I know “The Devil” is a pretty challenging  piece for a beginner, but I guess I like challenges.  I have a question about the tabs for Part 2, and just reading the music in general.  I attached a copy of “Part 2” with my notes.  If I understand correctly, you’re supposed to play slurs/ties with one draw of the bow — is that correct?  I noticed in video #6 that you play the first four notes all with one draw, even though the first two notes aren’t slurred (See my first arrow in the attachment.)  Then although the 4th and 5th notes are slurred in the tabs, you use two strokes, and then slur the 5th and 6th notes (see the next two arrow).  Is this a misunderstanding on my part?  Or does it really not matter which notes I choose to combine in a single stroke?  There was something similar in Part 1.  As a fledgling fiddler I just want to make sure I don’t go down the wrong road.  Thanks.  Love the site!!

    #54088

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Hi Rick, and welcome to the site! Great question. I will generally “suggest” slurs to you, but unless it is a straight Nashville or Georgia shuffle, I rarely stick to my own suggestions. However, when you are beginning, it can be a big help to stick to the tabbed slurs until you are ready to start trying your own thing.

    When you watch an orchestra, every bow is going the same direction. It’s really a beautiful thing. However this NEVER happens in bluegrass. We’re pretty wild and free over here!

    #54092

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    I know you all will love this. Julia is 11 years old and a member here at BGD. This is her playing “Devil Went Down To Georgia” using the BGD backing track. She is going to be amazing!

    #54103
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Wow…way to go, Julia!!!  Great job!

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