UG Weekend Riff: Part 3

Ultimate Guitar


Norman Greenbaum - Spirit In The Sky. God loves Rock music, and with the lyrics on this often covered song it's obvious why. Reaching the number one spot in the UK and selling 2 million copies it did very well for the Telecaster-wielding 60's star, Norman Greenbaum. The title may sound heavenly but Satan had a hand in the tone of the lead guitar, featuring a bassy, jangly and highly distorted single ntoe introduction.

As well as the triplet in the second bar, the player should watch for rhythmic oddities like the syncopated muted notes and high A's. The muted notes can be created by use the palm of the picking hand to mutethe notes or by using a free fretting finger. Both methods have their merits and so experimentation is required. Never mind, you have all weekend!

A good approach is to use the first finger for the A on the third string. This frees up the second and third fingers for the mutes and fretting on the fifth string. The neck pickup on a telecaster is your best bet. The amp is difficult to name but the following settings should work:

Gear Settings:

  • Gain: 11
  • Treble: 6
  • Mid: 5
  • Bass: 8

    Audio & Tab:

    127 bpm                                    [ 3 ] e| ----------------- | ----------------- | B| ----------------- | ----------------- | G| -------2---2---2- | ---2---2---2---2- | D| ----------------- | ----------------- | A| -0---x---x---x--- | -x---x---x---23-- | E| ----------------- | ----------------- |

    e| ----------------- | ----------------- | B| ----------------- | ----------------- | G| -------2---2---2- | ---2---2---2---2- | D| ----------------- | -------------0--- | A| -0---x---x---x--- | -x---0---3------- | E| ----------------- | ----------------- | Click here to get a midi file of the tab above. The midi file does not contain the odd sound effect used throughout the song.

  • 28 comments sorted by best / new / date

      it is a wrong tab it should look like this: |-----| |---2-2-2-2-2-2-3-1---2-2-2-2-2-2-3-1-| |-2- 2-2-2 -2-2-2-2-0-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-0-| |----- -----| |----- -- ---| |----- --| |--0-0-0-2-2-2-----| |- -1-1-1-3-3-3-----| |--0-0-0-2- 2-2-----| |--2-2-2-0-0-0----- -----| |--3-3-3--- -- -----| |----- | ^fast strumming and then chord progression as follows: A D C (play each for their own particular bar) and you are gonna have to paste this into notepad
      Great song of norman greenbaum, a big one hit wonder, and by the way, Breakneck are you being saracstic or are you idiot enough to listen to it all day?
      Are you kidding? This riff is great! I could listen to the Midi file of this all day long!
      If anybody is confused, then I think you should know that "Gain: 11" somewhat of a quote from the mockumentary "Spinal Tap," where lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel is talking about his Marshall heads, and how every knob is custom-made [to go to 11] so that he can get that "extra push over the edge."
      Whoa that sucked. Just my opinion but that song was so boring, find a better riff next time please.
      at first i was thinking i hadnt heard this song before, then i started playing it and realized i had. excellent choice on the riff!
      ya great classic song, good riff, and all of you who haven't heard of this song need to check up on your oldies a little more, the greatest songs are from the 60's 70's era
      My amp goes all the way up to twelve, volume, gain, middle, treble, bass, pre volume, post, everything!! But it's sometimes an inconveinience when adjusting according to what a tab tells me the tone is.
      Geldof the Grey
      ^ I love Spinal Tap! I forgot I put that in. Basically, to get the sound Grrenbaum used you need to drive your amp to scary new hights. Good Luck.