Double agent


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"Double Agent" from the album Counterparts as recorded by Rush
transcribed by Ken Atwell (
Special Notations: ~ slight vibrato (with left hand or whammy bar) / slide up the string (toward pickups) \ slide down the string (toward the nut) (12) natural harmonic (fret in parens) P pull-off X\ pick slide
You'll have to familiar with the song or play along with the CD to get the timing down. Some of the changes can be tricky (a staple of Rush's music), so keep with it.
Guitar enters at 0:16 with Riff 1. Play it once.
Riff 1 (medium distortion with chorus) F C5 E -------------------------------------------------------------------- B -------------------------------------------------------------------- G -----------7--5--10--9--7--5------17~------2--2--2----5--5\--------- D ------------------------------15-----------3--3--3----5--5\--------- A --5--3--5----------------------------------3--3--3----3--3\--------- E -------------------------------------------1--1--1------------------
G F C5 E -------------------------------------------------------------------- B -------------------------------------------------------------------- G -----------7--5--10--9--7--5------4--------2--2--2----5--5---------- D ----------------------------------5--------3--3--3----5--5---------- A --5--3--5-------------------------5--------3--3--3----3--3---------- E ------------------------------3---3--------1--1--1------------------
Riff 2 begin at 0:32. Play whole thing and then repeat section between the vertical bars ONLY 4 times.
Riff 2 (heavier distortion, no chorus) P P E -----------------------|-------------------------------------------- B -----------------------|-------------------------------------------- G -----------------------|-------------------------------------------- D -----------------------|-------------------------------------------- A -----------------------|-------------------------------------------- E --0---0--0---0--0--3--5|-3-0---0--0---0--0--3--5--3-0---0--0---0--0-
C m7+a9 (???) E -------------------------------| B -------------------------------| G --------/8---8--8---8--8-------| D --------/8---8--8---8--8-------| A --------/7---7--7---7--7-------| E --3--5--/8---8--8---8--8--3--5-|
Riff 3 begins at 0:56. Play the figure between the vertical bar three times and end with an E5 chord (fretted low to high 022XXX)
Riff 3 (distorted) P E -|---------------------------|- B -|---------------------------|- G -|---------------------------|- D -|-------------------1--0----|- A -|-0--0-----0--------------3-|- E -|-------3-----3--0----------|-
The song returns briefly to Riff 2 at 1:01. Play the section between the veritcal bar ONCE and then follow with this figure:
Riff 4 (distored, last chord clean with chorus) P A E ---------------------------------------------------5-------- B ---------------------------------------------------5-------- G ---------------------------------------------------6-------- D ---------------------------------------------------7-------- A ---------------------------------------------------7-------- E --0---0--0---0--0--3--5--3-0---0--0---0--0--3--5---5--------
The rhythmn of next section of the song makes it uncondusive to transcription here. Below are the chord changes. Listen to the album for the timing of rhythmn and chord changes. To further complicate things, two guitars are here with different tones. The sustained chords are played clean, the choppy rhythms are distorted. To play this on a single guitar, you'll have to hop around on your effects rather quickly.
Riff 5 (2 guitars written for a single guitar) 1:12 1:15 1:18 1:21 1:24 1:27 1:29 .. C#5 A5 C#5 A C#5 B5 C5 B5 A5 E ------------------------5------------------------------------------- B ------------------------5------------------------------------------- G ----6------2------6-----6----6----4----5--4--2---------------------- D ----6------2------4-----7----6----4----5--4--2---------------------- A ----4------0------4-----7----4----2----3--2--0---------------------- E ------------------------5-------------------------------------------
Return to Riff 1 at 1:33. Play it twice. Play Riff 2 (between the veritcal bars only) three times. (begins at 2:05) Play Riff 3 three times, end with an E5 chord again (begins at 2:18) Play Riff 2 (between the vertical bars only) three times and follow with Riff 4. (begins at 2:24) Play Riff 5. (begins at 2:33)
Riff 6 begin at 2:54 in lieu of Riff 1. It is played 16 times.
Riff 6 (light distortion) D C E E ----------------------------------- B ----------------------------------- G -----7---7--7---7--7---5---9\------ D ----------------------------------- A -----5---5--5---5--5---3---7\------ E -----------------------------------
Play Riff 2 (the whole thing this time) at 3:26.
Begining at 3:32 is the closest thing this song has to a guitar solo. Finger a natural harmonic at the 24th fret of the 4th string (D). Tremelo pick (pick as fast as possible) while moving the harmonic up the neck. Alex does this (or at least, something close to this) at 3:32 - 3:37 and at 3:41-3:47. Add a healthy dose of flange or chorus and you've got a cool trick.
Riff 7 (distored, with heavy chorus)
trem picking trem picking pick slds. E -------------------------------------------------------------------- B -------------------------------------------------------------------- G -------------------------------------------------------X\----------- D ---(24)-\\\\\\\\-(3)--3---3---(24)-\\\\\\\\-(3)--3--3--X\--X/------- A ----------------------3---3----------------------3--3--X\--X/------- E ----------------------1---1----------------------1--1------X/-------
With all of the effects saturating Alex's guitar tone, its hard to make out the next part (at 3:50). Riff 8 is the best I could do. Play it 4 times and follow with a A chord (low to high 577655).
Riff 8 (distored with heavy chorus)
E ---------------------------------- B ---------------------------------- G -----------------------17--14----- D --17---17--17--15--17------------- A ---------------------------------- E ----------------------------------
Play Riff 5 (begining at 3:59). Play Riff 2 (between bar only) 3 times (at 4:20) Play Riff 3 3 times (at 4:33) and with an A5. Play Riff 2 twice (between bars only) at 4:39 and end the song with the begining of Riff 2 (up until the first veritcal bar ONLY).

variations - click chord images
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