Queen – Bicycle Race (Tabs)

Queen – Bicycle Race (Tab)

As daft as Queen lyrics often are, they can always be relied on for some interesting music.

Putting it together made me realise it’s structured similar to Rhapsody in Blue (and that other rhapsody). It’s made of a few very catchy but unrelated sections that rub together and sometimes outright interrupt each other.

The song starts in that fashion with the lyrical, “I want to…” line being interrupted by them yelling bicycle. You can bring out that contrast by playing the lyrical section smoothly and the shouty section brashly and more staccato.

It then switches from major to minor for the hard-edged verse. I like to give the strings a bit of a snap for this section.

The middle section, which returns to a major key and a more gentle style cuts, the second chorus shor and shifts to12/8 time. Make sure you’re warmed up before attempting the big stretch up to the 11th and 12th frets.

The next chorus starts off two frets higher (making it a bit more difficult to play) before dropping back down to the original key in bar 31. Strumming the strings above the nut does a good job of imitating the bells at the end of this section.

The solo is the trickiest part to play. The original has two guitars playing answer and response phrases. Moving both to one ukulele means some big, quick moves up and down the neck. It’s tricky. I certainly make a hash of it.


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