Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #96324  by glocke12
 Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:26 am
Really having trouble wrapping my head around what the bass is doing in this tune...Fellow bass players, what are y'all doing?
 #96326  by Grateful Dad
 Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:44 am
Chords, scales, turnarounds, runs? What specifically?

 #96327  by ugly rumor
 Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:57 am
Make it do what you want it to do. My approach is to be influenced by Phil, not necessarily BE him. I have other influences, also.
 #96330  by ugly rumor
 Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:44 am
To elaborate (since I am in that rare mood), When I was young, I used to watch William F. Buckley, Jr., on television, because his command of the English language was so accomplished. When he used a word I didn't know, I would look it up, and then incorporate it into my vocabulary. I should probably mention here that I did not absorb his political perspectives without critical thought, but I did have the tendency to give credence to his ideas simply because he was so much more intelligent than me. This was part of my development and education.

In music, I learn the "vocabulary" of the bassists, and any other musical ideas absorbed from listening to other instruments, also, and filter these ideas through my perspectives, so that I can use them to express myself musically. Sometimes it works out better than others, but that is all part of my education. I don't try to be any particular person or replicate their ideas or perspectives, but try to use the ideas I like and incorporate them into the expression of my interpretation of the music. Sometimes I have to "dumb down" in order for others to understand, just as I did as a precocious ten year old with the nickname "professor" on the schoolyard (no one likes extreme intelligence to expose the fallacy in one's reasoning) in order to get along, not that I was necessarily intelligent, but I was more educated than my peers at the time, and able to use my education to apply critical thinking skills to life's situations. This also kept me from fitting in, so I always had an outside-looking-in (Moody Blues reference) perspective, which kept me somewhat lonely at the time, but ultimately kept me from being a follower, and gave me the independence of thought to create my world and live in it. Exposure to Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert, Ken Kesey, Carlos Casteneda, and the freedom of new unconventional experiences and ideas, along with a training or indoctrination into Christian religion, which ultimately led me to understand that all religions are inventions of the weak and none have empirical foundations; all of these influences taught me that music is whatever you want it to be, and though you have to conform, to a certain extent, to common ideas, just as in language you have to have common understanding of what words mean, the gamut from a simple twelve bar blues to the unconventionality of John Cage or Morton Feldman, can be used to express oneself musically just as a thorough understanding of language increases the precision one uses to express himself. To limit your expression to a ver batim parroting of what someone else has said, although useful and even necessary at times, keeps you from bringing to the table your personality, perspective, interpretation, and individuality. This keeps you from being the musician you can be, though you may perfectly replicate notes, timing, and tone. I think you should be the best "you" that you can be, and let your light shine brightly.