Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #118748  by mgbills
 Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:15 pm
Thanks so much for all the helpful suggestions!

My goal is to get to that place where I'm playing what I'm singing in my head. It is ultimately a Dead thing. 30+ years of Jerry in my head. Playing Jerry for the last 7 years, has really actually expanded my musical tastes. I was pretty much down to listening to the GD for a long time. Too long spent listening to classic rock. When I started playing, it was kind of fun to duplicate a Jimmy Page solo (Since I've Been Lovin' You comes to mind), or David Gilmour ...but that music is almost static. It has to be played as it has always been played, more or less.
Now I enjoy jazz standards more than ever, and actually spend time listening to the jazz station. Not sure I'll ever make it to "Love", but appreciation is definitely happening.

Having been so invested in the Grateful Dead, I've been moving steadily toward that goal of playing within a form...but also into the unknown. I'm not gifted with the ability for vast amounts of rote memorization. Once things like scales, modes, and principles are in my hands & ears...they become an ever growing tool box. I really enjoy open jams, and can find my way into an infinite number of rabbit-holes in some sort of vamp.

Then we take a number like Deal, which really has a chord-of-the-moment necessity. When I read posts from the guys who are really playing, that's just has to be the next tool. I love all these tips. Google Vince Brown...he's the guy I've been studying with. Great player. Makes good money as a solo guy, and plays with most of the regional jazz greats. I had to take a couple of months off of lessons due to summer craziness, but I still play 2+ hours/day.

My eyes fog over when I'm sitting on a G. If I have to think of it as the 3rd of E, or the 5th of C, my eyes glaze over. Too much time has passed...and so had 3 more chords in the song.

When I left active study, we were working on the Garcia/Saunders of Georgia On My Mind. I think Jerry mostly plays this in F Ion (if I remember correctly), but he has that intentionality for landing on the 3rds & 5ths. I can hear it when I'm right, but I have to noodle up to it. Then there is the trap of playing in the mode, and after a while it sounds too melodic. Needs more tension. I start back with Mr. Brown on Wednesday. I'm sure he'll plug me full of ideas as well.

What I have been doing is looking at the modes/pentatonics from the 1st string. I'm trying to build knowledge of where the triads fall in the forms. It's progressing, but not quickly. I'll incorporate your suggestions in the coming weeks.

Sincerely appreciated!

Pete...let's put that on the schedule for Oct. That weekend is really going to be chaotic, and I'm intending to set aside my rational mind. I'm sure we'll find each other at the shows, and it would be cool to hang out for sure. We're going to take in the after Furthur show with The Brown Addition. My son's buddy plays with'll be a Funk extravaganza. I'm going to temporarily suspend my guitar obsession, and boogie like a freak. As you know...I don't have much choice :-)

Thanks again.
Peace to all.
 #118750  by zambiland
 Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:42 pm
Lephty wrote:A quick thought about following the "chord of the moment" in Eyes Of The World--it's worth noting that when you change from E Ionian (over the Emaj7 chord--E F# G# A B C# D#) to B Dorian (over the Bm chord--B C# D E F# G# A), the only note that's really changing is the D# (in E Ionian) turns to D natural (in B Dorian). The rest of the scale is exactly the same. So instead of worrying about what mode over what scale, just look for that one note within the scale. When the chord changes, you can try to land on that particular note--because that's the note that's making the two modes sound different.

I hope that makes's a very simple way to think about it, in my opinion.

Now, if I ever meet a bass player who can do the third Eyes solo WITHOUT hitting the D natural instead of the D#, I'll be able to die a happy man. :?
Well, we should jam sometime! I'd be willing fulfill your bucket list.
 #118751  by Pete B.
 Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:50 pm
Over Emaj7>Bm jam... You could start with a descending E Major scale (like the intro to FOTD, but in E).


Then Ascend in the same zone with the Bm Dorian.

Jerry works the heck out of this zone on alot of Eyes jams (he adds chromatics on any given pass).

So far GratefulFred and I are planning to have an afternoon RuKind jam somewhere during Furthur.
 #118753  by mgbills
 Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:51 pm
Saturday afternoon? I'll see how the flow goes. Son #2 would be thrilled to join. Son #1 would be bored to death. If I can get Son #1 to go to Powells/Downtown, then ....

Where you fellers jammin?

In the midst of stacking 2 cords of wood, I started playing with just playing whole-note 3rds, 5ths, & 2nds over Scarlet. I think this will help. Maybe help anchor my wanderings a bit. I'll also try the runs you provided Pete. Really looking forward to hooking up for more lessons. Jazz guys are great and I learn a ton. But...

Dead Guys ....well...that's a whole 'nother level.

No offense intended, Paul. You're a great player!
 #118759  by paulkogut
 Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:06 pm
None taken, and thanks so much. Best of luck with your music!