#171011  by RobertMedica
 
Hello Rukind, I am Robert and am 16 years old from Chicago. I've been playing guitar for a little over 2 years now. The reason I picked up guitar was because of the grateful dead so I always find myself playing them whenever I pick it up. lately I have been stuck trying to expand my soloing and often find myself doing the same licks over and over again and playing the same old scales. Does anyone have any help to get me out of this ditch i'm in?
LazyLightning72 liked this
 #171016  by ebick
 
When you say "same old scales", can you elaborate (I don't know how much you know about scales, how many you know). What scales?

Do you understand about chord tones?
 #171017  by RobertMedica
 
I am stuck in the minor blues scale phase of learning guitar. I know my major scaled But I have lots of trouble connecting them all. I am also pretty familiar with chord tones,
 #171027  by Chocol8
 
Learn major and minor blues scales and how to go up and back while playing over a simple 12 bar.

Learn modes. Major, minor, mixolydian, and Dorian are a good start for Dead and a lot of other music.

Learn your chord tones really well, so you can emphasize notes in the chords you are soloing over and outline the chord progression as you play lead.

Learn licks from other players. Don’t just noodle on the scales, learn licks and full solos and practice them at different speeds and different keys until you know them well enough to naturally use them in different places. Learning licks is like expanding your vocabulary. The more you have, the more interesting your solos will be. Learning full solos helps you learn how to put licks together in different ways.
RobertMedica liked this
 #171028  by wabisabied
 
Good advice above.

As far as chord tones go, know where your 1st, 3rd and 5th are (major and minor 3rd!) for all chord shapes. Learn what each sounds like within the context of the chord. This way you’re not just playing “safe” notes that you know won’t sound bad, but actively seeking out the notes you most desire.

Same goes for notes that define extensions and augmentations. Like the dominant 7th, major seventh, etc. Use those to color your leads within the context of the chord.

And work on grace notes. Jerry played a lot of approach notes. He didn’t just nail the target note, he approached it from a nearby note (or notes,) then landed on it. These are often half-step chromatics from either below or above the target note.

That ought to keep you busy for a while! Just make sure and keep it fun.

Oh, and if you’re not already familiar, check out Michael Palmisano's Youtube channel, especially his analyses of some Dead performances. He does a good job of breaking down what’s going on.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5rPp4 ... qnRCZ_RkPA
RobertMedica liked this
 #171036  by FromWichita
 
Ok, remember Jerry (truly a musician's musician) played through the changes - when the chord changes during the song, he's acutely aware of the notes which inform chord being played at the time and plays appropriately. His playing is extremely melodic.

Keep in mind - theory talk about intervals is "floating" (I like to call it) in that whatever note is the Root is the 1.

Ground rule : To enable the use of enough letters (A - G) to fit the octave pattern, there are no B sharps nor E sharps; the next fret up from a B is a C and the fret following E if F.

Now, for chords and scales the odd intervals (3rd, 5th & 7th) are "defining" notes. (You may be familiar with suspended 2nd and suspended 4th chords?)

The 3rd determines major or minor. A major 3rd is 2 whole steps (4 frets) above the root, a minor 3rd is one and a half steps (3 frets) up. It's amazing that one-fret difference manifests such vastly different vibes.

The 5th is a perfect interval and are ubiquitous (commonly found) in chords. The flatted 5th interval is the "blue note"; however for hundreds of years it was known (due to the Church, which keep in mind, during Europe's Dark Ages was probably the only place a person could hear music) as "the Devil's interval". The dissonance of the flatted 5th - it's like listening in on another dimension.

A "7th", aka "dominant 7th" is one whole step (two frets) back from the octave. A major 7th is one half step (one fret) behind the octave. You know the "do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do" major scale? that "ti" is a major 7th.

With that said, the best example I can think of is the Eyes of the World post-verse jam, which modulates between Emaj7 and Bm.
When it's Emaj7, the major 3rd of E (G#), perfect 5th (B) and the major 7th (D#) are vital.
But when it's Bm, note the minor 3rd of B is D, which can't be denied it's time to be heard, and D# (the major 7th of E) is now to be avoided by any means necessary. It's like Emaj7 is daytime and D# is the sun in the sky and Bm is night, with D being the moon; and you never hear the sun at night nor the moon during the day.

I hope this opens things up at least a little bit more!

"Chaos and formlessness lead to new forms." - Jerry Garcia
 #171057  by Smolder
 
You’re very theory and scale oriented which is a great foundation. If you listen to enough of the kind of music that you want to play, and you know the notes in the chord of the moment, eventually your brain will lead you. Play what your hearing in your head.

Alternately, Jerry players often start with the songs vocal melody or lead riff… then be derivative of that… then some more… then make your way back to the melody. I do this on songs I’ve not played before… kind of a stop gap.

Some guys learn tons of riffs. For blues based rock (think chuck Berry)… it works. But I find it boring.
 #171058  by FromWichita
 
In this YouTube vid (Branford Marsalis on Jerry Garcia & Grateful Dead - Lost Interview 1996), one of the hosts begins this exchange – at just 0:37 seconds in.

https://youtu.be/GnnoHPFMs3U

Host: “Wasn’t Garcia one of the last great melodic improvisers? I mean, jazz players today play on chords, that is they play almost an abstract version of the song; but he played, developed the melody in a way that really goes back the 1920’s, right?”
B. Marsalis: “That’s the challenge though of advanced harmonic playing is to find a way - Even, for instance you have a composer like Stravinsky – it’s very musical, even though it’s not musical in the conventional sense. And Jerry actually experimented more without being too overly technical. There were times when he would play a lot of chromatic things, and things that he thought really worked against the grain. He was a marvelously gifted melody maker. He was a great soloist and his solos were very musical, particularly on the slower things. It was – I really… it was a joy to play with him; actually it was more of a joy to listen to him.”

"Sustained intensity equals ecstasy." - Wynton Marsalis
 #171059  by TI4-1009
 
"Sustained intensity equals ecstasy." - Wynton Marsalis

The rare "Ultra Glide" moments. :musicsmile:
 #171064  by LazyLightning72
 
RobertMedica wrote: Tue May 25, 2021 7:43 am Hello Rukind, I am Robert and am 16 years old from Chicago. I've been playing guitar for a little over 2 years now. The reason I picked up guitar was because of the grateful dead so I always find myself playing them whenever I pick it up. lately I have been stuck trying to expand my soloing and often find myself doing the same licks over and over again and playing the same old scales. Does anyone have any help to get me out of this ditch i'm in?
Some great advice above, but on a side note. It really warms my heart to hear younger generations not only enjoying the music, but really getting into it, learning it, etc…
This lets me know the music will truly never stop.
wabisabied liked this
 #171067  by wabisabied
 
LazyLightning72 wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:51 pm Some great advice above, but on a side note. It really warms my heart to hear younger generations not only enjoying the music, but really getting into it, learning it, etc…
This lets me know the music will truly never stop.
I have a theory percolating that the "Grateful Dead" might ultimately become defined by the musical catalogue the original human lineup constructed, and not by who/what is playing it in the moment. Theoretically there could be an endless show with revolving musicians, all “Deadicated” masters of the catalogue, playing seamlessly into perpetuity.

Whoa.