Musical Theory Abound!!!
 #166956  by ghostmachine
 Sat Feb 22, 2020 7:36 am
I know it works off B-dim but can someone give me the best chord fingering as Bobby ascends up??? Thanks...Jerry talked about how hard it was for him to improvise on that song...the lyricist only wrote that song for the dead...can't think of his name off the top of my head...heard it...first show...first set...7/2/88, Oxford (Maine) speedway...never made it on youtube, but set 2 is there...and I'm still here...in Cali...32 years later!!!! Thank you.
 #166958  by playingdead
 Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:55 am
In your pockets :lol:

"As Garcia said a few months after the song's debut, "It's a hideous song. It's very angular and unattractive sounding. It doesn't make itself easy to like. It just doesn't sound good; or rather, it sounds strange. And it is strange. It has strange steps in it, but that's part of what makes it interesting to play." "
 #166960  by lbpesq
 Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:02 am
A prime example of a Bob Weir “random chords in search of a melody” song. When it works, it works! (Looks Like Rain, for example). When it doesn’t ... Victim or the Crime.

Bill, tgo
 #166967  by nopunin10dead
 Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:08 pm
I remember that Jerry quote about "angular," etc. Thought I once read in a Bob interview that it was based on Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.

I gained a better appreciation of its melody when I heard Bob and Rob Wasserman play it in their duo format (opening for Jerry Garcia Band in 1988). Then, it made more "sense" to me and helped me enjoy it. I've been sitting on a tab of it for years and still haven't learned.
 #166973  by wolftigerrosebud
 Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:07 pm
i couldn’t quite tell what chords he plays during the verse, but they looked like mostly bar chords with alterations to fit the harmony. lots of 9th voicings from brent to reference the sus2 sound.

during the part where he sings “am i the victim or the crime”, though, he voiced the vamp (in tabs, in descending order of strings by note, ie EBGDAE) — 12, 9, 9, 11, x, x -> 11, 10, 11, 11, x, x. (the chords for that can be i think most simply notated as C# minor and D# dim/C#). he appears to have used a double stop with his ring finger to fret the two 11th fret notes at once (the C# and the F#), although obviously it could be voiced however one’s hand is most comfortable.

the reason that naming the chord is significant is because D#dim is the second chord in C# melodic minor. so while the rest of the song uses a more ambiguous suspended harmony, during the chorus it becomes appropriate to reference the b6/natural 7 harmonic minor sound within the context of natural minor (which jerry always made good use of by playing both natural and flat 6s along with referencing the natural 7 in chromatic passing tones from the tonic to the flat 7, which he frequently used in solos blurring the lines between modes — no doubt intentional on his part.)

also i hear the intro part of the verse as a B sus 2 with a sharp 4. not b diminished. the 5 would be played flat if it was diminished but the vamp for that intro and the verse is 5 1 5 #4 2. that the lack of a clearly referenced 3rd in the chords and the melody rules out major or minor as well. so for the whole time the verse hangs on B, Jerry avoided playing 3rds but if he did would play them as flat (because sus and minor are similar enough to the ear to reference the latter within the former without losing any sense of harmonic cohesion.) you can play locrian #2 inspired melodies over it, or harmonic minor, or even lydian. anything with a sharp 4/flat 5 and natural 7 (locrian #2 not being a natural 7 but it works if you only use notes 1-6 in that scale). double harmonic minor also works well, maybe the truest expression of the chord of all the ones i’ve mentioned. it’s a bit too perfectly altered sounding though and i feel like it’s hipper to play stuff with more tension. all this is within the context of a more minor pentatonic sound for the soloing over this part, but the patterns from these other scales can be used in passing. this paragraph all only applies to the Bsus vamp that occurs in the intro and then periodically thereafter in the song. the rest of the tune is more straightforward in terms of chord scales.