How Did Grateful Dead Do It?!

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by Texicaster, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    ¡Bueno!

    At the risk of opening another Dead bashing thread.... I was listening to a 1973 Eyes Of The World just now. Got to the long extended jams and I noticed NO ONE was playing the beat. Jerry was noodling as was Phil. Bobby comping on E and A of some flavor over and over ...drums and keyboards just floating along for the ride as usual but I started to listen and despite a cacophony when I lifted my ear I knew EXACTLY when the change would come and like a swiss watch they all nailed it and dove back into a structured rhythm..... Even if they were using visual cues I saw them pull this off on larger stages where they were pretty well separated so a wink and a nod not gonna be seen by entire band

    I almost got the feeling they were playing everything BUT the note they should have and let the absence of it, floating like a void, call the timing...

    What's weird is I could follow it. Despite being preoccupied and not really listening (perhaps that's part of it!) I sat there aware of this and followed for about 15 seconds and hit a chord at exactly the change as well..... There was nothing to count... Jerry's runs were loping right over any changes that should have been there...as was Phil....

    I've listened to lots of jazz and even when it gets way out there they rely on drums of bass to be nailing the structure to the floor. Pretty wild to let the entire band improve and then not miss a beat.
     
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  2. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I think sometimes they would let the crowd carry the count, just like you did.
     
  3. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    That's the thing... I wasn't!

    I pretty well dropped in mid cacophony. I suppose one could argue subconscious recognition but it took a second to even recall the song being played so I wasn't dialed in to the rhythm per se...

    I was truly distracted having just turned on amp and carpenters across the street made a loud noise so I was looking out the window.... dog was barking etc... I wasn't in a zone by any means....

    I doubt it's me being hyper aware. it's like listening to Feynman Physics lectures.... I start thinking I'm really smart because I get it when all along it was Mr. Feynman's brilliance at conveying difficult subject in a simple manner....
     
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  4. Boxla

    Boxla TDPRI Member

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    They were super well rehearsed seasoned professionals. They knew the songs inside and better than anyone. We as fans, as you point out, know the changes and they would nail them. Think of how well they knew the changes. The could have done the changes off of the hit-hat click only if needed.
    It's a great question you pose. I know many times with Jerry, it seems like he's just noodling all over the place but he may have been the absolute best guitar player at playing lines/notes which hit chord changes. He knew the chord structures to those songs so well, really any song he played, and he hit the chord note for so many of the changes. That, in addition to his greatness at playing the vocal melody on his guitar, was the reason to my ears it's as if his guitar is singing.
    But I really think the main reason would be because they were the utmost well rehearsed and well performed band ever. Ultimate professionals. And they went back and listened to those shows afterwards especially in 1973. They may have not hit gold at every show or every song but they took chances. How many bands, even today, takes chances? Besides some of the jam bands, nobody that I've seen lately. Just look at any touring bands nightly setlists. They never change from night to night. That absolutely floors me. Lazy! It has to be as boring as anything when you're on the road playing the exact same set list night after night. Some of theses shows aren't really even concerts, they're more like super well rehearsed plays. It's theater but music instead of acting. It's a dump example but many years ago I saw Jimmy Buffett two night in a row at Wrigley Field. I've seen him a lot over the years. I would have bet money he would have played two different shows, for the most part, on Friday and Sat. One song difference, that's it! The band knows the catalog, the fans know the catalog, the band are all professional musicians. Mix it up!
     
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  5. dogmeat

    dogmeat Tele-Afflicted

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    well known for making you hear the notes they didn't play........


    it's the mark of genius
     
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