Jerry Garcia's phrasing - scales or chord voicings?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Marshall_Stack, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. Bob L

    Bob L Tele-Meister

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    I have learned several classic Dead tunes to figure out what makes Jerry sound like Jerry. IMHO he took inspiration from Django Reinhardt by using ornamented arpeggios as basis for many of his solos.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  2. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    what are the top 3 Garcia solo's?
     
  3. Marc Muller

    Marc Muller Tele-Holic

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    Tennessee Jed on Europe 72 is the heaviest solo over only 3 chords ever, to me. The tension/release that goes on in that last few minutes is magic.
     
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  4. 65 Champ Amp

    65 Champ Amp Tele-Afflicted

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    Melody.
    Arpeggios.

    He kind of said this in an interview I read somewhere.
    Throw out sales and modes. Just learn your arpeggios, and then learn some more. It's quite a bit deeper than some think at first. It means intimately knowing every inversion of every chord shape. That's where his note choices came from.
     
  5. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    Here's one, anyway:

    The electric mandolin is no slouch here, either.
     
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  6. Marc Muller

    Marc Muller Tele-Holic

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    Tennessee Jed by my band. All parts, bass, keys, gtrs note for note from record.

    The Dead's version


    We can learn the notes but we can never capture the touch, tone, vibe of the real deal, thankfully!
    What I like is that both versions are exactly the same length. Tribute to the rhythm section Lee Finkelstein and Paul Avrutin!
     
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  7. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    No 'secret'.
    Jerry hits chord tones - 3rds and 7ths mostly and uses a lot of chromaticism.
    I don't necessarily find that he usues mixo more than anything else -?
     
  8. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    neat tune

    Garcia's drama in that solo comes from two things: 1) the change of IV to V, and 2) the usual ascent up the neck, in this case from playing pentatonic around C4, then *down* as low as F below that, then up through C4 to around C5

    a couple other things: the melodies are mostly pentatonic with an occasional 4th or 6th, he does some good old country 2>3 bends on strings 5 and 6, especially over the IV and V, and the tension you hear is his bending 2>3 over F, then over F#, and finally over G

    it's that F# stuff that makes the squeeze, I think

    nice music, thanks for the link
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  9. jglenn

    jglenn Tele-Afflicted

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    Been a Dead fan for ever,but just this year,got my first Jerry Garcia Band live cd.His playing with this line up was a whole new view into his playing.To me,he is right up there with Bloomfield,Buchannan,Albert Collins,with his vocal like phrasing,and how he could squeeze the notes out and make these old blues and R&B covers shine.I mention those three players,because I hear a few things on this disc that make me think of them.
     
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  10. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    This is thread drift and not the main point of your post, but as good as they were with two drummers, I thought they were better with just one. As much as I love Mickey's playing, I thought they were so much more rhythmically free with just Bill. With both of them, they built ferocious momentum, but couldn't change direction that easily - kind of like turning an ocean liner. But Bill played on his own more like a jazz drummer in those few years in the early '70s when Mickey wasn't in the band. They could turn on a dime with just one drummer. Some of those early '70s versions of "Playin" just MOVED liked they never really did after.

    That said, I LOVE Jerry's playing, totally into it. But I'm so far beyond clueless about how he did it. The only time I've ever been left completely and totally flat footed in a jam session was with a guy who had Jerry nailed. I was amazed by his playing and I couldn't contribute a damn thing beyond just comping a bit of rhythm with my mouth hanging open basically just listening to him. I felt bad for wasting his time, but I was overwhelmingly over my head with that type of playing... I play their songs on acoustic all the time and I add what vocals I can (I'd never call what I do "singing", but I enjoy it anyway), but I don't even attempt to solo over most of it. A few tunes that were more bluesy I could play with - Loser is probably my favorite Dead song to play over - but mostly it just isn't something I can do well enough to even enjoy trying...

    -Ray
     
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  11. LeicaBoss

    LeicaBoss Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    Chords and scales. Scales and chords. Chords and scales.

    I am happy that Jerry seemed more occupied with melodies and rhythm than scales and chords.
     
  12. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    From a 1978 interview:

    "What process do you go through for building solos?

    The way I start is to learn the literal melody of the tune. Then I construct solos as though I’m either playing with it or against it. That’s a pretty loose description, obviously, because there are a lot of other factors involved. Later on I start to see other kinds of connections, but one of my first processes is to learn the literal melody in any position. I am very attracted to melody. A song with a beautiful melody can just knock me off my feet, but the greatest changes on earth don’t mean anything to me if they don’t have a great melody tying them together in some sense. "

    http://www.guitarplayer.com/miscellaneous/1139/gp-flashback--jerry-garcia-october-1978/11702
     
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  13. Marc Muller

    Marc Muller Tele-Holic

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    Hey, that Saunders and Garcia record posted above is such a great example of Jerry using the melody as the blueprint to his solos. Like A Road, It Takes A Train, Harder They Come, each haunting solo really doesn't venture far from the melody. I've done these songs live trying to keep true to his vibe and have SUCH A HARD time staying simple and not drifting into over playing! I can't stop myself! Then, I'll listen back to my performance and it sounds so wrong, listen to Jerry and it sounds so right! Weird.
     
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  14. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    It's always interesting to hear what other people think the key to capturing his essence is and it almost always goes to some modal discussion. Not to say he doesn't go there himself. That same interview he talks about working with theory and technique. Hell, he wanks pentatonic sometimes too! However, he's very melodic at the core. Probably why I like him so much. That's how I tend to subconsciously approach solos too. Not with anything near his skill though.
     
  15. Jack S

    Jack S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    This is what I hear, not pentatonics, he is frequently chromatic overlaying chordal shapes. When I was young I spent many hours improvising along with Jerry (from records).
     
  16. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I listened to the Dead during college, before I took up guitar. I laugh sometimes that the Grateful Dead offered my first exposure to Merle Haggard ("Mama Tried") and even Hank Williams ("You Win Again"). I think they shaped my attitude toward songs. I sing 'em how I like 'em, and play 'em how I can.

    I think that's what Jerry Garcia did, too, only he was so deeply immersed in music for so long that his playing style went beyond what most people can do even if they try. I sure can't.
     
  17. DustinG

    DustinG TDPRI Member

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    That's awesome! What model strat is that?
     
  18. Marc Muller

    Marc Muller Tele-Holic

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    cheap 2006 Highway One stock everything. Plays great. Funny.
     
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