Jerry's best intro riffs, general song riffs?

Jerry's best intro riffs, general song riffs?

Postby Shaggy » Sat Nov 05, 2005 2:45 pm

I think it should be noted that Garcia was also a very good riff creator and there is quite a collection of great riffs by Garcia.

Which ones do you think are his best? We should make a list....

I'd nominate these to start off with:

Here Comes Sunshine
Might as Well
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Postby Billbbill » Sat Nov 05, 2005 6:46 pm

I'll Play.

Here's four I really like.

China Cat
Althea
Ship of Fools
Morning Dew
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Postby saint421 » Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:58 am

i'll play too...good to be back, been a while since i've been here...pardon my absence

hows about
Help on the Way
Scarlet
Samson
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Postby ebick » Sun Nov 06, 2005 6:29 pm

St. Steven ?
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Postby Shaggy » Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:54 am

I was reading some magazine the other day on guitar legends and it had Jerry around 11 or 12 I think and it said his best riff was Scarlet.

I think he has a big collection of great riffs, more than he's give credit for. I'll add another two:

Valerie
New Speedway Boogie
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Postby Shaggy » Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:56 am

Tennesse Jed
Rhapsody in Red
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Postby spilly » Tue Dec 06, 2005 2:24 pm

till the mourning comes
I love that intro, great way to start a day
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Postby hesgone95 » Tue Dec 06, 2005 4:50 pm

I'd have to weigh in for the following:

birdsong
st stephen
easy wind
black peter
west la

birdsong is definitely one of my favorite songs to play. as is black peter
Goin' home, goin' home
By the waterside I will rest my bones
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
To rock my soul
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Postby Shaggy » Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:59 am

U.S Blues
If I Had The World To Give



This is quite a collection we are building! :cool:
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Postby eyeprod » Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:19 am

it's a good discussion. jerry has alot of good parts, but don't forget weir. many people(even people that know how to play the songs) often don't realize just who is playing what part. ALOT of dead tunes have definitive licks that aren't played by jerry. example: china cat, jerry plays the part you hear first, it starts the song and surely is a classic riff. then the weir part kicks in, it sounds something like a circus calliope and really makes the tune come alive. i love it, personally i find it alot more fun to play the weir parts on alot of songs. he comes up with very interesting, catchy licks. whichever of them is singing is usually playing a simpler part, and the other guy is typically adding fills and frills.

easy wind is a great example of a tune with a whole lot of good riffs in it. jerry again plays the intro of the song. it's a blues turnaround lick in E. neither jerry nor bob are singing this one, so they are both pretty busy throughout the song. after the 'river keeps a talkin but you never heard a word it says' part they play that turnaround lick again, jerry does the exact same thing as the intro, but the part you hear loudest(the part most players will try to emulate) is weirs blues lick in E pentatonic at the 12th fret. it rocks.

i love playing dead songs. i play bass and slide in an acoustic blues trio and we do some dead songs. we've got an mp3 of big boss man available http://www.humboldtmusic.com/webpage/index.cfm?id=1735

and i also have an mp3 of an instrumental might as well that i recorded for fun. i even played all of the parts... http://superchargedconnection.com/jerry.htm
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Postby strumminsix » Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:55 pm

Lots of great ones here:
HCS
Til the Morning
WRS has a beautiful intro
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Postby Shaggy » Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:48 pm

eyeprod wrote:it's a good discussion. jerry has alot of good parts, but don't forget weir. many people(even people that know how to play the songs) often don't realize just who is playing what part. ALOT of dead tunes have definitive licks that aren't played by jerry. example: china cat, jerry plays the part you hear first, it starts the song and surely is a classic riff. then the weir part kicks in, it sounds something like a circus calliope and really makes the tune come alive. i love it, personally i find it alot more fun to play the weir parts on alot of songs. he comes up with very interesting, catchy licks. whichever of them is singing is usually playing a simpler part, and the other guy is typically adding fills and frills.

easy wind is a great example of a tune with a whole lot of good riffs in it. jerry again plays the intro of the song. it's a blues turnaround lick in E. neither jerry nor bob are singing this one, so they are both pretty busy throughout the song. after the 'river keeps a talkin but you never heard a word it says' part they play that turnaround lick again, jerry does the exact same thing as the intro, but the part you hear loudest(the part most players will try to emulate) is weirs blues lick in E pentatonic at the 12th fret. it rocks.

i love playing dead songs. i play bass and slide in an acoustic blues trio and we do some dead songs. we've got an mp3 of big boss man available http://www.humboldtmusic.com/webpage/index.cfm?id=1735

and i also have an mp3 of an instrumental might as well that i recorded for fun. i even played all of the parts... http://superchargedconnection.com/jerry.htm



For sure, you raise some great points there. Some of Weir's fills are licks are often great highlights in songs themselves. With China Cat, I believe it is the only time ever when Jerry told Bobby what to play in one of his songs. So that was a Jerry-thought-out part that he instructed Bob to play.

Bob turned himself into one of the most original and interesting guitarists around, and of course he grew into an important songwriter. All of which would never have happened if Garcia hadn't kicked back and gave Bobby the chance to grow at a time when he was struggling to nail a song and keep up with Phil and Jerry. We all love Bob and the contribution he has given and it's a great tribute to the dead that he came through it....in no other band would Weir have been allowed to grow like he did.

There are so many great Jerry moments and like Phil said to hear the best of Jerry is to listen to what he plays when someone else is singing. Songs like Jack Straw, Hell in Bucket, St. Of Circumstance and Let it Grow for example....all Bobby songs but listen to what Jerry is doing...amazing.

I love WRS too and I believe that intro is played by Weir on Wake of the Flood.
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Postby eyeprod » Sat Dec 10, 2005 4:07 pm

yeah, WRS is a weir part for sure. you can tell by the style/approach, not to mention the tone, that it's not jerry. i would guess weir wrote it as well. a great song no doubt. wrs>let it grow is one of my favorites, esp. from 73-74, but they did some great jams on let it grow in the 80's and 90's. good point about jerry playing best when he's not singing. agreed. i love most of the stuff the way they did it in 73-74. all early 70's is cool, but later 70's they reach new places. oh, here's one, estimated prophet. great jerry parts! and howabout help on the way>slipknot? jerry written and also some great parts by both guitarists. those are two tunes that any dead fan would be proud to know how to emulate on guitar.
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Postby sarraqum » Sat Dec 10, 2005 4:27 pm

Hard choice but....

3 Esimated Prophet
2 St Stephen
1 Fire

Fire is just great live. Whenever I hear the riff coming through the Scarlet jam I just want to dance
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Postby shakedown_04092 » Sat Dec 10, 2005 8:39 pm

yes, WRS > Let It Grow was written by Bobby. If you haven't heard the GD CD collection entitled "Beyond Description: 1973-1989" - get it - it's got some really crispy stuff you won't find anywhere else. It includes all the CD's released by the boys between those years, including extra material such as studion & personal outtakes & live versions of songs not on the original records. On the Wake Of The Flood album in particular, it has a "personal outtake" (as I would call it) of just Bob himself playing and humming along to WRS (I assume he had yet to put lyrics to it), and then going into Let It Grow (singing and playing). I've also read somewhere that he originally wrote WRS as a finger excercise to warm up to before shows because of the demands playing in the band put on his fingers. Neat stuff. I love little tidbits of info like that; it gives you insight to what they were thinknig or how they wrote a certain piece. I use that stuff as a creative catalyst for my own playing.

As for Jerry licks/intros, I would have to without a doubt include the following:

Shakedown (intro)
Dark Star (intro & main riff)
Big RxR Blues (love that intro! tell me it doesn't make you boogie!)
Cold Rain & Snow (intro & solo in the middle)

and of course...

Terrapin (everything about it)

IMO, a groundbreaking song for the Dead. Crossed boundries, dimensions, and atmospheres. Really started a whole vision with that song.
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