Learning Guitar Through The Grateful Dead

Learning Guitar Through The Grateful Dead

Postby dleonard » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:53 pm

I think, as guitar players, we are a fortunate bunch that we all love Grateful Dead music. It sort of makes you try and be musical in playing guitar, rather than trying to be an encyclopedia of licks. Obviously, JG is a terrific person to learn things from, but the concept of the music is at least as important, IMO.

Question, though, is this...

Where else do some of you guys venture musically? Any other bands worth delving into?(I have tried Phish but I find alot of their complex songs virtually un-retainable when not playing them consistently). I play alot of bluegrass, but am just curious what you guys get into.
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Re: Learning Guitar Through The Grateful Dead

Postby caspersvapors » Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:38 pm

I mean what bands do you like dude? just play the stuff you like
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Re: Learning Guitar Through The Grateful Dead

Postby ugly rumor » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:25 pm

As a bassplayer, I really like good drummers. My alltime favorite is Roy Haynes, a very melodic and creative drummer. I also mostly listen to jazz, especially Oscar Peterson, who always had great bassists (Ray Brown, especially,) John Heard, (am getting interrupted, I'll be back)
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Re: Learning Guitar Through The Grateful Dead

Postby Pete B. » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:49 pm

Allman Bros instrumentals.
Love 'em. Love to play 'em.
It's like their songs and guitar-melodies, like a ton of Dead, are lifted right out of a Music-Theory 101 textbook.
"Jessica" is like a CAGED excersize for guitar.
Funn Stuff.
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Re: Learning Guitar Through The Grateful Dead

Postby JonnyBoy » Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:13 pm

over the past 20 and some odd years of studying the guitar, I have found that I am foremost a blues guitar player, Stevie Ray Vaughn to lightning Hopkins, the whole genre. I am currently honing my slide guitar techniques. I have listened to the Dead since I can remember, Older brothers and my Dad sealed that fate for me at a young age. Starting at 13, I would sneak down town with my friends(who were all older than me) on the train to Philly to the parking lots during their summer visit every year until I was "allowed" to go to a show and come home at an ungodly hour as my mom called it. Guitar started to become an obsession at that point too. I liked Led Zepplin, Guns and Roses, Rush, Phish, Allman Brothers and learned all kinds of songs from the classic rock era. But my "inspiration" and my feelings really come out in the blues. I can make my guitar do things that I can't even remember how I really did it if I tried to do it again while playing blues. I really get transported mentally, as if I am not there and my brain has connected to my guitar. As if my guitar became my mouth to say how I am doing, feeling, to tell a story, etc..

The "dead" like jams and jazz jams can transport me in that way too. It's like a sped up version of the blues "Feeling" for me. If you can feel like that, even if it is different form what I get out of it, then you are getting off and that just feels good! It has nothing to do with ability or how many scales you know, or blah blah, you just have to keep the monster (jam) living and breathing which does take some level of skill and understanding of you're instrument. Getting off is the deal for me, just like why we do anything else we enjoy doing most. Also, having others get off on what I'm doing too, that just made that high twice as potent for me. If you get off playing by yourself, with your buds, or in a pro band, its all the same. But getting free cheese sticks and beer when you play bars with a kitchen is a plus worth mentioning too. I owe a lot of my musical philosophy and that feeling to take chances when I play to the Dead and their approach.
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Re: Learning Guitar Through The Grateful Dead

Postby Grateful Dad » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:02 am

dleonard wrote:I think, as guitar players, we are a fortunate bunch that we all love Grateful Dead music. It sort of makes you try and be musical in playing guitar, rather than trying to be an encyclopedia of licks. Obviously, JG is a terrific person to learn things from, but the concept of the music is at least as important, IMO.

Question, though, is this...

Where else do some of you guys venture musically? Any other bands worth delving into?(I have tried Phish but I find alot of their complex songs virtually un-retainable when not playing them consistently). I play alot of bluegrass, but am just curious what you guys get into.


Cool bands to play to/listen to/get influence from:
Allmans
Dr. John
Neville Brothers
Clifton Chenier
CSNY (check out 4 Way Street live album)
Otis Day and the Knights :D
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Re: Learning Guitar Through The Grateful Dead

Postby jeffm725 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:16 am

...............Studying Trey and Phish tunes can give you a crash course in a lot of different schools.

You enjoy myself: the definitive study of arpeggios (along with Long distance runaround by yes)\
Stash : A study in tri-tones, tension and release, along with a heaping dose of the Jazz standard I-VI-II-V progression
Punch you in the Eye/Landlady section: A latin Jazz/Santana primer

PLus, covers like Uncle Pen and Beauty of My dreams are pretty much textbook electric bluegrass styling examples.
By the way, trey will tell you that his Electric Bluegrass chops were pretty much lifted directly from Scott Murawski of Max Creek. Scott has an unbeleivable take on electric bluegrass/country.

Trey is also heavily informed by Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa, in different areas and by internalizing trey's approach you are getting tastes of all of those players.

Pretty much the only influence you don't hear out of Trey is Garcia. Garcia influences Trey from an approach standpoint, not a tonal or note choice one.
.......................................................have you heard the one about the yellow dog?
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