Help me get my bands to play more GD songs!

Help me get my bands to play more GD songs!

Postby Todd GT5 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:29 pm

Hello all,
I'm a bass player in two bands, one(41East) a classic rock cover band(like to play songs close to the original versions) and the other (Heleos)band does classic rock, blues and originals(never worries about copying other versions).

I've gotten 41East to do "Good lovin'" leaning towards the Dead's style and where planning on working uo "Dancing In The Streets". Heleos does "Mr Charlie"and Me And "Bobby McGee" and we used to do "Hard To Handle". We're bring 'Hard To Handle" Back.

I guess what I'm thinking is what other songs would you guys recommend to sneak in, that they might do without tripping on me bringing too many Grateful Dead tunes. To me there couldn't be too many!

I may need to get into another band some day that would be cool with more Dead and more Jam band tunes. At least in Heleos, I can try to Phil-up the bass lines to make the songs more interesting to me.

Thanks for any ideas - Todd
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Re: Help me get my bands to play more GD songs!

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:32 am

Bertha is fun and easy ....
Franklins maybe
Casey Jones ... maybe they are more familiar with that one from the radio ...
One tune I despise Non DEad bands doing is F.O.M.
I mean its two chords and some noodling ; if you are gonna sink your teeth into some Dead at least pick something that takes some learning or reflects what you like in the Dead ; not " hey its two chords and some noodling "
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Re: Help me get my bands to play more GD songs!

Postby paulkogut » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:48 am

There's a great quote from pianist Bill Evans where he says jazz isn't really a style, but a process of making music. I feel the same way about the Dead. Not to put down anyone else's approach to music, but if you've got folk that come at it from a "copy the record' perspective or view soloing as something you do OVER the rhythm section rather than a dialogue, it sort of doesn't matter what tune you're doing, it won't ever really get off the ground (In the Dead sense, nothing wrong with a good, tight rock band, just different.) On the other hand, if you're with musicians who listen, react and let the music breathe and grow, it sort of doesn't matter what song you start with (Morning Dew, Cold Rain and Snow, Not Fade Away etc etc all weren't Dead tunes before they were Dead tunes...)

Are you in a situation where bandmates have some mental block/misconceptions about the Dead? It's a drag, but happens pretty often. Maybe you could just encourage the group to adopt some of the Dead's values (jams/segues, first&second set pacing, etc.) and try some sneakier ways of getting the others on the bus (Instead of talking to the drummer about Kreutzmann, turn him on to Elvin Jones and Joe Morello....)
Good luck!
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Re: Help me get my bands to play more GD songs!

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:34 pm

Agree with both of the above. I've yet to ever really be happy with the results of convincing non-heads to play GD songs. It's just too unique of a musical approach to be able to hand somebody a recording or two and say "here, learn this" with any kind of success. Instead I'd find GD recordings that you think each member would like, and give it to them with the hopes that they latch on and hop on the bus, at least a little.
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Re: Help me get my bands to play more GD songs!

Postby tcsned » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:44 pm

I dunno about sprecific tunes but I would find some stuff that's close enough to the style of playing that you already do and try to play Dead tunes in the style of . . .

Do Friend of the Devil like the Eagles would have done it or Me & My Uncle. I agree with Rusty that getting them do play in the Dead's style is probably not realistic but I think you can find songs that you can play and make sound cool even if they don't sound especially like the Dead. I like the way Levon Helm does Tennesee Jed for instance . . .
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Re: Help me get my bands to play more GD songs!

Postby jester536 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:14 pm

Totally agree with the above. I play in a trio and we try a few Dead tunes...but we're just covering them...we're not recreating them. They never really open up...I don't think I'm all that capable of making that happen with my limited playing skills..but I certainly can't make it happen all by myself. I really believe it takes DeadHeads to make that happen. People that can say..."I was going for a more '74 feel to that Jack Straw and I think you were going more '85." That's a knowledge base that allows for a lot of great stuff to happen. But after all that...I could be wrong. I've heard amazing bands on here that have some members that might actually not be complete DeadHeads...which just makes me more impressed.
OP...just look for crowd-pleaser type of tunes...if people respond...your bandmates will dig playing them. Bertha is definitely a crowd pleaser, as is Franklin's and of course...a lot of people like Touch of Grey.
And do their covers and try to inject some "Deadness". Werewolves of London is a great tune...just give it a litlle bit of a Dead bounce to it.
Good Luck
Last edited by jester536 on Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help me get my bands to play more GD songs!

Postby Kaifusha » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:35 pm

I my last electric band, the non-deadheads really got into Jack Straw. That D-Bm-A-E jam is hard to resist, and the song is tricky enough to be interesting.
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Re: Help me get my bands to play more GD songs!

Postby hippieguy1954 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:41 pm

Take em to a Furthur show! :smile: :smile: :smile:

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Re: Help me get my bands to play more GD songs!

Postby Grateful Dad » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:08 pm

hippieguy1954 wrote:Take em to a Furthur show! :smile: :smile: :smile:

That was my first reaction too!

Tailgate in the parking lot several hours before the show with some killer live shows playing, some good food and adult beverages, cruise around the lot and take in Shakedown Street, and have a good f'ing time!! They'll be hooked.

:D :smile:
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Re: Help me get my bands to play more GD songs!

Postby tigerstrat » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:22 pm

The only GD tunes would want to try play with non-Heads are the ones with really interesting chord progressions, like Help>Slip, Crazy Fingers, and definitely NOT the simpler ones that would be "easy to learn": it sounds cold, but sometimes there's nothing worse than an uninformed version of Franklin's Tower or Fire On The Mtn.
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Re: Help me get my bands to play more GD songs!

Postby tastyjams » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:05 pm

hippieguy1954 wrote:Take em to a Furthur show! :smile: :smile: :smile:

It's a really good idea. Me and the other guitarist in my band went to see them in june and it blew his mind. He always liked the dead, but he didn't really get what it meant to be a jam band until they did Weather Report Suite>Eyes>The Wheel>Shakedown>Standing on the Moon>Scarlet Begonias>Fire on the Mountain>Not Fade Away. After that, he has been way more opened to going different places in our jams, and generally making things a little complex. Also weed helps :lol:
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Re: Help me get my bands to play more GD songs!

Postby WildEye » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:11 pm

yeah, that's it - saw them last night at the greek with a head and a couple non heads and they had a blast...
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Re: Help me get my bands to play more GD songs!

Postby amyjared » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:53 pm

The drummer in my band doesn't like the Dead at all, so we don't play many Dead songs (or so he thinks..)

We used to do Casey Jones as it's not a long jam song and he is a jazz drummer who likes things that have structure, he doesn't like the endless noodling. We brought in many songs the Dead and JGB covered (Hey Pocky Way, Get Out of My Life Woman, Harder They Come, The Weight, Watchtower, etc.) and then just decided to tell him we were going to do Scarlet. His reply was, "Well, Ok, I'll just sit and look bored during it just like their drummers do!" But he's playing it and enjoying it. The other thing we found was if we brought in a song by another band (Cracker doing a great version of Loser, for instance), then he was more likely to enjoy doing it.
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Re: Help me get my bands to play more GD songs!

Postby dancingrizz » Fri Oct 07, 2011 4:01 am

I was in a band with some real anal cats, I mean the drummer was making charts or whatever that is on staff paper and the notes look like stars. Well they were always asking me to do Dead tunes and for two years I faked the mental dead block. I knew the rap having heard before. I even let them ‘trick’ me into Promised Land and a couple of others. Till this day I can’t listen to certain tunes that we did and I was not letting them do that to Grateful Dead music for me. I’ll bet they fancy themselves’ passive aggressive. lol
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Re: Help me get my bands to play more GD songs!

Postby dleonard » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:45 am

It was just this problem of people being blockheads which has led me to feel apathetic towards playing in bands.
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