Dead Songs for a 4-piece band

Dead Songs for a 4-piece band

Postby xero92 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:29 am

Hey Everyone!

My band, Bodhi Drip (http://www.myspace.com/wearejollies), and I have been trying to come up with Dead songs thats would sounds good with our set up. We are all dead influenced, especially me and the bassists, but our set up is not very good for covering all the parts of a song enough to make it sound complete and presentable. We have a lead guitarist (me), a bass player, a keyboard player, and a drummer.

Can anyone think of songs that would be achievable with this set up? Everything i have tried feels too empty without somebody playin Bobby parts behind me.

Thanks!
Faring thee well now, let your life proceed by its own design!
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Re: Dead Songs for a 4-piece band

Postby Chuckles » Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:02 am

Check out the arrangements TheCause has - same lineup I think, and they rip. They've got lots of vids and sound in the band forum.
Seems like I've been here before...

The Road's Facebook Page (including links to tunage) is here:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Road/ ... 200?ref=nf
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Re: Dead Songs for a 4-piece band

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:51 am

Have keyboards do Bob parts.
Take the song ChinaCat .....
Assuming you do Jerry ,you have the keyboard dude play Bobs famous riff. Ya cant sing the Jerry and play the Bob ya know ?
Same with Rider ... have keys dude play the Bob jam stuff - the between songs part ...
Plus the keys guy can have his one hand doing the riffs and the other holding some chords down ...
I would tell him to pick up the slack.
:lol:
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Re: Dead Songs for a 4-piece band

Postby astroman99 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:01 am

Tennessee Jedi wrote:Have keyboards do Bob parts.
Take the song ChinaCat .....
Assuming you do Jerry ,you have the keyboard dude play Bobs famous riff. Ya cant sing the Jerry and play the Bob ya know ?
Same with Rider ... have keys dude play the Bob jam stuff - the between songs part ...
Plus the keys guy can have his one hand doing the riffs and the other holding some chords down ...
I would tell him to pick up the slack.
:lol:


MY experience with keyboardists is that they usually play too much!! :evil: :evil:
Last edited by astroman99 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dead Songs for a 4-piece band

Postby deadguise » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:05 am

Think JGB tunes, but there's a boatload of Dead songs to do, play what sounds best.
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Re: Dead Songs for a 4-piece band

Postby Pete B. » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:09 am

I can't think of any Dead tune that can't be done with any band/instrument arrangement.
What song(s) do you feel are un-do-able and why?
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Re: Dead Songs for a 4-piece band

Postby tigerstrat » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:59 am

Pete B. wrote:I can't think of any Dead tune that can't be done with any band/instrument arrangement.
What song(s) do you feel are un-do-able and why?


Agreed. How many vocalists do you have? Vocal harmonies might be just as much of a factor in the tune selection imho.
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Re: Dead Songs for a 4-piece band

Postby mttourpro » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:47 pm

I have to chime in a little on this one as the keyboard player in theCAUSE.
When I played in a 5 piece before (Left for Dead), I could afford to play much "looser" and worried less about holding down the rhythm since we had a "Bob"....anyhow, in this band, I definitely think it's important to not necessarily play "Bob's parts" but to really focus on listening to the rhythm and trying to play what the song needs to be harmonically and rhythmically coherant....therefore, I try to play more simplistically and more as an anchor for the harmony and rhythm. There are plenty of times I don't do this as well as I should and am trying to be more conscious of it all the time. It's easy to get off track and trade melodic licks with guitar throughout verses, but best not to do much of that on most songs. I also find that the quieter the band can play, the easier it is to do well with this approach cause I can really hear how my part contributes to the whole sound much better.

TS is right about the vocals---that's where I'm gonna assume you have to be the most picky about song selection depending on how many voices you have.

FWIW, I met Pappy by checking out his (old) band Pappy's Blues Junction at a local GD divebar.
They were a three piece at the time until I started playing with them and they had to have been doing at least 60 GD tunes (as well as plenty of other tunes from 4 and five piece bands)with basically 2 vocals.

Another cent or two from me, IMHO, it's better to have keys and no rhythm guitar than the other way around. I'm sure I'm biased but it always grates on me to see bands doing tunes that have/need keys with a four piece and no keys.....recently saw a band try to do Pink Floyd with no keys....
right!
http://www.thecausejams.com

let your life proceed by its own design....
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Re: Dead Songs for a 4-piece band

Postby milobender » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:07 am

We're doing it right now with 3 pieces... bass, drums, guitar, and two singers.

Mttourpro, planning a move to Wyoming soon? :lol:

I put our last practice up at: http://www.9mileskid.com/tunes/bandprac ... sions.html

We've got some good ones from December and January... sometime I'll put them up too.

I agree with Mttourpro, focus on what the song needs, not the parts note-for-note... no crime in a little rearranging :D

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Re: Dead Songs for a 4-piece band

Postby Maybeck09 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:14 am

my band, Nougat, is a 4 piece, no keys. We play a lot of the better dead cover songs rather than Hunter Garcia songs. The cowboy songs work very well. Big River, Me and My Uncle, Mama Tried, I Know U Rider, Masterpiece, Lovelight, CR&S with the occasional Althia, Baby Blue. We also do things like Midnight Hour, Dead Flowers, Sweet Va, The Last Time. 2 guitars alternating leads and rhythm, bass and drums. 3 singers helps move it around. Whenever we try an Eyes, or other complicated Dead jam I know we miss the parts,we just jam it. (usually only practice on these) Songs like China have very specific parts that need to be hit or the song is incomplete. Perhaps try a simpler song structure, striped down and build up from there. With all of there songs, many from a folk or blues tradition, one can find plenty for 4 people to play.


Good Luck,

Will
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Re: Dead Songs for a 4-piece band

Postby bucketorain » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:42 am

just go for it....look at it this way, for years, you could hardly hear Bobby...there used to be a local band here that played with out keys, 2 guits, 1 bass, 1 drummer and they did ok...
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Re: Dead Songs for a 4-piece band

Postby eyeswasthere » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:33 am

Jack Straw, Stella Blue Cassidy, Other One, Morning Dew , any Dylan Cover, Black Peter, Ryder, FOTM, GDTRFB, Must of Been the Roses, St. Stephen, ...used to play those with a four piece..Brokedown, and NFA too.
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Re: Dead Songs for a 4-piece band

Postby leroylereaux » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:42 pm

This has always baffled me, why bands all think you NEED all instruments to produce the sound. Granted, you want to reproduce the exact sound, you will need all instruments as per the recorded/live versions. But if all the notes are there, what does it matter if the arrangement is done by a bluegrass string band, its still shakedown. Who says you cannot play the Bobby parts on Kazoo?
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Re: Dead Songs for a 4-piece band

Postby mijknahs » Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:52 pm

How about:

Sugaree
They Love Each Other
Ramble on Rose
Jack a Roe
Dire Wolf
Beat it on Down the Line
Tennessee Jed
Deal
Bird Song
any JGB tune plus many more

It depends on who's singing. If you're singing Bob songs also, it's hard to play a backup lead while singing - and then it might sound kinda empty. If the keyboard sings the Bob songs, they're a lot more do-able. Personally, I think it sounds more empty without a keyboardist than without a rhythm guitarist.

Jim
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Re: Dead Songs for a 4-piece band

Postby Henry » Fri May 07, 2010 2:20 pm

Well here's something about Dead songs for a 3-piece band. I am about to start a new band but for the moment it's just me and the bass player. Finally I've found someone who agrees to do Dead songs! We also want to do Dylan songs and blues classics and some Allman Brothers, Cream, an occasional Beatles song and stuff like that, but on our first encounter we have been jamming on Bertha, New Speedway Boogie and Sugaree and it went well for being the first time. I can sing Jerry songs alright but haven't got the kind of voice for Bob songs, so some others we might try next time are Loser, Easy Wind (well that's Pigpen but I still can handle it), Cumberland Blues (requires a harmony voice but the other guy does some singing too) and maybe even China/Rider. My idea for China is to play the Bob part for the intro only and then just concentrate on the Jerry part, for the time being. Some more who might work: Candyman, Friend Of the Devil, Ripple (maybe acoustic), Dire Wolf, Big Railroad Blues, Bird Song, Deal. (This should give you an idea about what my favorite GD era is...) The next step will be to find a drummer so we will at least be able to operate as a band. Of course there is something missing without a second guitarist, preferably one who also sings. But it's kind of hard to find a guitar player who can do (or is willing to do) the Bob part, especially in this part of the world... Until we find that person, I'll just try to arrange some songs so they work in a 3-piece setting, strip them to the bones if necessary, concentrate on the essentials. First you got to have the song structure down, then you can work on the details. And then - there is no such thing as a GD tribute band scene over here; there may be very few in Europe but not in this part. What we are planning to do will be very much a novelty.
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