Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby PaulJay » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:52 am

Oh no, I just realized that if Jerry sounds like Jerry no matter what gear he was using, this discussion could be leading to the demise of this beloved message board. then what.
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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:11 pm

best thing I ever did for my tone was to start using diff speakers -Webers / JBL / the Commonwealths I love ....
ironic that some would take the few times Jerry was recorded on borrowed gear and hold that to some kind of light while in reality Jerry and Co. spent countless $ on the best gear and produced the sounds as heard and worshiped on our fav GD bootlegs ....
:D
:-)
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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby mgbills » Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:59 pm

Feel free to skip this..
We actually all know the answer to this question, and yet it has become the essential dichotomy of our digital existence here at RuKind. The answer is, and always will be both...and neither. Strummin hit on this in the John Mayer thread.

The ontological arguement would be something like this...Jerry (that was) possessed the ultimate in tone & improvisational talent! We cannot conceive of any one of us, or any other musician approaching his ability at his finest. Therefore, Jerry effectively was Divine.

Bear with me. It is not my intent to offend the religious amongst us.

We can emulate in limitless forms the manifestions of his physical equipment; the mechanical construct of his tone. We can practice the 7 forms of finger initiated vibrato, modes, passing tones, pentatonics, runs, slides, etc. We can spend 3 years playing banjo, and 5 playing pedal steel. We can smoke Brown Persion & Lucky's. We can let it all hang out, and practice improvisation until is runs vitally throughout all fibers of our existance. (The personal contribution to his tone) We can watch the crowd dance, and people sing, and come very close.
.
..but...as Strummin was saying ...we'll walk our solo's into dead ends. Our hands will clam, and we'll hit some dingers. We'll listen to the recordings after the fact, and feel the drift. We'll always feel that we left a motif unexplored. And that Jerry wouldn've done it better.

...judgement will always keep us a ripple away. Let's face it...many of us had our ultimate GD experiences as visitors. We were in the crowd. The band raised the crowd. The crowd raised the band, and we had the time of our lives. Jerry took us places with his vision of dissonance and resolution. And in that experience many of us felt/heard something really special.

So ...Is it the guitar or the amp or the player? It's all, and it's none. Jerry was Jerry, and he was the best Jerry we'll ever hear. His tonality and his notes fills our minds & hearts. His vocals and his improvisations were legendary. And in our memories they were nothing but great. But they were his...then.

Now ...let's get back to the freakin' quest! I was listening to some shit I recorded last night and I'm not happy about it! How come I can't get Matt Moriarity to put me on the list? Must be some pickup or capacitor I need to change, because I suck at this.
:-)
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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby TI4-1009 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:00 pm

+1

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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby James-T » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:44 pm

+2

This is the type of light hearted conversation I was hoping for. Very witty and well put. Inspiration = passion = motivation = practice = results.

Peace,

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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby Mr.Burns » Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:16 am

mgbills wrote:The ontological arguement would be something like this...Jerry (that was) possessed the ultimate in tone & improvisational talent! We cannot conceive of any one of us, or any other musician approaching his ability at his finest. Therefore, Jerry effectively was Divine.


Even if that were true, he was still human, just like you and me. We all have what seems like a physical advantage over a 9 fingered guitar player, yet this doesn't seem to hold true. So his ability must have been...given to him by God? Despite my overwhelming desire to agree with this, it cannot be proven, and the notion must be set aside. What makes more sense to me is that what allowed Jerry to possess an almost supernatural ability was his incredible humanity. He was more human than most, not in all arenas, but certainly in this one. I've always felt this was why he could play something that feels like the listener conjured it, like he could get right inside your head space and play what you were thinking just before you thought it, so it feels like he played something primal and instinctual that we immediately recognize as familiar, even if we had never heard it before.

Just my opinion.
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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby mgbills » Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:52 pm

Exactly Mr Burns ...or as near as one can perceive. There is no perfect "Truth" in this type of experience. We only have what our hearts tell us. Divinity is unknowable, but for those who are granted the eyes to see and the ears to hear... We know this phenom is not Nothing.
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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby aiq » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:07 am

Not magic, work.

Dickey Betts says he never saw Jerry without a guitar in his hands.
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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby Dark_Star94 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:34 am

Also a video of Jeff Mattson playing a stock Strat and Tone King Comet 40 sounding just like Jerry. No OBEL, buffers, preamps, JBL, Mcintosh, Dimarzios, Fender Twin.





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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby James-T » Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:21 pm

Its funny how none of the pros are hell bent on exactly replicating what Jerry's rig was on stage and they always seem to come out on top. Jeff's a great player for sure! and you've gotta like his tone. I've seen one of his interviews. He's a strat player at heart. He gave a great tip on soloing - to mix things up try starting your solo in a totally different spot on the neck or with a totally different riff. He was down to earth and admitted he can get stale quickly. I thought that was a great outside the box tip. :smile:

I wonder if the usual suspects will jump on your post and lecture you on why he doesn't sound exactly like Jerry. With Warren it was his technique. Like we didn't already know that.

Thanks for sharing. :-)

Peace,

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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby waldo041 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:24 pm

Yes, Jeff is an amazing player with an uncanny Jerry technique and has come a LONG way in replicating Jerry's tone from the rig he first brought into DSO! Sarno, myself and many others have helped a little bit in that department and the results are showing these days, still not entirely there, but a lot closer then when he started!



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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby Searing75 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:02 pm

I have been going to a lot of DSO shows over the summer, and I have been loving it!

Watch Jeff's right hand, and how it is constantly moving fast up and down, as if he is playing rhythm while he solos. Odd technique, but great results!

Can't wait till November 12th and 14th!
All's well that sounds well.
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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby hippieguy1954 » Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:11 am

Jeff sounds awesome! :smile:
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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby tatittle » Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:24 am

I AM DEFINITELY HEARING MORE 1990 Jerry than 1974 Jerry in that clip W posted. More the technique of the part I listened too. Funny though...more subtle stuff...I guess he's not exactly a spring chicken himself now (J)
Looks like a Warmoth neck to me from the finish.

As for this quote; "Jerry (that was) possessed the ultimate in tone & improvisational talent! We cannot conceive of any one of us, or any other musician approaching his ability at his finest"...(not to mention the divine declaration)
I would have to disagree. Jerry did Jerry's style better than anyone else...and it was unique...but it isn't somehow empirically or objectively superior or more complex or sophisticated than other great musicians not to mention composers. In fact it isn't terribly complicated generally...just enough to be interesting and moving without becoming tiring/laborious to listen to. I am pretty darn sure Garcia wouldn't say he was the best, he thought of other greats just as we do of him. I happen to love listening to him more than any other over the years...but that's purely subjective based mostly on what makes me me, not what makes music music. I am a bit embarrassed to say when I was a kid I often tied to throw a wet blanket on Jerry heads (non-musicians almost always)--it was mostly part of my strong buck the trend tendency, play controversialist and devils advocate....I would defend him even more vigorously to a crowd of naysayers. Of course he has always been one of my favorites and in many ways was much more mysterious a player which may have annoyed my ego lol. But there are things he doesn't do so well, very few, but these things have become less important aspects of my subjective appreciation of music over the years.

Jerry sounds like Jerry no matter what equiptment he uses...but we cant. Although a solid Garcia impersonator can get damn close on any equiptment...the problem is also he played so MANY styles and instruments that most Garcia players only master a few of these. And Im sure he played differently depending on what guitar/rig he was using at the time. Come to think of it, I cant say Ive heard anyone sound really close to him on acoustic guitar.

In the end background (both music and cultural) probably plays a bigger role than either guitar or amp...at least in the 2nd and more elusive 50% of obtaining the sound...the final 10% of which may never be done.
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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby James-T » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:04 am

Jeff has come a LONG way in replicating Jerry's tone from the rig he first brought into DSO! Sarno, myself and many others have helped a little bit in that department and the results are showing these days, still not entirely there, but a lot closer then when he started!


I get the sense that Jeff is not so much interested in replicated Jerry's tone as he is in just playing at the top of his game in a jam band based around interpreting the music of the Grateful Dead. JK I believe might think the same way. Sure he's got a few Jerry tricks in his rig, but he's chasing after his own tone. Same with Warren - and I like Waldo was just not that into him with the Dead - he shines in his own band - not completely my cup of tea but its pure Warren, same with Jimmy Herring - who I really liked with jazz is Dead and with the Dead - but I still prefer JK's chops and tone - but I did see JH pull out some amazing stuff in the 4 or 5 times I saw him with the Dead, like a smoking Lost Sailor> Tennessee Jed> Saint of Circumstance in Tampa Fl.

And somewhere there is a quote about Jerry saying he just wanted to be remembered as a competent guitar player. The guy was humble, and rightfully so. He wasn't a guitar god, just a really great player. He had his gaffs, his bad days and his bad tones as well as his good, and he always said he couldn't listen to his old stuff because he just wasn't that great back then. And that's why the folks who aren't into the Dead just see them as a really successful garage band. Sometimes its not so bad to be humble. But thank you Mike for your contributions to Jeff's tone. There are many DSO fans who appreciate this for sure. :smile:

Peace,

James
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