My Garcia rig -> Epic Diatribe -> Other Stuff

Postby playingdead » Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:31 am

Just got back from 10 days in Italy ... was I yanking someone's chain?

I started playing Garcia in Playing Dead 3-4 years ago (I was the keyboard player previously). I started with a Yamaha Strat body, Nova neck and EMG pickups. I've progressed since, equipment wise.

Part of the problem is, trying to get Garcia's tone is a shifting target ... the "LIve Dead" tone to the Wall of Sound tone to the early Tiger tone to the Bolt ... how you define his tone is defined by what you want to hear. For me, it's early 80s, because I saw the bulk of my shows from 78-85.

But, my overall conviction is essentially the same. For the 82-91 Jerry tone, a Super II middle pickup in single coil, a Fender Twin Reverb with the correct settings and a pair of JBL E-120s will get you most of the way there, with the caveat that a LOT of his tone is in his fingers, his use of 6 or 7 different vibrato techniques, the occasional finger-picking mixed with his pick attack. (Not counting knowing your scales, which he practiced obsessively, or just playing luckily by ear and feel, which is what I do.) You have that down, with the equipment above, I'd say you're 80 percent of the way there. Everything else is just degrees of improvement toward a shifting target.

The other 20 percent is what keeps me interested, the minor variations and details ... and isn't that the characteristic that defines most Deadheads? Why else would we all have 147 different versions of Jack Straw to choose from in our tape collections?

But, to address what apparently set off the flame war, my setup at the time I authored this thread a few months ago, was to use my Tiger's onboard effects loop to switch in and out a pedal board with six effects on it, my effected signal running through all six pedals. Like Mike Young, I used a Boss EQ at the end of the chain to bring the signal level back up so the uneffected signal from the Tiger matched the effected signal's level with all the pedals in the loop but none of them switched on. It seemed workable to me.

Until that obsessive 20 percent demon got to me, and I got a GCX switcher, and put each effect on its own loop that could be switched in and out independently, and came to realize that each effect sounds and reacts much better on its own ... the delay is clearer, the overdrive is crisper, and so forth. The guitar, with the effects loop turned off, still sounds the same, but the guitar with the loop on and the delay engaged, sounds much better.

This is not to mention moving from a modified Twin head to a Trio and Crown power amp to, eventually, an Egnater preamp with an Acoustic Image power amp, where I am today, and very satisfied, I might add.

I had to smile when there was discussion about guitar players keeping secrets; I love the fact that Billy Gibbons actively misleads people about his guitar and gear, it's hysterical. However, I doubt Jerry was like that.

And since I'm not ...

Lefty Resurrection Tiger with DiMarzio Super IIs and CAE buffer -> Egnater M4 preamp ("D" side of the T/D module) -> Acoustic Image Focus 2R power amp -> Hard Truckers JG-1 2X12 with two JBL E-120s. Real Tube Reverb, run parallel, GCX and Ground Control Pro, loops in order are MuTron III, Boss Octave (older model), MXR Phase 100 Reissue, Roland GP-100 preamp (just for effects like compression, slow gear, vibrato), Boss EQ, Boss OD-2r overdrive, Boss DD-7 digital delay. Eighth loop is tap tempo for the delay. Mogami cables, neutrik connectors. Older Korg rack tuner split off the GCX feed through output. No s----, that's what I use. Come to a gig and open up the stomp boxes if you like.

From the last gig (9-20):

"GDTRFB" using the middle Super II as a single coil: http://www.playingdead.net/092008gdtrfb.mp3

"Big River" using the bridge Super II as a humbucker: http://www.playingdead.net/092008bigriver.mp3

That's all I know so far :-)
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Postby Phatboy » Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:50 am

It wouldnt take much to yank sum these guys chain. I hope im debra koons avatar forevr on here for all i care. Jerry would have liked it that way.
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Postby old man down » Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:51 pm

So, I just read ALL 15 pages of this.

I'm a little intrigued by Phatboy. He started to take the conversation in an interesting direction, but it got lost when he tried to defend himself while at the same time maintaining an attack.

Phatboy is correct, TJ did allude to him being an asshole first. (Why are you an asshole? on page 5) By page 6 things were too far gone to ever be reconciled.

Phatboy may have known Jerry and friends, there is no way to be sure. His writing, however, does not suggest he is over 50, and so if he knew the Grateful Dead it would only be as one of their children, or a friend of their children, for him to have an insider's knowledge. Something like that.

The Koons thing, if you have a sense of humor, is actually very funny. It is the first time I've seen it used, and it was the thing that intrigued me to search for Phatboy posts, which brought me here.

I have no disparaging things to say to anyone here. Live and let live.

I know extremely little about how to use effects. Whatever effects I owned, I sold a long time ago. I found that they ruined my guitar playing. Moreover, my best playing when I was in a band, and this was when I knew absolutely nothing about diatonic theory, was with an SG and a quad reverb amp and that was it. So, I kept things simple, and was just a rhythm player who once in a while would know the lead part for a song, but that was solely memorization. Extremely little improvisation.

So, I have to agree with Phatboy on his point that you shouldn't get too carried away with your rig.

Now to the point of where Phatboy was going with the conversation that interested me: If you want to play like Jerry you should play bluegrass or banjo. I think I have this right, but it was somewhere in the 15 pages, and I don't want to go looking to get it positively right. If this is the case, can you expand on that a little? I've heard this argument a little before, like in Garcia: An American Life. What is it that you would come away with if you undertook this pursuit? I've never tried to learn Bluegrass or the banjo, but I know Jerry played banjo, and I know his style is very different from others. Care to comment?

(sorry for the hijack here)
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Postby ELPManticore » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:32 pm

Personally, I think that bluegrass helps a bit, but not tremendously towards the Jerry tone/sound. (Cut my teeth on bluegrass festival jamming, guy that taught me was taught by Chet Atkins, so.......).

The biggest thing I'd note is that in bluegrass, solos tend to stay 'horizontal' on the fret board (one or two strings moving up or down) as opposed to being vertical (all six strings over a couple frets); I've notice Jer stays mostly horizontal too.
Solos in bluegrass groups tend to stay within the melody of the vocal line, with variations added by each person as they take their solo, and Jer said that he often 'played a few notes of the melody and then was either playing with it or against it".

The bluegrass strum pattern of bass I down strum chords (can also be down up ala Johnny cash, or d-u-d), bass V up strum chord ; repeat; walk-up to next chord; turns up in Jerry lines too. And the number of staccato notes used in soloing.

Bluegrass isn't going to help you with music theory or improvising really. Tried teaching folks a song that had more than three changes (and a Dsus4) chord and it was challenging. Also tried teaching them a Dead song…..

I’m also sure the overall bluegrass style (w/ each instrument taking their own solo, similar instruments playing the same lines just a bit differently (one guitar playing the changes at open, the capoed at 7) was a part of the development of the Dead jamming style, but that’s not to say that doesn’t happen in jazz.

So, I suppose PB was right to a degree in saying that bluegrass helps in finding the Jerry tone, but no more so than a solid understanding of jazz or blues would, or just a solid knowledge of guitar technique and music theory. It'll help, but its not a super key element, plenty of people have gotten a good jerry sound without ever learning Wabash Cannonball.

And on that note: go out and buy ‘Pickin on the Grateful Dead’.

Edited for spelling - the ones I found :shock:
-Peace,

Dan
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Yo

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:00 am

Phatboy is correct, TJ did allude to him being an asshole first.

Old Man Down
You are wrong dude
I called him a jackass for which he has proven fits.
He's the one who put up the "ASSHOLE" thing 1st.
I called him a jackass not because of what he said but how he said it "You people " and sum people cant hear " and his thing about Playingdeads rig that doesnt work - leave the ego at home ...
Maybe you didnt see it but I did apologize for the whole thing.
That being said it doesnt excuse his Phatness for any of his remarks.
There is a core of truth to his opinions but he takes an extreme stance.
Tone loss due to pedals is A GIVEN ON THIS THREAD.
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Postby old man down » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:20 am

Opps! :D

Yes, TJ, I meant to use the word jackass. After 15 pages, things got a little confusing.

And Phatboy may have used worse language elsewhere earlier, I don't know.

Still, it seems to me like he was trying to reel in things using the defence that he was dismissed first and everyone jumped all over him, and then the gloves came off by everyone.
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Postby Phatboy » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:27 am

old man down wrote:So, I just read ALL 15 pages of this.

I'm a little intrigued by Phatboy. He started to take the conversation in an interesting direction, but it got lost when he tried to defend himself while at the same time maintaining an attack.

Phatboy is correct, TJ did allude to him being an asshole first. (Why are you an asshole? on page 5) By page 6 things were too far gone to ever be reconciled.

Phatboy may have known Jerry and friends, there is no way to be sure. His writing, however, does not suggest he is over 50, and so if he knew the Grateful Dead it would only be as one of their children, or a friend of their children, for him to have an insider's knowledge. Something like that.

The Koons thing, if you have a sense of humor, is actually very funny. It is the first time I've seen it used, and it was the thing that intrigued me to search for Phatboy posts, which brought me here.

I have no disparaging things to say to anyone here. Live and let live.

I know extremely little about how to use effects. Whatever effects I owned, I sold a long time ago. I found that they ruined my guitar playing. Moreover, my best playing when I was in a band, and this was when I knew absolutely nothing about diatonic theory, was with an SG and a quad reverb amp and that was it. So, I kept things simple, and was just a rhythm player who once in a while would know the lead part for a song, but that was solely memorization. Extremely little improvisation.

So, I have to agree with Phatboy on his point that you shouldn't get too carried away with your rig.

Now to the point of where Phatboy was going with the conversation that interested me: If you want to play like Jerry you should play bluegrass or banjo. I think I have this right, but it was somewhere in the 15 pages, and I don't want to go looking to get it positively right. If this is the case, can you expand on that a little? I've heard this argument a little before, like in Garcia: An American Life. What is it that you would come away with if you undertook this pursuit? I've never tried to learn Bluegrass or the banjo, but I know Jerry played banjo, and I know his style is very different from others. Care to comment?

(sorry for the hijack here)




wow, atleast someone can read between the lines on here. As for this guys post. Its obvious that if ya wanna sound like jerry ya have to go back to his roots. Which was bluegrass mainly. When anyone learns a instument like say jerry (banjo) one plays a certain way. OK knowing this --- Your whole life you will always have that certain bluegrass type attack on the strings. This was a hugeeeeeeeeee aspect of his playing. Sure he had effects and on and on but the majority of his tone was his picking. I would suggest playing bluegrass only for even say a few mnths and then play sum of the grateful dead songs. I bet you will get what i was trying to convey much better
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Re: Yo

Postby Phatboy » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:35 am

Tennessee Jedi wrote:
Phatboy is correct, TJ did allude to him being an asshole first.

Old Man Down
You are wrong dude
I called him a jackass for which he has proven fits.
He's the one who put up the "ASSHOLE" thing 1st.
I called him a jackass not because of what he said but how he said it "You people " and sum people cant hear " and his thing about Playingdeads rig that doesnt work - leave the ego at home ...
Maybe you didnt see it but I did apologize for the whole thing.
That being said it doesnt excuse his Phatness for any of his remarks.
There is a core of truth to his opinions but he takes an extreme stance.
Tone loss due to pedals is A GIVEN ON THIS THREAD.



How stupid are you really? Ok lets make it kindergarten for you jedi.. There are five kids in kindergarten each play the banjo. Lets say they all learn one tune. Each one of them are gonna hear the song different. Hmmm is that soo hard for you to grasp. ( you turned it around to something like i was saying " my ears are way better than yours bullshit" so then i had to put u in your place) The moral of the story is yes sum ppl cant hear as well as others. Thats life . You took this to a whole different level my weasly lil friend. I tried to be cool til you slammed me w your bullshit. Then the rest is history soo they say.
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Postby strumminsix » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:36 am

Phatboy wrote:wow, atleast someone can read between the lines on here. As for this guys post. Its obvious that if ya wanna sound like jerry ya have to go back to his roots. Which was bluegrass mainly. When anyone learns a instument like say jerry (banjo) one plays a certain way. OK knowing this --- Your whole life you will always have that certain bluegrass type attack on the strings. This was a hugeeeeeeeeee aspect of his playing. Sure he had effects and on and on but the majority of his tone was his picking. I would suggest playing bluegrass only for even say a few mnths and then play sum of the grateful dead songs. I bet you will get what i was trying to convey much better


This I can totally agree with. Being a Bobby player I often immerse myself in old blues, soul, and jazz to get some inspiration. Ironically, the tune Georgia on My Mind was the catalyst for a lot of new thinking rhythmically.
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Postby Tennessee Jedi » Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:17 am

no one ever said on this thread that gear trumps practice listening and learning.
no one.
Yes you do make good points.Although they were all givens already.But I never disagreed with you.
Yes calling you "Jack Ass " was going too far.
but the truth hurts doesnt it Phatness ?

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
So how 'bout we bury the hatchet ?
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Postby tigerstrat » Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:26 am

Yes, yes, anyone who has learned anything about Jerry's style and technique knows that bluegrass was one of his biggest influences, along with equal parts old-time folk and roots rock'n'roll. Bill Monroe was Jerry's Grateful Dead, driving all over the country to see (and tape!) his entire spring (or was it summer) '64 tour. JG was a champion banjo-picker in the early 60's and that had a major impact on his right-hand technique for the rest of his life- the ring finger is crucial, and if you are truly hardcore you will sever the middle finger (OK, or learn to finger/hybrid pick w/o using it).

What is the point of dropping all this into a thread that is supposed to be about the hardware? Gee thanks for the condescendingly remedial thread-jacking, as if none of us had been acutely aware of Jerry's influences, which, if you consider their significance, MIGHT deserve their own thread, in fact maybe 1 (or 20) already exists... and this one MIGHT deserve to continue on with input from anyone who feels like talking about/comparing the tools of their trade. Even the poorly-informed disputing of the established facts of Garcia's rig was at least topical.
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Postby ELPManticore » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:12 am

Woah, my apoligies for my way off-topic and meandering post... :D Just tried to answer OMD's question and got a bit carried away I guess. Didn't mean to hijack the thread further.

Anyone interested in more info, post a thread and I'll jump in on it.
-Peace,

Dan
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Postby RiverRat » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:14 am

.
Last edited by RiverRat on Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby milobender » Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:40 pm

:smile: :D :thewave: :D :smile:
Everything we know is wrong...
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Postby Emoto » Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:18 am

Here's a bit of info that seems to have escaped our phat friend: People on this site share what they know freely. They make the case for what they think or know by presenting the information they have and sometimes saying how they got the info or how they figured it out. The way that people gain respect here is by helping others. We aren't interested in "proving" anything to each other - this isn't a competition. We're all here because we love the music. We behave as friends toward each other, even though few of us have met in person. Sure, sometimes things can get heated, but we really try to avoid that; it just wastes everyone's time.
Such a long, long time to be gone, and a short time to be there...
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