Chord question

Chord question

Postby mttourpro » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:50 pm

So after playing this one for 20 years, I'm wondering if I've been missing something the whole time, that being a possible change from A to G actually being an E minor.

this is an email from my guitar player:

Listen to the 2nd verse. It is not A > G. I've been on a 72 kick and listened to a few versions. Em is the chord, I think (just a guess by ear), and it's like a 4 note walk up. It occurs on the 2nd verse of 3 each time (so the 2nd verse & the 5th verse).

here's some examples.....

4:44 mark
http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-02- ... sbeok.shnf

5:34 mark
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1971-0 ... 627.flac16


11:42 mark (this is more the pace we play it, too)
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1972-1 ... y.160.shnf


1:19 mark - here's where you can hear Phil, but not Bob & keys

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1989-1 ... 495.flac16

FWIW, in David Frank's master class , he cites the chords to the whole tune as A to E minor---he writes this at the bottom of his description of Bob's role on the tune.

http://www.davefrankjazz.com/ustream/dead/dead.html



So, I'm wondering what the gurus of RUKind say about this one.

I personally listened to those versions (albiet at work and without a piano) on archive and thought I'm hearing the chords on said verse go straight to the E minor and stay there with a walkup of sorts over inversions of the E minor (rather than A>G or A> to E minor).
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Re: Chord question

Postby tigerstrat » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:51 pm

I've been saying (and doing) that for years. Well done.
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Re: Chord question

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:53 pm

I haven't gotten nearly as thorough as that analysis but I agree that most versions (But definitely NOT all) go to Em there with Phil and maybe others doing that walkup. But I have heard some that stay on A.

I've been playing that walkup as E G A-B, A, with accent on the offbeat B and the A cut short.
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Re: Chord question

Postby mttourpro » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:55 pm

Thanks!

So, TS, you say it stays on the E minor or does it go E minor to G on those lines of the verse(s)??

I was going to edit my post to ask that specifically and saw you replied already----slow day at work like me??
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Re: Chord question

Postby JonnyBoy » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:21 pm

Em and Gmajor are almost the same chord, if you play the Gmajor bar chord like jerry does and add your pinky to the B string 5th fret you are making a Eminor chord which may be what is heard... Like a Cmajor9 without the root note I guess? But I agree! there is some Em in there!
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Re: Chord question

Postby mkaufman » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:34 pm

The lead over A->G would be the V (mixolydian mode) of D. Em is the ii of D.

ii-V is a very common progression and quite often, the ii is a substitute for the V (ie: play an E minor pentatonic over an A7).

Em is perfect to play over an A-G progression. Also, Em -> A7 resolves perfectly.

In Dark Star, The Dead moved between modes all the time.

To really stretch it out, play using any mode of D major. It takes a little practice, and for the band to be listening to these changes, however, the payoff is huge!

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Re: Chord question

Postby strumminsix » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:16 pm

I've often heard conflicting things in my own head.

A G
A Em
A G6

It sounds, to my ears that Phil hangs on an A to G for the first half then whacks with an E into the back half.

What do I know. All I've got is more confusion. But hey, at least I'll have company!
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Re: Chord question

Postby tigerstrat » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:31 pm

mkaufman wrote:The lead over A->G would be the V (mixolydian mode) of D. Em is the ii of D.

ii-V is a very common progression and quite often, the ii is a substitute for the V (ie: play an E minor pentatonic over an A7).

Em is perfect to play over an A-G progression. Also, Em -> A7 resolves perfectly.

In Dark Star, The Dead moved between modes all the time.

To really stretch it out, play using any mode of D major. It takes a little practice, and for the band to be listening to these changes, however, the payoff is huge!

mk


nicely stated, especially
In Dark Star, The Dead moved between modes all the time.

To really stretch it out, play using any mode of D major. It takes a little practice, and for the band to be listening to these changes, however, the payoff is huge!


The most obvious launching platforms for those D modes are A mixo and E dorian, but as long as everyone can breathe, you can slink into and hint at other modes like B aeolian, G lydian... bend it don't break it. As far as the verse goes, I tend to relate to it as a meandering E minor across all of the 2nd line of the verse, but E min> A7 totally works for a vamp.
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Re: Chord question

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:58 am

strumminsix wrote:I've often heard conflicting things in my own head.

A G
A Em
A G6

It sounds, to my ears that Phil hangs on an A to G for the first half then whacks with an E into the back half.

What do I know. All I've got is more confusion. But hey, at least I'll have company!


I agree with this 100%.

Traditional music theory can't explain Dark Star IMHO. When it opens up to the jams, Phil mostly focuses on a sort of E-sus scale.... there's no real name for it, just play E F# A B D E - no 3rd and the 7th has no function. Every time I hit either 3rd it sounds totally "wrong". It leaves everybody else very free to experiment with a lot of different things harmonically and melodically.

It's only really confusing because A. the underlying key signature is neither major or minor and has no formal name, and B. there's no clear right or wrong harmonic approach for the guitars and keys to take.
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Re: Chord question

Postby mttourpro » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:35 am

Rusty the Scoob wrote:
strumminsix wrote:I've often heard conflicting things in my own head.

A G
A Em
A G6

It sounds, to my ears that Phil hangs on an A to G for the first half then whacks with an E into the back half.

What do I know. All I've got is more confusion. But hey, at least I'll have company!


I agree with this 100%.

Traditional music theory can't explain Dark Star IMHO. When it opens up to the jams, Phil mostly focuses on a sort of E-sus scale.... there's no real name for it, just play E F# A B D E - no 3rd and the 7th has no function. Every time I hit either 3rd it sounds totally "wrong". It leaves everybody else very free to experiment with a lot of different things harmonically and melodically.

It's only really confusing because A. the underlying key signature is neither major or minor and has no formal name, and B. there's no clear right or wrong harmonic approach for the guitars and keys to take.


Reason tatters, the forces tear loose from the axis----makes a lot of sense.

Thanks for all the feedback guys!
:smile:

I liked this and thought you might too.

In Garcia, Charles Reich questions Garcia about "Dark Star.":


REICH: Well then if we wanted to talk about "Dark Star," uh, could you say anything about where it comes from?
[GARCIA]: You gotta remember that you and I are talking about two different "Dark Stars." You're talking about the "Dark Star" which you have heard formalized on a record, and I'm talking about the "Dark Star" which I have heard in each performance as a completely improvised piece over a long period of time. So I have a long continuum of "Dark Star" which range in character from each other to real different extremes. "Dark Star" has meant, while I'm playing it, almost as many things as I can sit here and imagine, so all I can do is talk about "Dark Star" as a playing experience.
REICH: Well, yeah, talk about it a little.
[GARCIA]: I can't. It talks about itself.
(pp. 84, 85.)
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Re: Chord question

Postby mttourpro » Sat Oct 29, 2011 3:21 pm

Alright---just listened/played this and here's what I am almost certain of: second and fifth verses go

E min>A E min>A G E min


or, kinda like this


Reeeeeeeeeeeea---son taaaaaaaaatters, the forces tear loose from the axis
E min.............A E min....................A G..............................E min

then back to A>G6 for rest of verse
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Re: Chord question

Postby strumminsix » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:49 am

mttourpro wrote:Alright---just listened/played this and here's what I am almost certain of: second and fifth verses go

E min>A E min>A G E min


or, kinda like this


Reeeeeeeeeeeea---son taaaaaaaaatters, the forces tear loose from the axis
E min.............A E min....................A G..............................E min

then back to A>G6 for rest of verse

Pretty much how I've played it. I fully admit there is more to it but that's my starting point.
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Re: Chord question

Postby mttourpro » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:40 am

When I showed my guitar player what I wrote above, he played it (as is) and then started throwing other chords inbetween the E min to A, kinda like a walk up of sorts and it sounded really good together with what I did (this was all on stage right before our gig, so we really didn't get to more fully mess around/confuse the issue furthur, etc)---but, I'm thinking there is definitely a formal/consistent chord structure to those 2 lines (what I wrote above) but there's obviously a lot of room for variations inbetween and around it all.
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