New Journey

New Journey

Postby Panicdude » Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:38 am

Ok guys, here's the deal:

I have been playing for close to 5 years now, but am just now trying to really learn my theory. I am taking lessons, learning chord construction, notes on the fretboard, playing with metronome, thinking about the chord, yada yada.

I understand Jerry used a lot of mixo stuff, and I now understand how that works as well. Now I want to put it all together. What's a song I could start with to really explore and start figuring out some nice solos. Preferably I want to stay away from a song that incorporates heavy use of pentatonics...

Some of my favorites off the top of my head are: To lay me down, Lady/Terrapin, Mission in the rain, Stella Blue, and Weather report suite to name a few.

If you had to think back to your first dead song, that you really explored, and mastered that incorporated a lot of "jerry" mixo solo feel to it and a song that would help me learn a lot, which would it be?
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Re: New Journey

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:07 am

Hey man
Good luck on the journey !
Panicdude wrote:
If you had to think back to your first dead song, that you really explored, and mastered that incorporated a lot of "jerry" mixo solo feel to it and a song that would help me learn a lot, which would it be?

I think I started making better progress when I became more comfortable playing over multiple chords on tunes like 1/2 Step.
I dont know the modes so I dont know which tunes are "mixolydian" , though.
:smile:
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Re: New Journey

Postby Pete B. » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:16 am

You might give the Truckin' jam in E7 a try.
Kick it in around the 5min mark and go for it (note all the repeating patterns... the black notes are E's).
Europe 72:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QqL08an_DE
E Mixolydian Positions:
Image


E Mixolydian Notes: Full Fretboard
Image

Image
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Re: New Journey

Postby mijknahs » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:32 am

Panicdude wrote:If you had to think back to your first dead song, that you really explored, and mastered that incorporated a lot of "jerry" mixo solo feel to it and a song that would help me learn a lot, which would it be?


Probably China/Rider jam and the solos in Know You Rider.
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Re: New Journey

Postby vwjodyme » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:37 am

I by no means am an authority on the subject, but the more lead stuff i study the more I realize JG didn't use straight anything (including mixo) as much as i thought. it was more a blend of different stuff--mixo and other modes, pent, caged, cromatic stuff, and even bounce between scales...say like B mixo and A mixo.

I was reading the new guitar world and they had a section on country players. basically saying that country guys understood the chord changes and changed their solos with them, while rock guys would know the key and just play a corresponding scale. So i guess Jerry was a country guy in a rock band...well, a rock/country/bluegrass/folk/psychedelic band :P
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Re: New Journey

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:55 am

vwjodyme wrote:
I was reading the new guitar world and they had a section on country players. basically saying that country guys understood the chord changes and changed their solos with them, while rock guys would know the key and just play a corresponding scale. So i guess Jerry was a country guy in a rock band...well, a rock/country/bluegrass/folk/psychedelic band :P

Thats cool. My strategy as well ....
:smile:
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Re: New Journey

Postby mijknahs » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:12 am

Yeah, I don't really think about modes (although I learned them at one time). I just think about the chords and whether it is basically major or minor sounding and how much "blues" I want to mix into my major or how much "major" I want to mix into my blues.
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Re: New Journey

Postby Pete B. » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:38 am

If you want to be able to play fluetly like Jerry, ime, you really have to go thru a stage called "Guitar-itis" where you learn the scales and scale/chord-positions in your head, then learn to shred the scales across 6-strings and 12-frets on your guitar, and be able to play any chord in at least 5 places within 12-frets, and recognize the scales that lie right on top of the chord positions.
Mixo songs are as good a place to starts as any, although it's all based on the Do-Re-Me... thing.
Most basic Jerry stuff is Ionian/Dorian/Mixolydian.
Once you have a strong mental command of, and physical ability to actually "shred" the basics, you'll be able to hear what Jerry is doing, recognize it as something you know how to do, then play along and continue learning by example (one way is to play along with CD's/DVD's/YT's, and listen/watch and learn).
Every Grateful Dead song has a Mode (or Modes) attached to it, if you know what it is, you can immediatly envision what you are going to play.
Here's one tip... Don't play Mixo over The Other One.
Last edited by Pete B. on Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Journey

Postby NorthboundRain » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:30 pm

I had one of my first breakthroughs about this playing over the solos changes for Eyes Of The World through a looping pedal years ago

Emaj7 - Emaj7 - Bm7 - (A)
//// - //// - //// - ////

I was trying to play chord to chord and was switching scales for each chord. I'd start out in my E Major box shapes rooted around the 12th fret and then switch to the B Minor and B Dorian shapes I knew around the 7th fret. My breakthrough came when I noticed that the only difference between B Dorian and E Major was the use of a D or a D#, the same difference between E Major and E Mixolydian. This led to 3 very important realizations.

1: economy of physical and mental action - Instead of moving my hand to a new root position and re-visualizing the fretboard every 2 bars I could stay rooted in E and switch between Major and Mixolydian as appropriate. This cut the amount of theoretical and physical work I had to focus on immensely and started freeing me up to focus on what I was playing instead of how I was playing.

2: symmetry of scales and modes: If E Mixolydian and B Dorian are the same notes then I could play either of those and it would fit. This really opened up the fretboard for me especially once I added A Major to the mix. Applying the same idea to the first 2 bars I started using B Mixolydian, F# Dorian, and C# Minor alongside E Major. It's important to remember that even though you might be visualizing a B Mixolydian you are still actually playing E Major and should probably resolve to the appropriate tonic note (or hold a note in the upcoming chord and let the chord change accomplish the resolution.)

3: the simple elegance of music vs. the cumbersome world of theory: Contrasting the first point with the second what's actually happening is very simple, one note in the scale changes but you could spend hours exposing on the theoretical implications of it with a lot of Greek and Italian words. It's important to understand theory but once you've got it get back to playing.

Dark Star (mostly A Mixolydian w/ some E Dorian) and Fire on the Mountain (B Mixolydian) are some tunes you can really dig into with having to worry too much about scale changes.

Another important thing to remember about Mixolydian is that it implies a Minor V (v) chord. You can use Mixolydian to add a bluesy effect over the I (E) and IV (A) of a Dominant tune (the aforementioned Truckin' jam for example) but unless your V (B) chord is minor (it almost never is) it probably won't sound right. The hero adapts to the new chord, the coward avoids the seventh, the musician plays what they hear... Good luck on the Journey.
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Re: New Journey

Postby Panicdude » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:44 am

Northbound,

Great post man, thanks! I didn't realize that E mixo and B dorian were the same. have definitely been considering buying a looping station since I normally play by myself. Eyes of the world and Fire were songs I have been wanting to tinker around with on a loop.
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Re: New Journey

Postby mgbills » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:28 am

Northbound...

I'm confused by your last sentance. If thinking diatonically, I typically think of Mixo as a scale with a flatted 7th, which to me implies a minor 7 chord. Maybe I'm missing that you're directing us to a parent scale played from V to V, which would be correct as well (I think...it is very early on a Monday morning). A flat V (v) chord makes me think Diminished or atypical jazz chords like Ab7b5.

Certainly not trying to imply I'm right...just confused.
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Re: New Journey

Postby Maybeck09 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:25 am

A looper of any kind is a great learning tool. I picked up one when I bought an amp off of a guy-he added the Boomerang for not much more and I love it. I really don't know how people can use it live-must be really insync with the drummer, but as a tool for learning to play against chords, it is awesome. Just throw down a progression like your Eyes there and let it loop, then play away. You can really start to hear relationships/try new things and your timing will only improve!
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Re: New Journey

Postby mgbills » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:38 am

+1 on the Looper. I have the Boss GC-30. Took a bit to get used to using it. Mine has a rhythm simulator/metronome in it with which you can tap you're foot to set a tempo. Love it. Saves loops for complex pieces which was important for me.

It took me a while to not continually lay down a more perfect track. Felt like I was recording in a studio, but that was all in my head. Silly...I know. I'm just mentioning it, because it's a really valuable tool...but it ...like ...plays back what you play.
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Re: New Journey

Postby tigerstrat » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:16 am

Off the top of my head, "China Cat Sunflower".
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Re: New Journey

Postby NorthboundRain » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:09 pm

mgbills wrote:Northbound...

I'm confused by your last sentence. If thinking diatonically, I typically think of Mixo as a scale with a flatted 7th, which to me implies a minor 7 chord. Maybe I'm missing that you're directing us to a parent scale played from V to V, which would be correct as well (I think...it is very early on a Monday morning). A flat V (v) chord makes me think Diminished or atypical jazz chords like Ab7b5.


NorthboundRain wrote: Another important thing to remember about Mixolydian is that it implies a Minor V (v) chord. You can use Mixolydian to add a bluesy effect over the I (E) and IV (A) of a Dominant tune (the aforementioned Truckin' jam for example) but unless your V (B) chord is minor (it almost never is) it probably won't sound right.


The confusion could well be on my part, I was using the lowercase "v" only to illustrate a minor chord with no 7ths. In the previous example in the Key of E, v = B Minor, and V = B.
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