This is the tone (for me at least)

Re: This is the tone (for me at least)

Postby mijknahs » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:26 am

There is also a difference between the grit and the actual guitar tone. If he played Wolf or Rosebud through the exact same rig, the guitar tone would be different but the grit would be the same. What I'm saying is Tiger has it's own characteristic resonance. Some guitars have more of a growl than others in certain frequencies. That's why Tiger copies will only get close to that exact sound.
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Re: This is the tone (for me at least)

Postby Stella Bloo » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:15 am

I see all this great video from You Tube, why don't they release stuff like this on DVD?
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Re: This is the tone (for me at least)

Postby TI4-1009 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:30 am

waldo041 wrote:Are you guys sure that this particular aspect of his tone actually comes from his guitar and/or rig? I am repeatedly told over and over that the only way to get that is by practice. i am also repeatedly told that he could actually get that sound from anything he played! Clipping output transistors, modding preamps, and rewiring guitars could not even remotely be a possibility or a fraction of it, it is all in the fingers, right?


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Re: This is the tone (for me at least)

Postby barefootdave » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:01 pm

The tone is by and large coming from the fingers. The fingers communicate the info sent from the brain. The brain is influenced by the recipe that was fed into it before he show. Perhaps the Persian at work?

My favorite tone is by far 80-82 and I think the Persian had something to do with it.

I am not proud of that opinion, but there it is...
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Re: This is the tone (for me at least)

Postby waldo041 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:51 pm

barefootdave wrote:The tone is by and large coming from the fingers. The fingers communicate the info sent from the brain. The brain is influenced by the recipe that was fed into it before he show. Perhaps the Persian at work?

My favorite tone is by far 80-82 and I think the Persian had something to do with it.

I am not proud of that opinion, but there it is...


So in this example you equate Persian = overdriven, gritty tone

There you have it, pick up an acoustic on persian and you'll be there!

~waldo
"Tone is in the instruments. Technique in the hands. Do what you will." ~ quote from some guy at the TGP forum
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Re: This is the tone (for me at least)

Postby Trecia » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:35 pm

waldo041 wrote:
barefootdave wrote:The tone is by and large coming from the fingers. The fingers communicate the info sent from the brain. The brain is influenced by the recipe that was fed into it before he show. Perhaps the Persian at work?

My favorite tone is by far 80-82 and I think the Persian had something to do with it.

I am not proud of that opinion, but there it is...


So in this example you equate Persian = overdriven, gritty tone

There you have it, pick up an acoustic on persian and you'll be there!

~waldo


You won't give a rats ass about 1982! That's for sure. ; )

(PS. Don't do drugs, Sucka!. I pity the fool that smokes Persian.)
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Re: This is the tone (for me at least)

Postby cripeowner » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:56 pm

Great tone,but somewhat sad to watch Jerry's demeanor.
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Re: This is the tone (for me at least)

Postby The Stag » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:40 pm

This is my all time favorite dead show!
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Re: This is the tone (for me at least)

Postby NWPines » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:45 pm

I hesitate to take part in this because it seems like it's going nowhere fast, but what the hell, it's Monday night and I'm cranky.

Like so many musical discussions, I think confusion and disagreement often stems from a lack of clarity in terminology. I've found the following distinction helpful for me, for whatever it's worth.....

To me, tone is more a physical characteristic of sound. It is highly influenced by materials, electronics, components, etc. If you took the exact same rig including guitar and had 5 different guitarists play it back to back with everything identical, the actual physical characteristics of the sound would be nearly identical (even though the stylistic quality of what they play could sound very different from one another).

However, one's playing style, the unique qualities of their phrasing, their pick attack, their vibrato technique, etc., etc. often varies drastically from player to player. In this case, although the same 5 guitarists on the identical rig would have nearly identical tone, their playing would sound very different due to these stylistic factors. The tone, or physical characteristic of the sound may be identical, but because of their varied stylistic approaches, the resulting perception of what you hear can be very different.

Put another way, a guitarist with a very unique style will likely sound similar no matter what rig they're playing. But that doesn't mean the tone doesn't change from rig to rig. Yes, Jerry sounds like Jerry no matter what rig he plays. How could he not, he IS Jerry. But the tone most certainly changes as minor changes to the equipment is made. People often point to the Melkweg show in 81 (borrowed equipment) and say, see it's all in the fingers. Well, yes, the stylistic aspects that define how Jerry sounded most certainly were all in the fingers (and that's a vast majority of what defines a player, in my opinion). But you can't possibly say the tone from that show sounds the same as his normal rig. His tone clearly changes over the years with changes in equipment. The stylistic aspects of his playing are the same of course, it's Jerry, and obviously sounds like Jerry, but the tone clearly changes as changes to the equipment are made.
Last edited by NWPines on Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: This is the tone (for me at least)

Postby mijknahs » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:03 pm

Jerry's guitar tone from Rockpalast '81 (great video) is very different from this '83 NYE (also a great video). I like this '83 (going into '84) tone better than the '81.
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Re: This is the tone (for me at least)

Postby Jon S. » Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:03 am

NWPines wrote:To me, tone is more a physical characteristic of sound. It is highly influenced by materials, electronics, components, etc.

However, one's playing style, the unique qualities of their phrasing, their pick attack, their vibrato technique, etc., etc. often varies drastically from player to player. ... Yes, Jerry sounds like Jerry no matter what rig he plays. How could he not, he IS Jerry. .

If you write this well while cranky, put me on the advance list for your next book. :smile:

I think you're right. Seems to me where the confusion - if not arguments - occur is more as to the relative importance of each.

Too often (myself included), we spend an inordinate amount of time chasing the first when we'd be doing our audiences and ourselves a bigger favor perfecting the latter (and not necessarily just by copying a hero, I mean by developing our own "voices").
"For me, I think the only danger is being too much in love with guitar playing. The music is the most important thing, and the guitar is only the instrument." Jerry Garcia
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Re: This is the tone (for me at least)

Postby TI4-1009 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:15 am

cripeowner wrote:Great tone,but somewhat sad to watch Jerry's demeanor.


Demeanor? Jer is plain f*cked up. Three Bobby songs in a row? Blown lyrics all over. I remember listening to the show in the car in my inlaw's driveway in Albany NY (freezing my butt off!). Couldn't pick up the signal in the house, but the car radio got it. I would have always traded the supposedly magical tone for a healthy Jerry.
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Re: This is the tone (for me at least)

Postby hippieguy1954 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:58 am

Ok, lets get technical and go for percentages :shock:
I say it's about 30% to 40% having the Jerry tone we love/want and 60% to 70% fingers/chops/pick attack/style/experience etc.

Funny thing too is, I've had lots of players (some very novice) pick up one of my Jerry style guitars hooked to my rig and play a few notes and say "wow" I sound like Jerry.
It's interesting because they do, except for the chops etc.! :smile:
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Re: This is the tone (for me at least)

Postby James-T » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:22 pm

That video is a ghost from the past. I caught that run of New Years shows. I was in my final year of high school living in Toronto and had tickets to the 3 run up shows, but never received a new year’s ticket nor a sorry you didn’t win the lottery letter. Christmas Eve at 8:00pm (5:00pm pacific time) the grateful dead office called me to let me know there would be a new year’s ticket for me at will call. I flew out the next morning. Talking about a great phone call!

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For many the new year’s show was a letdown. I do recall the most amazing Estimated Eyes with jerry just ripping it for the eyes solos. Great third set, and oddly enough much of that set was repeated only once and at the Toronto Seva benefit I was at the following June.

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The 28th was the best night. Weir had started playing that Strat back on the fall tour and was going to town with the Floyd Rose. Out of pure coincidence I played a very similar guitar yesterday in a used guitar shop, while killing some time and Fender called them the contemporaries. This one was a MIJ and on for only $250. Great guitar! They have a Floyd rose style bridge and Wier was going to won with it being really inventive on the 28th. Killer other one, Wheel and China Rider.

Seeing many Dead shows in the early 80’s 1983 (and 84) was a renaissance of sorts for the Dead, at least in my mind. Shorter sets but filled with more energy and the beginning of some great break outs. Dark Star, Lovelight, St Stephen, Cryptical, Help on the Way.

What I noticed is that Jerry’s tone got better up until early 1985, but in my opinion by the summer of 85 some of Jerry’s soulfulness was gone from his playing, and I’d account that to addiction issues catching up with him although tone wise I thought he sounded better than ever.

In terms of the 83/84 renaissance I think Jerry peaked in the summer. I managed to catch the Hult Center shows, did most of that North West tour after graduating from high school and we scored our Hult tickets by simply going to the box office on our way from the Stanford shows to Portland. Some New Yorkers had to cancel and they 25 tickets for each show. Between about 6 of us we cleaned them out and I traded my extras for masters of each show.

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The first night was the best playing I saw of the dead. Best China Rider ever in my books, and just a rockin show. Jerry danced the entire night. It’s also the best sounding audience tape I’ve heard to date, because the venue was brand new, and a baroque style opera house that sits 2,500. The soundboard does not do the sound quality of "in the room" justice. I think the dead were the first band through there, and years later at grad school of the U of O I had a tour of the facility and the Dead had signed their names on the proscenium in big black markers!

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In fact the Hilton next door is attached to the venue and they gave in and out privileges the first night, plus they removed all the furniture from the Hilton’s lobby and it became the parking lot scene, including some naked folks! The dead rented the top floor of the hotel. My friend who had met Jerry back stage a few years earlier on a whim phoned his room and Jerry answered, albeit it was a short conversation! Kesey was showing home movies to the band in the hospitality suite.
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Re: This is the tone (for me at least)

Postby aiq » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:35 pm

General, abstract elements of tone are in the player.

Specific, concrete details are often shaped by the gear...

How's that for spin? :lol:
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