Estimated bassline?

Estimated bassline?

Postby Lunchbox16 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:57 pm

Long time reader, first time poster. I'm currently working on the bassline for Estimated. The timing is pretty tricky, but Phil is really up in the mix on the version from DP 18, so I've started to use that as a starting point. My musical ear is ok, but I could use some help if anyone knows any of the riffs Phil is playing. I'm mainly concerned with the main verse part (F#m and B), the rest I pretty much have down. Thanks in advance.
"Is maith an scéalaí an aimsir." Time is a great storyteller. -- Irish Proverb
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Re: Estimated bassline?

Postby zott » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:43 pm

Well it really is about laying back on the backbeat. Remember it's in 7/8 time. The way I play it I always start on the 2nd fret on the E string (F#)Then 2nd fret on the A string (B)...then going up to fret 9 on the A string and then the octave for B and F#...

check out the link for more breakdown :
http://www.angelfire.com/music3/TwoDjin ... rophet.txt

Hope it helps
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Re: Estimated bassline?

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:17 am

Welcome! There's not a lot of bass activity here so it's nice to see another Phil. :peas:

This is a pretty tough song... Phil is not consistent on certain things but very consistent on others. I look at the verses as 2 sections, plus a chorus and bridge. Both of the Verse sections and the Chorus section are repeating 2-measure phrases of 7/4... so you'll only have to keep track of 14 beats at a time, but you do have to count the quarter notes 1 through 7 in your head.

First is the section he plays during the intro.

I think of this primarily as quarter notes - F# A B [pause] then the high F# slide down on beat 5, then rest on beats 6 and 7. Count it like this:

1..2.3..4....5.......6....7...
F#.A.C#.rest.F#slide.rest.rest

Then the second part of that phrase is simpler, except beats 1 and 2 get eighth notes instead of quarters and you're headed downward.

1.....2...3..4...........5....6....7..
F#-F# E-E F# F#low-thump rest rest rest


Keep that going all through the intro, up to the point where Bobby sings. When Bobby sings you take over the rhythm of the Jerry riff, but with different notes. Stay in F#m the whole time. It's similar to the 2nd measure of the first phrase I outlined above. If you read music I could write this out later, it might make more sense.

Here's my band... I don't do the kind of confusing slides that Phil does instead of the first three quarter notes and in the 2nd measure of the intro phrase in the earliest versions in 77... maybe I'll work my way up to that some day, but for now copying his later versions works better and holds the band together. Here's a good example of how I play it. (Note, I have a 5 string and this is the one song where I really use it)

http://www.archive.org/details/Fennario ... _Quincy.MA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdk-rGkc ... annel_page
Last edited by Rusty the Scoob on Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Estimated bassline?

Postby tigerstrat » Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:02 am

Excellent stuff, Rusty! Love what you're doing.
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Re: Estimated bassline?

Postby Lunchbox16 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:25 am

Rusty thanks for that. It really helps. For the slide up on the 5th beat I've been going to A on the G-string (14th Fret) then back down to F# on the A-string (9th fret). I might try to mix it up your version and mine a little bit to see how it sounds.
"Is maith an scéalaí an aimsir." Time is a great storyteller. -- Irish Proverb
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Re: Estimated bassline?

Postby ronster » Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:26 am

zotts a nice link to the angel fire page. Is that your work or someone elses? any other tunes on that site?
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Re: Estimated bassline?

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:05 pm

Thanks, TS!

Lunchbox16 wrote:Rusty thanks for that. It really helps. For the slide up on the 5th beat I've been going to A on the G-string (14th Fret) then back down to F# on the A-string (9th fret). I might try to mix it up your version and mine a little bit to see how it sounds.


On the 5th beat, I do a slide down from the F# on the 11th fret of the G string, sliding for about a full beat and not ending on any particular target. That's the one thing I've heard Phil do on every single Estimated that I've heard.

On the earlier versions for the first 3 beats Phil slides up from the F#, 2nd fret E string to the B on the same string, lasting all 3 beats. I think this was done mainly out of laziness, to get him closer into position for that F# slide I discussed above. And on the 2nd 7/4 measure of the first phrase he does a series of downward slides instead of what I wrote in the earlier post, I think in order to get him back to the low F# to start the phrase over. I think my version (copied from Phil's later, more settled versions) anchors the band a lot better and since you're the main anchor during the verses, it's pretty important to be solid and consistent. :lol: Particularly that low F# thump on beat 4 really helps anyone who's counting it as 3/4 & 4/4, which leads nicely into the chorus.
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Re: Estimated bassline?

Postby tigerstrat » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:14 pm

Here's an ideal Estimated for hearing Phil's bass line: 2/27/81 - Garcia must have grabbed a puff off his cig after the end of FOTM or something, because he totally misses the Estimated intro, and doesn't even come in until maybe the 3rd pass. However, everyone else starts the intro in standard fashion and for that fairly extended time, you really hear Phil's, Bob's and Brent's parts as a consequence.
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Re: Estimated bassline?

Postby Lunchbox16 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:06 pm

Rusty the Scoob wrote:If you read music I could write this out later, it might make more sense.



If you don't mind that'd be great. What to play on this song is only half the challenge. HOW to play it is even more difficult to me. I know how to count it, but it's still hard for me. I think I just need more practice. But to see the note values might really help out.

For the second measure of the main riff beginning with F# and E, it seems to me those 8th notes should be swung more than played straight ahead, but I think that's throwing my time off a bit... Does that make sense?
"Is maith an scéalaí an aimsir." Time is a great storyteller. -- Irish Proverb
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Re: Estimated bassline?

Postby jck_strw » Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:26 pm

ronster wrote:any other tunes on that site?


There are 2 other songs:

http://www.angelfire.com/music3/TwoDjinn/
http://db.etree.org/jck_strw - Tapelist
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Re: Estimated bassline?

Postby Lunchbox16 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:31 pm

tigerstrat wrote:Here's an ideal Estimated for hearing Phil's bass line: 2/27/81 - Garcia must have grabbed a puff off his cig after the end of FOTM or something, because he totally misses the Estimated intro, and doesn't even come in until maybe the 3rd pass. However, everyone else starts the intro in standard fashion and for that fairly extended time, you really hear Phil's, Bob's and Brent's parts as a consequence.


Thanks for the head's up on this. I gave it a whirl and it helps clear things up a bit. Phil leaves a lot more breathing room than you can hear on the studio version.
"Is maith an scéalaí an aimsir." Time is a great storyteller. -- Irish Proverb
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Re: Estimated bassline?

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:38 pm

Ok, I wrote something up. It's quick, it's ugly, my handwriting is horrible, I purposely put in some accidentals that didn't need to be there but wasn't consistent, and I don't even follow it exactly myself. :lol: I noticed that sometimes I shift the 2nd measure of the Intro phrase to one beat later, but it doesn't seem to affect anything as long as I find beat 1 again right afterwards. I've learned a lot today, in these 15 minutes of transcribing myself. :oops:

Anyway, here's what I came up with... I added 5-string tab for no good reason. I think it's right, although I don't have a bass handy. Whoops.. that very last 9 is supposed to be on the E string, not the A string. You know what I mean... play a C#.

Image


Phil pretty much always swings his eighth notes to some degree since he and Billy were both jazz guys before joining the Dead. Don't force it, let it come naturally.
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Re: Estimated bassline?

Postby Lunchbox16 » Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:19 pm

Rusty,
Thanks so much for putting the time into writing this out and explaining it to me (and everyone else here). I tend to be a very visual learner so this really helps. You rock!
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Re: Estimated bassline?

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:57 am

Glad I could help! It's nice to have a little bass content around here. :cool:
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Re: Estimated bassline?

Postby tigerstrat » Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:29 pm

Rusty the Scoob wrote:Glad I could help! It's nice to have a little bass content around here. :cool:


Since I pay little attention to all the tab (or vids) of Garcia or Weir's phrasings, but do compare opinions in the chordal and modal discussions vs my own notes , I consider nearly all the song discussions to be bass content.
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