Pete B. wrote:I wouldn't waste another minute hunting and pecking.
Arm yourself with the knowledge of basic music theory and "The CAGED Method for Guitar", and then you will know why melody lines make sence and it will be almost impossible to play a wrong note.
Crazy 9.5 Fingers wrote:Jerry had a lot of gifts in his bag that made him such a great guitarist. For me it's all about his story telling when he soloed. That being said, Jerry is a great person to study wen you want to improve your soloing. He never really felt the need to display an array of chops and licks just for the sake of filling space. He took an idea and developed it, engaging the listener to see where he was going next. Storytelling. Most of his solos were ones that mirrored the vocal melody of the song. With that in mind, I would find a nice version of Loser and cop Jerry's solo note for note. It's one of those tunes where he plays pretty much the same Jerry patented solo through the years, with slight variations each time.
Other tunes that would be good building block tunes for developing solos.
Bertha - nice combo of major pentatonic scale and Ionian (1st degree of the Major scale) The major pentatonic is a 5 note abridged version of this scale.
Dark Star - The two schools of thought in jazz music are modal and rhythm changes. Modal songs are songs in which one mode is played for an extended period of time before (if ever) changing to a different mode. Rhythm Changes are songs in which the chord changes come very quickly and the soloist solos through and over those changes. Dark Star is the premier Dead tune for modal playing. Fire on the Mtn. and the Eyes jam would be close seconds in my book.
What is nice about modal playing is that you can stick to one scale, for Dark Star it is A mixolydian (there are numerous threads here that explain the modes). Find a great version that you enjoy and play over it every day. Pretty soon not only will you decipher the tonality of A mixolydian, you will start to see the shapes and scale patterns all over the neck. In Dark Star, the only chord change is when the tone shifts from A mixo to E Dorian which works out well for you because they are the same set of notes. Again, I would poke around this site for threads that explain the modes, or pick up a theory book and get cracking on it as it is essential for any guitar player IMHO.
I guess to answer your question, as someone said above it is great to do both. Transcribing solos note for note is a great exercise. Usually, you end up never forgetting the solo if you transcribe it yourself. If you read someone else's chart or tab it never seems to burn an impression in the mind.
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