ugly rumor wrote:But be careful!! There are lots of GD "cover" bands which sound good initially, but if you hear them 2-3 times you realize they are
A) playing the same song the same way every time, or
B) plugging in "riffs" that work musically, but are "tricks of the trade", or crutches to get through the song, or some other description that is NOT improvising and is NOT playing the song, so much as playing what sounds like the song, if you don't listen too closely.
That is why you should know your instrument, know your scales and theory, and know the song. Be able to interpret rather than copy. Many a good sounding GD cover band never makes a mistake, because they have essentially reduced the song to a "monkey see-monkey do" exercise, a circus trick, if you will. If you hear the bass player making the same run in several different songs, or the guitar player reverting to the same exercise repeatedly, then you are NOT listening to the dead! Improvisatory music is creative on the fly, and when the whole band is improvising, then there WILL BE CLAMS!
Why do you think the Grateful Dead was better in the '60s and '70s? The music was fresh, improvisatory, and not reduced to formula. "Drums& Space" was not a known and expected part of every performance.
So, PLAY the songs, bring your talent and perspective to the music, and we can yet again have an interesting version of "Perdido" (raise your hands if you understand that reference!).
Perdido [in my world] is a Pedal Steel "standard", typically done as an instrumental.
The typical solo'ing form is... Play the Melody, Embellish the Melody, Solo in a manner that displays your mastery of the instrument, give the guitar player and keyboard player a solo, Play the Melody, Tag it.
On the "There Will be Clams" thing... C'mon... Guitar is a comparitively "low level of difficulty" instrument. It's not a fretless instrument. There are no Reeds involved. No "Embouchure" involved. You don't use both hands and both feet to play it. etc...
I'm glad to Clam out on my own time (home practice and band rehearsals), but at a gig I try to "Represent".