Jerry scales

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Jerry scales

Postby vwjodyme » Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:03 am

OK, newb question here. What are some scales I should be memorizing? I did a search on the topic and everyone just says 'learn scales' to play Jerry. I have to figure there are zillions of scales out there, but what are a handful that you guys use?
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Re: Jerry scales

Postby strumminsix » Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:05 am

Moving over to think tank but this will get ya started:
- major, minor (full, not pentatonic)
- mixolydian
- practicing chromatic walks
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Re: Jerry scales

Postby vwjodyme » Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:19 am

Cool thanks!
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Re: Jerry scales

Postby jackr » Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:41 am

Learn arpeggios as well.
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Re: Jerry scales

Postby JonnyBoy » Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:53 pm

A real helpful thing to learn is the CAGED method too. There is a lot here about that, comes in handy a lot. plus all the above.
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Re: Jerry scales

Postby JamminJommy » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:54 am

I know I might be kinda Necromancing this post, but it caught my eye. Sorry!

A lot of Jerry's fingerwork has to do with the interplay between chord and mode structure. The Dead's tunes most commonly used Major and its partners Mixolydian (Scarlet/Fire, Franklins, Dark Star, Birdsong) and Blues (Truckin') and on a rare occasion Lydian (Lady with a fan). They also used Minor and its partner Dorian (Estimated, Other One, Playin').

Jerry's style was similar in some respects to the CAGED method, which effectively teaches you to form a shape (or series of them) over the fretboard (not necessarily fretted) and play scales in them based on where the root is. To do this, you have to get a grasp on what chords work in conjunction with the root chord.

Blues is effectively a minor pentatonic over a major key. There's more to it than this, but this is the basic idea.

Major/Minor:

I/i have an subdominant option of IV/iv and a dominant chord of V of V7. So in "C major," IV is "F" and V is "G." When not using a pentatonic, Jerry would generally place his second finger on the root, giving you the option of never having to move your hand to play a complete one octave major scale. In "C major" it ends up being (lining each finger up with the 2nd through 5th fret respectively, starting on fist position "C") A string: 2nd, pinkie, D string: 1st, 2nd, pinkie, G string: 1st, 3rd, pinkie. For minor, starting on 3rd fret C- A string: 1st, 3rd, pinkie, D string: 1st, 3rd, pinkie, G string: 1st, 3rd, pinkie. Jerry used this pattern as a sequence, generally.

Mixolydian/Dorian:

I/i subdominant with IV and a "dominant" of V/v. In "C Mixolydian" you essentially play the same as you would for major, only you flat the 7th. In terms of fingers, and positions it is- A string: 2nd, pinkie, D string: 1st, 2nd, pinkie, G string: 1st, 2nd, pinkie. And then dorian requires a slight positioning shift- A string: 1st, 3rd, pinkie, D string: 1st, 3rd, (shift so first finger is on the second fret, G string: 1st, 2nd, pinkie. Jerry would also sequence this.

Mixolydian: CAGED hybrid during the solo. Scales and sequences during the Jam. Other pure Jerry licks, too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFaLw7laS9E

Dorian: Minor Pentatonic and Scales with Chromatics
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skgE2BT2dZc&feature=related

Lydian:

I, subdominant is a II, "dominant" is a V. This scale has a double leading tone. Effectively, we've now raised the 4th scale degree a half step. Again, in C, start like Major. A string: 2nd, pinkie, D string: 1st, 3rd, pinkie, G string: 1st, 3rd, pinkie. More sequencing ensues. Take a look at the "Lady with a Fan" solo. John Kadlecik has some tasty stuff on the modern day outros.

These scales are what Jerry tended to use. He would use a variation of the CAGED method to back and forth between running these scales and their arpeggios in both the "Do, Me, Sol" facet and the "Do, La, Ti, Sol, La, Fa, Sol, Mi, Fa, Re, Mi, Do," way. I like to practice these scales over tunes so they seem to have more application. A lot of both Jerry's and Bobby's riffs in songs are based around these patterns as well. To make the scales even more Jerry like, add chromaticism (generally ascending) in there by blocking the fingers together between the given scale-wise intervals. Final step... listen to tons of Jerry and practice for 10+ hours week! :guitar:

As a disclaimer... all this means nothing unless you can hear it in your head. Practice playing melodies in various keys and it helps a lot. Jerry might not have sat down and broken down the theory of what he was doing, but there was a method to it that he learned over the years.

When I was younger, this vid helped a bunch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwhjalRiL8s

JDarks can be a goof, but I learned a lot from them vids. Hope this all helps! Perfectly willing to shoot more ideas out there.
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Re: Jerry scales

Postby slipknott » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:37 pm

"Perfectly willing to shoot more ideas out there."

Please do! It's all very helpful to those of us starting out-
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Re: Jerry scales

Postby JamminJommy » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:27 pm

A lot this also depends on the era. I am big on the late 80s 90-91 stuff, so thats what I'm kinda talking about. There's a lot more to it than scales though. He does use pentatonic scales as well, just sparingly and not in the way that Duane did. It takes a lot of practice to set up phrasing within and without scales too. Jerry had a couple of patterns you heard almost every night that changed just slightly tour to tour. Thats how you can hear the steady evolution of these things. He also picked in different (sometimes quite specific) places on the strings- also depending on the years and the Guitar in his hands.
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Re: Jerry scales

Postby vwjodyme » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:09 am

cool thanks! the caged vid really helps explain...where jerry is watching bobby's chords and playing off them..very helpful to see in action
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Re: Jerry scales

Postby JamminJommy » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:50 pm

The funny thing about Jer and Bob Jerry hits the changes before Bob does. Bobby likes to hit the changes on the off beat, so Jerry doesn't get the kick from the other guitar until he's already started playing on that new Chord. Granted, Jerry knew the chord changes, so in cases where he is building off Bob's hand, its more because the two played so much together that it works (so for all you soloists you there... your rhythm player has got to be as solid as you!)

I suppose it is also worth mentioning that Jerry's sense of time is slightly behind the beat. If you take a good listen to '72 stuff, Phil tends to hit his bass just a tiny bit ahead of the beat, and Jerry a tad behind it. Bobby and Billy were really quite precise with their time keeping (although Bobby's tempos these days can be funky- but he's getting better!). As I said though, Bobby delays his chords. Keith and Brent both liked to hit the downbeat with their left hand just about every time.

Back to scales, though.

In a song like "Deal," Jerry used a lot of those earlier mentioned Mixolydian patterns for the ending jam (the rest of the song is his hybrid CAGED method). He also used a lot of that pattern in a descending scale starting on the bottom E string. This time, the pinkie starts on the 12th fret "E" (which is the 5th of the A mix scale). Again, keeping that one-finger-per-fret method, the pattern descending would be E String: pinkie, 2nd, 1st, B string: pinkie, 2nd. That forms a descending Pentachord (or five note scale). After this, Jerry would either shift hand positions or the chord would change, which would cause a hand shift anyway. The "E String: pinkie, 2nd, 1st" figure can also be used as a pull-off.

I could ramble about this for hours. :wink:

Peace,

Jommy
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Re: Jerry scales

Postby dahmbomb » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:30 am

The guy that does Jerry about as well as anyone I've heard (Adam from Sonic Garden) explained this scale to me and I can't believe how easy it is to sound very Jerry-rific! He said that Jerry didn't play as much straight Mixo as people think. Try this in place of Mixolydian:

1. Start with Minor Pentatonic box
2. Add the two #4s (now you got Blues scale)
3. Now add the major 3rds to give the major sound back - now you can go quickly between major and minor sounds
4. Now, on each string of the box where you have a 1 - 4, add a 3.
5. On each string of the box where you have a 1 -3, add a 4.

Thoughts?
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Re: Jerry scales

Postby rugger » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:45 am

dahmbomb wrote:The guy that does Jerry about as well as anyone I've heard (Adam from Sonic Garden) explained this scale to me and I can't believe how easy it is to sound very Jerry-rific! He said that Jerry didn't play as much straight Mixo as people think. Try this in place of Mixolydian:

1. Start with Minor Pentatonic box
2. Add the two #4s (now you got Blues scale)
3. Now add the major 3rds to give the major sound back - now you can go quickly between major and minor sounds
4. Now, on each string of the box where you have a 1 - 4, add a 3.
5. On each string of the box where you have a 1 -3, add a 4.

Thoughts?

Always fun to hear somebody else's interpretation.

1. Not to nitpick here, but the blues scale notes are commonly referred to as b5, not #4
2. I'm not sure what you meant by 4 and 5. Could you elaborate with an example maybe?

Thanks,

John in San Diego
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Re: Jerry scales

Postby waldo041 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:14 pm

sounds very similiar to this scale.

Image

http://www.fretjam.com/blues-scales-guitar.html

peace,
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Re: Jerry scales

Postby rugger » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:20 pm

Ha! You mean play everything but a flat 2 and 6? This is probably what most people mean when they say to throw in some chromatics to "x" scale.

Thanks Waldo.

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Re: Jerry scales

Postby dahmbomb » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:04 am

What I mean @ step 4 and 5.

If you look at the minor pentatonic scale, you have a series of 1,4's and 1,3s. See?

e 1 - - 4
B 1 - - 4
G 1 - 3
D 1 - 3
A 1 - 3
E 1 - - 4

Add a 3 to every 1-4 and a 4 to every 1-3...don't anchor down on these notes. Updated chart:

e 1 - (3) 4
B 1 - (3) 4
G 1 - 3 (4)
D 1 - 3 (4)
A 1 - 3 (4)
E 1 - (3) 4

Now add the other 5b.

e 1 - (3) 4
B 1 - (3) 4
G 1 - 3 (4)
D 1 - 3 (4)
A 1 2 3 (4)
E 1 - (3) 4

Now add the Major 3rds

e 1 - 3 4
B 1 - 3 4
G 1 (2) 3 4
D 1 - 3 4
A (0) 1 2 3 4
E 1 - 3 4

It seems like a lot of note, I know. But if you are comfortable using the blues scale to improvise just mess w/ the adding 3s to 1,4s and 4s to 1,3s. When that is under your fingers, mess with adding the major 3rds. Again, a lot of nuts, but when you know the function and sound of each note you will have lots of options.

Of course you will want to extend this beyond the box - damn I wish I could print charts better
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