Solo thoughts

Re: Solo thoughts

Postby Jon S. » Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:45 pm

cosmicbass wrote:When I look at this solo -- here are my thoughts on it....I shared this with a friend, and he suggested I post it here for discussion ...

And here's the friend to say thanks again for your appreciated insights! :cool:
"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: Solo thoughts

Postby Billbbill » Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:34 pm

cosmicbass wrote:...OK, after that analysis, running on the assumption we call this a C Major song: I agree with pretty much everything the that was previously posted by Bill, except for one thing. His use of Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian are appropriate in those sections of the song. However, the use of C Blues (with all the other notes added in) over the C Chorus/Jam section -- in my opinion -- is not the best choice. Choices are personal though, so take no offense. Look at the chords that are being jammed on:
C7sus4 (C-F-G-Bb)
C7 (C-E-Bb)

Those are the notes of C Mixolydian. And what was Jerry Garcia's favorite mode/scale? Mixolydian. If it was me -- I'd play the the rest of the song in C Major and use the modes suggested (D Dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian, G Mixolydian) in those places of the song. You're basically just modularly jamming in C Major and as the root changes with the chord progression (hence modes). However, during the long C jam that has chords with pronounced Bbs -- just embrace the Mixolydian like I am pretty sure Jerry did!


Hey CB. Thanks for the method behind the madness! Never been my strong suit.

My approach for most lead stuff jerry (as I've noted in various posts) is that a given lead either tends toward the major side of things w/ minor accents or toward the minor end of things with major accents - as such I reference from the perspective I lean toward in a given lead - for this I definitely "lean" minor - maybe minor pentatonic is a better reference than "blues scale" - not sure. You mention the pronounced Bb - same note pretty pronounced in pentatonic minor I'd say. I also play the E note (maj 3rd) much less in this portion than I play Eb which is also why I reference it as minor oriented. Also have the flattened 7th in both minor pent and mixo. Mixo has the 6th which I note in the previous post as something I use in more of a passing note sense. Mixo has the 2nd which I find to be pretty out of place if one is sticking to a "orthodox" :-) garcia approach for this tune - yet another reason why I wouldn't consider this mixo. Not that you can't play it that way mind you! (seinfeld reference alert! - 'Not that there's anything wrong with it!')

That being said I also, not so much this tune, will bounce back and forth with this approach in mind within a given lead, sometimes from one phrase to the next, looking for complementary lines that are interesting.

For reference sake here's our last shakedown - our drummer starts it a bit quick, or at least at the quick end of my comfortable tempo spectrum for this :-) - and yet it's still about 14:30 long! Yikes! Not my best effort either but what the heck - it shows what I'm up to.

http://www.archive.org/download/sbb2010 ... lshake.mp3

and here's an example of switching up midstream - the first solo about halfway through I go from decidedly major pentatonic to decidedly blues (minor pentatonic) though I believe I still stick the major third in here and there.

http://www.archive.org/download/sbb2010 ... d02t03.mp3

your mileage may vary!
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Re: Solo thoughts

Postby tigerstrat » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:16 pm

Actually it was in gym class. I was trying to climb the ropes and Jerry was spotting me. I kept slipping and burning my thighs and then finally I slipped and fell on Jerry's head. We've been close ever since.
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Re: Solo thoughts

Postby Billbbill » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:01 pm

tigerstrat wrote:Actually it was in gym class. I was trying to climb the ropes and Jerry was spotting me. I kept slipping and burning my thighs and then finally I slipped and fell on Jerry's head. We've been close ever since.

George and jerry meet - and the rest is history - nice.
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Re: Solo thoughts

Postby Jon S. » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:21 am

This thread, too, has been of great help to me in "processing" the song. After trying many times to play the solo entirely within a straight C major scale using a modal approach I'm finding it's just not working for me. I switched to an almost "bluegrass/country" approach of changing keys and scales for each chord in the sequence and find it works better for me, especially moving to a literal F major scale over the Fmaj7 and then to an Em scale for the Em7. But hey, it's all good! :D
"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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