Solo Acoustic Althea

Solo Acoustic Althea

Postby old man down » Mon May 05, 2008 3:50 am

I decided to take on this song for the first time ever, even though it is 28 years old. Never even gave it a thought to attempt it, but I had a bootleg CD in my car stereo and I listened to it on the ride home from work Friday and I wondered what it was all about.

Then I went to the TABs and found some of the chords and some finger picking, or so I believe, versions of how to approach it. Sort of a turn off since I don't finger pick, but I figured I could get around it with my flatpicking technique.

In the back of my mind I kept remembering the studio cut that had some of the most tasty Garcia riffs, especially the ending fade out, so I thought it might be fun to try.

Looking at the TABs, I thought, OK, I'm going to have to start on the 6th string low E, but I cued up my Go to Heaven CD, and Garcia actually was starting right in much higher up. So it actually started for me at the 9th fret B string with the chromatic launch.

What a gas this song is! So easy to get the feel after only an hour. But that first hour is a bit rough to find the groove.

Looks like the key of A mostly as others have stated.

This song has given my playing a major boost and I needed something like this to jumpstart my Spring playing.

So, I'm psyched to see where I'll be on it after a week. By then I'll have the words down, the back and forth between chords and notes, and those trippy high note renderings that I was fooling around with will start to get real legs, have that Jerry sound. (So far I've found a great acoustic technique that involves bending a passing note into the key way up high around the 17th fret on the B string; works great!)

Forget the finger picking approach! This song kicks out with punch and bravado with a flatpick and rings out so well on acoustic with those sliding-up-two-frets meanderings right in key. So much fun and on the money.

What a sleeper that I never even tried because I thought it would be too hard.

The chords in the TAB seem right on the money with only embellishments of sus4 on the A chord not mentioned.
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Postby bucketorain » Mon May 05, 2008 7:05 am

this is a good song for the CAGED method...
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althea

Postby Maybeck09 » Mon May 05, 2008 12:49 pm

This is a great song. I've been playing it acoustic for years. I love the lazy slide up to the Bm. its so classic garcia. With that West LA Fade away feel. Very cool beat. I play the solo up around the 10th-12th fret second string(don't know the notes). Fun to jam with another too. Enjoy Althea!
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Re: Solo Acoustic Althea

Postby CaptainTrips » Mon May 05, 2008 1:14 pm

great tune, one of my favorite of garcia. and its great for caged, as said above. fun, fun, fun. i gotta sit down and give it an hour or two and record it.
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Re: Solo Acoustic Althea

Postby harpua9000 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:24 pm

I flatpick this one as well (seeing as how my hybrid picking needs work). Really puts some "stank" on it.
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Re: Solo Acoustic Althea

Postby Billbbill » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:26 pm

justin_ruch1180 wrote:This is such a complicated song for me..:(


So maybe this will help a bit - here's me doing this a while back - alright - not sure how much this will help :smile:



And here's a dude doing a pretty good lesson on it - this may help a bit more!

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Re: Solo Acoustic Althea

Postby SlowTexasZim » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:28 pm

BillBill

:cool: Thanks for posting those vids...that helped add a lacking dimension to my campfire version.

Cheers
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Re: Solo Acoustic Althea

Postby caspersvapors » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:56 pm

copying Jerrys solo style on this song has always been a challenge for me.
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Re: Solo Acoustic Althea

Postby Billbbill » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:35 pm

caspersvapors wrote:copying Jerrys solo style on this song has always been a challenge for me.


Indeed - this is one of those (and there are a bunch!) tunes where simply saying "play this in A major" or whatever just doesn't cut it, at least for me. I, as I always do, think more in terms of both the chords I'm playing over, and how things differ from the Bm to the A to the E (mostly in terms of modes/scales, tonal centers and related chord tones), and having cohesive phasing that transcends the "playing over chords" approach, and results in smooth clear phrasing that while noting those chord changes does so in a subtle, unobtrusive way. A seeming neverending learning process!
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