What's a good first GD solo to learn?

What's a good first GD solo to learn?

Postby vwjodyme » Wed May 11, 2011 8:49 am

So I've got a couple of the easier solo's down - comfortably numb 1st, wish you were here, and even fade to black(1st) and sanitarium(1st) to impress my metal head friends - :lol:
what is a good one to start with for the dead that has some tab out there?
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Re: What's a good first GD solo to learn?

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Wed May 11, 2011 9:06 am

http://www.youtube.com/user/sparkomatic ... xn8JhNT8H4
no tabs but excellent insights
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOdNhSXYzjY
has tabs ......
I like Darks Loser and Deal tabs - two tunes with fun solos .....
:D
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Re: What's a good first GD solo to learn?

Postby ugly rumor » Wed May 11, 2011 9:27 am

Best idea for a solo; learn your scales and tap into your emotions and convey what you feel using the notes, phrasing, and perspectives you have for the song. Best solo, ever!
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Re: What's a good first GD solo to learn?

Postby JonnyBoy » Wed May 11, 2011 10:35 am

A recognizable solo is Touch of Grey and its not too bad if you learned the above few!! Pete has some good vids explaining it on this site.
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Re: What's a good first GD solo to learn?

Postby mijknahs » Wed May 11, 2011 11:58 am

Don't copy any Grateful Dead solos note for note. Who wants to learn the studio solo anyway?

Listen to the live recordings and get ideas from there. Try to understand how Jerry's doing it. Do what he's doing but not exactly. Every solo he did was different - like jazz. So should yours be. Sometimes one particular solo might have a really cool lick or phrasing in it. Go ahead and learn those but not the whole solo. Ususally the whole thing is not worth copying anyway. Jerry always makes some mistakes mixed in with some routine stuff and sparks of genius.
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Re: What's a good first GD solo to learn?

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Wed May 11, 2011 12:13 pm

mijknahs wrote:Don't copy any Grateful Dead solos note for note. Who wants to learn the studio solo anyway?

Listen to the live recordings and get ideas from there. Try to understand how Jerry's doing it. Do what he's doing but not exactly. Every solo he did was different - like jazz. So should yours be. Sometimes one particular solo might have a really cool lick or phrasing in it. Go ahead and learn those but not the whole solo. Ususally the whole thing is not worth copying anyway. Jerry always makes some mistakes mixed in with some routine stuff and sparks of genius.

Very valid points but ......
The Touch solo is a great solo - a lesson in arpeggios so I would disagree on that ....
And dont learn the Jerry mistakes ?
But that is part of the process - what works and what doesn't ....
See YOU have a great ears - I have no ears. I need to be able to " hear " stuff like hitting the minor 3rd or whatever ....
:-)
Working out solos note for note ( well as close as I can get ) is a great way to develop " ears " - at least for me.
Of course we are all at different levels of ability and my level is very intermediate - but I try
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Re: What's a good first GD solo to learn?

Postby vwjodyme » Wed May 11, 2011 1:02 pm

Thanks guys :hail:

I thought about darks' loser solo awhile back (was the first dead song i learned - no bar chords) but seemed a lot to take in...maybe now it might be easier.

touch of grey looks like a good one to try with the vid

and yeah i know i should be learning all the scales and stuff, but for me learning songs are much more fun. I figure if i can learn one basic version of a solo i will be able to figure out the variations when i hear them...kinda what Jedi said
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Re: What's a good first GD solo to learn?

Postby mijknahs » Wed May 11, 2011 1:15 pm

Knowing what scales would work over what key will be much more helpful than having a particular solo memorized.

There is a benefit to transcribing or leaning a complicated solo note for note. Its a great exercise and it will help you in many ways but nothing is more helpful than knowing how to solo over whatever the song might be. For that you need to know the chords, scales and the melody. Then leaning some solo or parts of a solo can help get some ideas for your own solos.
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Re: What's a good first GD solo to learn?

Postby tcsned » Wed May 11, 2011 1:29 pm

Ultimately Jim is right, learning the context for a solo (scales, keys, and other theory stuff) is what you want to know and understand. I know it's not necessarily fun to learn. I'd suggest trying to mix some of the work in with the fun. Touch is a great first solo to learn (I'm assuming you're talking about the studio version). It's short, concise, and not too technically or mentally taxing. My theory is anything that keeps you motivated to play is going to help you get better. Mix in some scale practice with the fun stuff. Always play something fun at the end of each playing session that way you put the guitar down in a positive frame of mind and are more likely to pick it up sooner the next time. After you learn the solo, practice a B major scale and find the chord shapes that the solo is built around find the notes in the solo that don't fit into B major. That way you'll start building context around the notes you learned to play and are more likely to be able to apply what you learned to another song (transfer of knowledge).
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Re: What's a good first GD solo to learn?

Postby Stevo123 » Wed May 11, 2011 2:52 pm

It's funny to me that there's this convention that we talk about learning "scales" as if there's more than one scale to learn!

My advice: If there's any solo that excites you and you are motivated to learn, I would strongly, strongly advise you to NOT LOOK AT TABS! Won't do you a damn bit of good progressing toward any kind of musicianship.

One of the best exercises you can possibly do is to sit down with your guitar and a recording, rewind over and over and over again until you can ear out every single note of the solo. It will be incredibly challenging at first, but for your time spent, I think you'd be hard pressed to find any single better exercise to progress rapidly as a musician.

When you can strengthen the link between what you hear in your head (the auditory memory you hold onto after you play a short passage of the solo and then hit the pause button) and finding the pattern with your fingers, that's called being a guitar player and a musician. That's the thing we all really want to be proficient at! Learning a solo from a tab is the equivalent of playing guitar hero and is an exercise in futility.
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Re: What's a good first GD solo to learn?

Postby tcsned » Wed May 11, 2011 4:15 pm

Stevo123 wrote:It's funny to me that there's this convention that we talk about learning "scales" as if there's more than one scale to learn!

:-) of course, you're right but that's also like saying that a dictionary is the only book you ever need you just need to read it in the right order.

You're also right, that if you're looking to develop your musicianship then developing your ear and mind is what you want to be doing and tabs are probably something to shy away from. But, it depends on your goal as a guitar player. If your goal is to be a working musician and to play out and make money doing it then you're advice is right on target. If your goal is to learn a few songs and have fun playing at home and with friends then it's still a good idea but might be more of a time and effort investment than someone is willing to put in and then learning some songs from tabs is fine. If this sparks interest in someone to then push further and learn more, great. If they are happy with where they are and don't want to push further, great. Everyone should find the path that makes them happy.

When I was managing the music store we had a guitar instructor who was a fantastic player, went the Berkeley School of Music, had some serious chops and was a really smart. For serious players he was a great teacher. For kids just wanting to have some fun and make some raucous noise he beat the fun out of playing for those kids. A lot of them gave up music which I think is a shame. Some of those kids could have gone on to become good players if they had not had the fun beaten out of playing.

I sometimes use tabs to learn or re-learn songs because it's fast, I have 2 small kids, a dissertation, and classes to grade so sitting with guitar and mp3 and working through tunes isn't practical. Though I force myself to sit down with the Fake Book every week or so and practice reading melody just to keep my mind sharp.

vwjodyme - there's some great advice here and if you're up for the journey I wholeheartedly encourage you to jump in. If you want to keep it fun and light then there is nothing wrong with that. As one of my dissertation committee members always tells me - "Tom, remember, how you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." Take small steps and before you know it, you've traveled some serious distance.
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Re: What's a good first GD solo to learn?

Postby Chuckles » Wed May 11, 2011 11:01 pm

Funny you should mention Loser, as that is exactly what I was going to recommend. So much of JG's playing is based around the melody, and the Loser solo is just steeped in the melody. Of course there are numerous tunes where there's almost no relationship between the melody and what he played, especially when he went off on a diminished run, but it sure isn't a bad place to start to pick the melody out and then embellish at your leisure. Getting the feel for the phrasing - if that's what you want to cop - from something like Loser will give you a lot of insight into where he put his little nuances... and it's not altogether too difficult a thing to tackle. I agree with avoiding the TAB; they are helpful if you are looking to find something you just can't quite get a handle on, but using your ears is a much better way to learn this stuff.
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Re: What's a good first GD solo to learn?

Postby vwjodyme » Thu May 12, 2011 7:57 am

yeah, definitely keeping it fun and light right now. started out about 5 years ago just looking to learn a few open chords on a cheap old acoustic i had laying around and progressed to the point where the wife let me get a couple of electrics. i never tried to break down a solo by ear, but it could be a fun weekend project with my new looper!

Thanks for all the input :cool:
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Re: What's a good first GD solo to learn?

Postby dleonard » Thu May 12, 2011 8:32 am

Alot of what JG did can be learned by learning the CAGED method. Probably better to learn that first, then the Touch of Grey solo will make perfect sense. For me, it was one of the all-time A-HA! moments. There are a million good youtube vids on it. It sort of forces you into playing melodically and it's a simple concept...No BS
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Re: What's a good first GD solo to learn?

Postby strumminsix » Thu May 12, 2011 8:42 am

mijknahs wrote:Knowing what scales would work over what key will be much more helpful than having a particular solo memorized.


I'd add in to also not some of those those key notes struck too!
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