Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #46184  by darksun
 Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:38 am
I was listening to the dead at Fillmore East (71?)... on their cd called "ladies and gentlemen... the grateful dead".

The intro to The Bird Song in this set sounded like an A Minor pentatonic scale. Is it just me or is this true?

 #46185  by Tennessee Jedi
 Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:53 am
Maybe its in D ?
I think the Garcia album is in D ....
Not minor though; its major ...
Maybe its in E and you think its A ?
Ps - Welcome Dude !

 #46188  by Tennessee Jedi
 Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:08 am
Main riff

Mini Riff before singing
This is what I got from the 87 dvd ...
Forgot how to do slides and hammers and pulls but its close with no guitar in my hands ...
I wonder if this is the "favorite position" of Jerry that OldManDown is talking about ?

 #46191  by ebick
 Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:40 am
It's in D in the archive. That is the key fromthe album Garcia, and I always preferred that key.

 #46192  by hesgone95
 Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:41 am
I play it in D like so:


And in btwn verses:


And sometimes:


These are all more or less what's here the site, I just find that these fingerings are more comfortable for me. And actually b/c of the C I guess this is D Mixo isn't it?

 #46194  by Crazy 9.5 Fingers
 Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:05 pm
From "Garcia"




he does take a few liberties with the order of the phrases in there sometimes but that is basically the call line and the response line. That last slide is the classic Jerry emphasized slide up which here says "hey, I really mean this D okay!"

And as far as the theory part of it goes, you are right, the tones are from the A minor pentatonic scale, which actually come from the A Dorian scale.

Here is the breakdown. The song is really based on the D7 chord Jerry rings out at the top. Dominant 7 chords should make you think Mixolydian, which is the 5th degree of the Major scale. In this case the key is actually G major which is A Dorian so there is where you get the A minor pentatonic scale.

So here think D7 = D mixolydian = G Ionian = A dorian = A minor pentatonic.
Last edited by Crazy 9.5 Fingers on Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 #46196  by Tennessee Jedi
 Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:10 pm
Does anyone do it in E other than me ?

 #46197  by jonarobb
 Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:14 pm
We do it in E ala 72-73 versions with the same harmonized melody line that Garcia and Weir did together. Take a listen to 6/22/73 for a good idea. I think that's when the song sounded the best.

 #46198  by Tennessee Jedi
 Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:20 pm
You're old school,aren't you ?
:smile: :cool: :D

 #46199  by SpaceYrface43
 Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:21 pm
i have heard the version where Weir and Garcia do two different parts on a Dick's Picks can't remember what number though. I like it that way too it's different nice on the ears

 #46201  by Crazy 9.5 Fingers
 Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:30 pm
I love those 72 versions in E as well with the nice Bobby harmonized line. Just because I always thought it was such a great harmony line here is the tab for Bob's line.

That and because I am sick as a dog and don't feel like doing real work.



Not sure if my connotation of slides and pull offs are the right ones but I guess the general cool thing about Bob's phrase is that he kept it pretty legato as Jerry's line is more stacatto. Play it as you hear it is the best advice I guess. The counter balance here is part of why this harmonized riff has been a fave of mine since the first time I heard it.

 #46202  by jonarobb
 Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:31 pm
Tennessee Jedi wrote:You're old school,aren't you ?
:smile: :cool: :D
You know it! ;)

That Birdsong I mentioned from Vancouver in 73' is really just the sickest thing I've ever heard. Keith is on the Rhodes for the whole tune and they just go off into another time zone...

 #46203  by Tennessee Jedi
 Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:39 pm
I'll look for it.I just got Philly and Baltimore '73 - but no Birdsongs ....and they are 4 cd shows too !
I guess I like the late 80's version ..all spacey/midi ..

 #46205  by tigerstrat
 Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:48 pm
Another vote for key of E. That was always the live performance key of the song, even the early versions.

After many years of performing the 80's version, a couple years ago I fell in love with doing it "oldschool" with the swinging sus-chord intro figure, rather than the single-note melody. Sometimes I'll mix the two, starting the song "80's" and then reverting to the "70s" after the jam, very easily done.
jonarobb wrote:
Tennessee Jedi wrote:You're old school,aren't you ?
:smile: :cool: :D
You know it! ;)

That Birdsong I mentioned from Vancouver in 73' is really just the sickest thing I've ever heard. Keith is on the Rhodes for the whole tune and they just go off into another time zone...

Great show, that's right after Keith introduced the Rhodes to his rig a month prior.