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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #80853  by bcresci
 Sun May 30, 2010 6:22 am
Our band is going to give Deal a shot and our bass player is looking for a good site for GD bass tabs. Anyone aware of a good place to find these? Or do any of you bass players out there have a catalog of bass tabs you'd be willing to share?
 #80864  by ugly rumor
 Sun May 30, 2010 9:58 am
Other than must-copy licks, I don't use bass tabs. I create within the framework of the music, as it appeals to me at the time. Works better sometimes than others, but keeps the music exciting to me. If he knows where the song is going, he can do the same. Thay being said, sometimes I do steal from Phil, as he is much smarter than me! Good luck!
 #80903  by bcresci
 Sun May 30, 2010 7:41 pm
He can generally follow chords, but doesn't know scales very well. I figure I'll end up walking him through the chords and scales and see how we do. I agree about Phil's playing. It isn't the kind of playing you can easily put down on paper. Same with all of them.
 #80908  by JonnyBoy
 Sun May 30, 2010 8:38 pm
Does he know a shuffle line for over the chords? thats what we are doing and its working, if you know the song, he can adjust the tempo to work..
 #80926  by bcresci
 Mon May 31, 2010 8:26 am
Well...he has no musical training, and has been playing bass less than two years. All things considered, he's really doing great. But suggesting that he play a shuffle will result in :shock: ....followed by :? ....and rounded out with :drink:
 #80942  by Grateful Dad
 Mon May 31, 2010 1:36 pm
bcresci wrote:Our band is going to give Deal a shot and our bass player is looking for a good site for GD bass tabs. Anyone aware of a good place to find these? Or do any of you bass players out there have a catalog of bass tabs you'd be willing to share?
I know I've mentioned it before but I use the Anthology and other Grateful Dead music books that have piano music written in them. I have used the left hand piano part to form and springboard my bassline for Deal and many other Dead tunes (Estimated, Playin', Truckin, Ship of Fools, etc...)

My advice for bass players who want to get some clue about Phil is to learn to read bass cleff (1/2 hour per day from Mel Bay or other publishers of beginner bass books) and in the long run it will save many hours of struggling to work out Phil parts.

It worked for me, feel free to pm me for any advice on Deal bassline.
 #80975  by Rusty the Scoob
 Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:28 am
bcresci wrote:Well...he has no musical training, and has been playing bass less than two years. All things considered, he's really doing great. But suggesting that he play a shuffle will result in :shock: ....followed by :? ....and rounded out with :drink:
He should learn how to play a basic SRV-style blues shuffle just as part of being a competent and well-rounded bass player. Most of Deal can be played in a more or less similar way.
 #81056  by Grateful Dad
 Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:02 pm
I was just thinking after reading this post..... :D

I saw Phil in an interview state that he wants the music to live on for many years to come. Can we somehow contact him or his agent and convince him to publish a book of his bass techniques so we mere mortals can somehow get a clue into his thinking?

Anyone have any information on how to contact Phil?

Does the Phil Zone website have contact info?

Phil is right, his music deserves to live on for a long, long time and if Phil could produce a book for bass players to study, it would go a long way to making sure GD music lives on.
 #81104  by Pete B.
 Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:24 am
Can anyone reccomend a "5-string Bass Tab Creator"???
I would like to be able to tab out some of the cool Bass lines I like (Lazy Lightnin' , Slipknot, Music Never, etc...).

fwiw, Phils Bass playing, imho, is in the Advanced/Extreme level (Beginner, Adv Beg, Int, Adv Int, Advanced, Extreme, being the general catagories).
The man knows his applicable theory.
IME, It's a huge mistake to skip the basics and and go directly to trying to play like Phil Lesh.
 #81107  by tcsned
 Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:39 am
Pete B. wrote: fwiw, Phils Bass playing, imho, is in the Advanced/Extreme level (Beginner, Adv Beg, Int, Adv Int, Advanced, Extreme, being the general catagories).
The man knows his applicable theory.
IME, It's a huge mistake to skip the basics and and go directly to trying to play like Phil Lesh.
Agreed, not that it means you can't play a Dead tune till you reach that level but trying to do what he does will likely only confuse and frustrate.
 #81108  by strumminsix
 Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:47 am
Just make sure you get that proper passing chord in after the F#m. First time it's A, second time it's E.
 #81110  by Pete B.
 Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:52 am
tcsned wrote: Agreed, not that it means you can't play a Dead tune till you reach that level but trying to do what he does will likely only confuse and frustrate.
I would like to Tab what I will call "The easiest way to play it" method, for licks that seem to consistantly trouble Bass owners/players.

I will eventually make some YouTubes to go with the Tab, but I need to be able to hand the tabbed licks out at rehearsals (I will email them ahead of time, too, but... :? )

I liked learning from books where they use the same song, with separate Tabs for Beg>Int>Adv level playing of that song. For example, Slipknot is quite easy on Bass, if you know where to put your fingers (via Tab).

Looks like I forgot to put "Expert" between "Advanced" and "Extreme".
Last edited by Pete B. on Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 #81271  by Pete B.
 Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:30 pm
O.K, turns out it's easy enough to edit the 6 string guitar tab creator (in an RuKind window), so here's my first 5-String Bass Tab (also works for 4-string Bass, you can also play it on 6-string guitar or bass).

"An easy way to play the Lazy Lightnin' Bass lick (all in one position)."

I marked which fingers to use to play each note (ahead of the fret/string to play) [m=middle, p=pinky, i=index, r=ring].
The "*" (asterisk) means that those notes start with a slight pre-bend (gives it a Phil-ee feel/sound).

G|---------------------------------------------------
D|---------------------------i*7----------i7--p10--
A|--------------m*8----------------p10------------
E|--m8--p10---------p10--------------------------
B|---------------------------------------------------

G|----------------------------------------------r9--
D|---------------------------i*7----------i7--------
A|--------------m*8----------------p10------------
E|--m8--p10---------p10--------------------------
B|---------------------------------------------------

The theory behind it is also easy.
This lick is played out of the FMaj7th position on guitar.
All these notes are in F Ionian (Major scale in the Key of F).
Start on this note and play the Major scale both up and down (Do-Ray-Me...etc), [All the notes in this lick are in that scale].
G|-------
D|-------
A|-------
E|--m8--
B|-------