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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #35633  by tigerstrat
 Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:14 pm
I play lead and sing the Jerry parts in my band, but I have played bass in several bands in the past and I relish a good bass workout every once in awhile. It's so liberating at times to be freed of the responsibilities of singing and soloing out front... to me playing bass is to be at the very center of the sound storm, the all-important "transmission" between the engine and the wheels.

I play an '96 Alembic Wenge-top 5-string Epic, either through a 70's SVT head, a 68 Showman preamping a Yorkville SS amp or (as is usually the case) whatever happens to be onstage...

 #35653  by DyerWolf
 Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:18 am
I'm an exclusive Bass Player. Been playing 4 or 5 years. Just last summer made my first big gear purchases, a Tobacco Burst over Flamed Maple Roscoe LG3005, and a Genz Benz/Dr Bass cabs rig.

Favorite Dead Song to play: I don't know many full dead songs, since the transcriptions are often quite lacking, so I'm going to go with a song the Jerry Garcia Band played, That's What Love Will Make You Do. For Dead songs, I use to know the guitar intro to St. Stephen which is a blast to play, but I forgot it at some point :D , so I guess I'll go with Fire on the Mountain.

Favorite non-Dead song to play: I've been trying to learn it for about a year now, and I may never be able to play the whole thing, but Weather Report's Barbary Coast has such an amazing bass line that I feel empowered playing 10 second snippets of it. For a more complete song I'll go with Rick James' Ghetto Life.

 #35667  by tigerstrat
 Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:12 am
oh yeah Favorite GD song to play bass on: Other One, followed closely by Dark Star, Alligator> Caution, Cream Puff War and Truckin'.


Fave non-GD: "So What"(Miles Davis), "The Dance Of Maya"(Mahavishnu Orch.), "Sissy Strut" (The Meters). "Run Like An Antelope> Big Black Furry Creature From Mars> Run Like An Antelope" (Phish), and of course "I Don't Need Society" by D.R.I.

 #35669  by BlobWeird
 Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:03 pm
Well lets see I started playin guitar about 4 years ago. I have a friend that leaves an acoustic 4 string and an electric 5 string at my house to jam with. So recently ive been pickin it up and jamming. Fun stuff it really is. I just love thumping. I try to play lead guitar so that can be a bit too much at times and bass is just so much more free and relaxed. Also I got Rock Band last month and been playin the drums on there so now my next step is buying an electronic drum set. So by next month ill be doin the drum thing as well. Cant wait for that! As for jck's recommendation maybe ill give it a shot. I just got a mic that plugs into the iPod and records Voice Memos straight to it. So ive been making rhythm guitar backing tracks for Dead. But I guess I can also swing it with bass too. Just gotta be a song that dont take much to learn. In other words no LIG haha
 #35671  by causebass
 Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:12 pm
hmmm.favorite dead songs to play on bass...here's a partial list

Scarlett
Sugaree
Loser
Cassidy
ChinaCat
Crazy Fingers
Wharf Rat
Greatest Story
Jack Straw
NFA
Passenger
Help/Slip

thats a good start!

http://www.theCAUSEjams.com

 #35682  by DyerWolf
 Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:27 pm
For you guys who have large Dead repertoires, how about some tabs?? I see alot of songs listed I've never seen bass tabs or notation for on the internet.

 #35684  by strumminsix
 Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:01 pm
DyerWolf wrote:For you guys who have large Dead repertoires, how about some tabs?? I see alot of songs listed I've never seen bass tabs or notation for on the internet.
Might I make an easier suggestion?!?

I played bass in a band, oh, 10 years back.

What I did for alot of those songs was to write down the chord changes (before owning a pc and not knowing the web) and then mark the focus (1,3,5,etc), denote how I'd get there up or down. And a few songs had key unique things but that gets the basics.

Think Deal:
Code: Select all
A (1, ^ )  C#7 (1 , v )  F#m (1,3 ^)  D7 (1,5) D#o7     (1, ^ )
 #61857  by philsaam
 Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:28 am
I thought I might say hello -I got a bass to play whenI was 16 -and at 17 signed up with a band called EASTER -went on a cross country tour -large cities salt lake- kansas -Nebraska -illonis -champagne -Urbana --Virginia -- last gig Shoreum Hotel Grandball Room -Richard Nixions election party -all moneyswent to the Uniterian Church - the First Uniterian Church --got back to SF studied at CCSF 1 semester----music -stageband -applied to a music school --took a SAT test -I was accepted - put on the Deans List - and given a independent study program appointment -so I studied music 4years-composition, theory , history and PERFORMANCE --play the Electric bass kid ----I got a call from a music director -I need a bass player -OK - found myself involved with theartre folks --James Thompson Bergner music conductor / director and he had skills that were off the charts --we the two of us basically ran through about 250 broadway tunes, top 40 hits ,and a couple dozen tags, little segway riffs ,stuff he had written --this was the begining of what is now the longest running musical review in the world --BEACH BLANKET BABYLON -Steve Silver Productions --original bassist playing in three diffeent venues --after a couple yrs -playing 5 nites 7 shows weekly ---hey my needs out grew what the show was paying me --its still running Beach Blanket Babylon Goes Bananas --It paid for my D. Irwin bass - add me to your bass list -P oh yeah 16 --to -56 ==I guess that makes 40 years playing my bass --thanks phil
 #61867  by Lembic
 Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:27 am
Ok, I started playing about the same time it seems as philsamm, but, I really started to
"get it" in about '74 when I joined a jam band that still plays out every couple of months.
I've been playing an Alembic since late '78. I started using an Acme Low B cabinet last
year. Dead song I guess would have to be "Playing in the Band", still a gas after 25 years.
Non Dead, an origional tune by one of my guitar players called "It Take Time". That
also has stayed fresh for 25 years. Oh yeah, our project below is about a year old,
though the keys/vocal, female singer have only been with since March.
Peace all
Ken

http://www.myspace.com/violinriver
 #61869  by NashvilleMike
 Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:57 am
Beginner bass player here. I'm a much better guitar player but as the song says..."there must be 1532 guitar pickers in Nashville..."

Taking lessons for 2 months and I dig it!!

Favorite songs now are FOTM, Other One and I wish by Stevie Wonder (Nathan Watts).

Playing a Fender Squire until I know enough to get my good rig.

It would be super cool to have some bass discussion on here. One thing I have learned is that if someone says that any guitar player can be a bass player, they don't know what the hell they are talking about.
 #61870  by NashvilleMike
 Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:02 am
tigerstrat wrote:oh yeah Favorite GD song to play bass on: Other One,
Tigerstrat - Me too but my opening Phil bomb isn't all it could be, it's close but...a quick tab for the opening perhaps?

Thanks!
 #61897  by Rusty the Scoob
 Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:26 am
I never saw this thread, so count me in as one of the bass players here. Glad I'm not the only one! Been playing about 15 years, with only 15 months or so of GD experience.


I play that intro as E-F#-G-A-G-A-B-A-B-D-B-D-E

Groups of triplets, each one gets one beat. So with each line being a beat, i play

E-F#-G
A-G-A
B-A-B
D-B-D

and then Beat 1 of the next measure is a huge E & B bomb, played together as a powerchord, with the E being an octave up from the low E string. Phil doesn't play it all that cleanly so I don't either... I just crank the mids, try for a little tube grit, and let it rip. I wish I had about 1000 more watts to get it to thunder like it should, but for now I do what I can.
 #61919  by NashvilleMike
 Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:13 pm
Rusty the Scoob wrote:I play that intro as E-F#-G-A-G-A-B-A-B-D-B-D-E
Thanks man that's the ticket!
 #61931  by Lunchbox16
 Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:55 pm
I'm a bass player as well. I've been playing since the early 90s, not sure on the exact year, but I've started to actively play Dead material in the last year or two (never had any like minded musician friends until then, how sad).

I play a Fender Jazz bass and a Carvin Fretless. I have a Carvin bass amp that I really like.

Fav. Dead Song to play: Help > Slip > Franklin's

Fav non-Dead song to play: In Memory of Elizabeth Reed

And Rusty, thanks for TOO intro lick. You're the man!
 #61948  by EMF
 Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:37 pm
Hey fellas: Eric here, located in stamford, ct. been playin' since the late 80's. currently with the JFP, a NYC based jerry cover band, www.thejfp.com. find phil to be a highly inspirational cat.

I stick with 4 string and have 3 basses that I gig with, nuthin' fancy: 2 Fender Jazz basses, one a marcus Miller and one a made in japan, 90's model. i also gig with a 4 string modulus that i bought used some years ago and don't know the particulars, but love the bass.

w/r/t: amps, I stick with swr; cabs: boogie, swr, eden

hard to choose a favorite song, as there are so many to choose from, but i tend to like the up tempo rockin' stuff the most.

Eric