Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #5142  by caspersvapors
 Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:39 am
ok so Ive been playing guitar for about 6 or 7 months now (learning on my own) and Ive gotten pretty good with chords, etc. I was wondering how did you all learn to solo? Sometimes I'll put on a song and play along to it and I can usually find little spots where I can make some weaksauce solo but thats about it. I know very little about music theory so yeah..

 #5146  by strumminsix
 Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:04 am
My two favorite lead guitarists are Jerry and Mark Knopfler. Both of these guys do very similar things:

#1 - start by playing the melody
#2 - build off of that

This is a good start!

 #5147  by sarraqum
 Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:38 am
Practise practise and practise, 3 Ps....

When it comes to scales I tend to either record my own chord strumming, loop it and then just solo play over it. Alternatively there are few sites available that let you practise your soloing.

This site is pretty cool, put in the chords you want and just go for it:

On this page you can download Blues backing tracks, for blues scale of course: ... spro-1.asp

 #5149  by letitflow
 Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:06 pm
I just learned the major scale and played along with jerry.. easy songs are song like deal. So this is a way you could go. First play the whole scale, then play bits of it.

I like eyes though because you play both G during chorus and E during rest of song. So you can practice more of the fretboard that way in one song.

And the other great thing about eyes is that the tempo goes from slow to frenetic depending on the year. So it challenges you to adapt your playing.

after a while you will put on a new song you never played with before and your fingers will often just jump to the appropriate root note of the scale for that song. I mean your fingers will position you at the right spot on the fretboard automatically.

The weird thing is that this started happening even for songs in keys I pretty much never played before. I mean I was practicing songs that use the A, G and E major scales mostly (deal, eyes, bertha, franklins, that kind of thing) and all of a sudden I would put on a non-dead song in a key I never played before (maybe once or twice I played another song in the same key) and my fingers would jump to A# (Bb). But I think it was even doing this sometimes for songs in keys I never played before. I guess your mind subconciously figures it out.

The other thing too, is if you can't nail something. Don't worry. Just stop practicing it, go to sleep and the next day when you pick up your guitar you will play it like you've been playing it forever. ok, sometimes you need to practice a bit more the next day but what I'm saying is that I found extra practice on something you are having trouble with doesn't help. Sleep does. I always wondered about this but then read somewhere that your brain learns (rewires itself) while you sleep. It's like it processes and files away what you learned during the day.

 #5152  by weedar
 Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:54 pm
Great topic and excellent links. Thanks a zilion guys!

*rocking it with a pentatonic* :smile:

But a question for the scale: ... guitar.php

Does it start on the third fret? That's how I'm playing it
right now, but I can't be sure it's the right one since they
don't number the fretboard on the pictures. :oops:

 #5153  by waldo041
 Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:06 pm
Last edited by waldo041 on Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 #5154  by sarraqum
 Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:17 pm
Yeah weedar its from the 3rd, its more or less like mixolydian....only with 5 notes, actually its nothing like myxolydian but it still starts on the 3rd

 #5170  by qiuniu
 Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:12 pm
For recording and getting a sound that you like I found it most helpful to do the following:

Take a version of an easy song like Moring Dew that you really like and play rythmn with that track while you record yourself. This will help you create a verison of the song that actually sounds close to the orginal. Then practice playing lead over that with the modes that are listed with the corresponding song that are in the forums here.

For scales and modes I really like jguitar: ... tes=sharps

I also agree and do with most everything that has been posted already. Running through your scales is really good practice. Jerry used to run through his scales while drinking coffee and smoking in the morning. I have printed out all the major modes from the aforementioned site in all the keys and (when I have the time) run through all of them before playing, especially Mixolydian, helps a lot.

 #5202  by caspersvapors
 Sat Apr 29, 2006 6:50 pm
thanks for all the input guys!

sarraqum - sweet sites

letitflow - youre right about the sleeping on it part, Ive experiences this many times

btw guys, when you record yourselves, are you guys using computer programs and shit? if so what kind?

 #5207  by letitflow
 Sat Apr 29, 2006 8:41 pm
well, with me I was using some software called "loop recorder" (winxp) I think... but it was buggy so I stopped using it. But when I was searching for software to do that, that was the only one I could find that did what I wanted... so I'm interested to know also what people use.

you could set it to record for every x minutes. I had it to record for 10 mins. So it always recorded the last 10 mins of what your speakers would hear to a wav. I might have had to set the mixer up for that. My creative sound card lets me select "what U hear" in the windows mixer.

So if you were just listening to some music then whenever you opened the wav file it would have the last 10 mins of music. If you also started playing your guitar then it would have both the music + the guitar. I guess you could sing into a computer mic too if you wanted.

 #5208  by caspersvapors
 Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:08 pm
for hooking up your guitar did you just get an adapter to hook up into the mic jack?

 #5209  by letitflow
 Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:59 pm
yes just an apapter.

however, I was reading on the net that you need do something to the signal. They suggested passing through an effects box. Since I had one anyhow I had it done that way for a long time. But now I just plug it straight into my sound card (line in) from the guitar.

I have an audigy2 ZS OEM card. It had good reviews so I bought that. Maybe you can't get away with pluging straight into all sounds cards, just the good ones. But I'm just guessing. Otherwise, why would they say you can't plug it straight to the computer?

anyhow, search the net for instructions about hooking a guitar up to your computer. It will explain in more detail than I have. But what I wrote works for me.