Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

Musical Theory Abound!!!

 #33238  by mrMix
 Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:52 pm
Maybe this helps?
Here are 5 modes and as they lay out on the fretboard to encompass all 7 in the key of C. It's set up for 3 notes per string, each pattern starting from a different degree.
These can slide as necessary for each key.

In essence it is 21 scales captured on 1 page. (Thanks to for the images)


 #33243  by Mick
 Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:43 pm
bucketorain wrote:what i'm asking is if i use this pattern, w-w-h-w-w-w-h on the 6th string, what would be the appropriate pattern for the next string down / up? :

6th w-w-h-w-w-w-h
5th ?-?-?-?-?-?-?
4th ?-?-?-?-?-?-?
3rd ?-?-?-?-?-?-?
2nd ?-?-?-?-?-?-?
1st ?-?-?-?-?-?-?

maybe i'm lost here...wouldn't there be an appropriate 7 note pattern on the strings below?
Still not sure I get it. If you wanted to play the E major scale down the 5th string, E played over A is Lydian because A is the IV to E. So you could play the Lydian steps: W-W-W-H-W-W-H. Test to see if this works, Open = A, fret 2 = B fret 4 = C# fret 6 = D# fret 7 = E fret 9 = F# fret 11 = G# fret 12=A, looks like E major to me.

E major starting on the D string would be a problem, because you wouldn't start open since D's are sharp, same with G. However, if you started the D string on fret 1 (D#), you could use the Locrian steps H-W-W-H-W-W-W, if you started the G string on fret 1 (G#), you could use the phrygian H-W-W-W-H-W-W. The B string would use the mixolydian W-W-H-W-W-H-W. All of these should give you back the E major scale. You can use the table I posted some pages back to get the right mode, you just you have to interpolate for starting on D# and such.

Hope this helps.


 #33437  by Pete B.
 Sat Dec 22, 2007 7:16 pm
Well, this is the first thing I have tried on YouTube.
I used my Digital Camara to make a quick run of an ionian scale based in the CAGED method.
Now that I can navigate the technical aspect of Uploading a YouTube vid and posting it, i'll work on some better video quality and playing quality.[/youtube][/youtube]

 #33440  by ronster
 Sat Dec 22, 2007 7:35 pm
Very well played but hard to tell how you are following the CAGED system. JDarks has a great video which explains the use of chord shapes (GAGED system) for playing leads within GDTRFB.[/youtube]

Is it OK to post a utube clip of his or is that not cool?

 #33444  by Pete B.
 Sat Dec 22, 2007 8:50 pm
Oh yeah... Mine is not supposed to be "instuctional".
'Just sharing a few seconds of how I use the CAGED mapping method to get around on the neck a little.

In this example it is more of EDCAG.

The open position ascending run is a mix of E and D positon scales (I can't do a full E position scale as it includes notes that lie to the left of the nut, or fret 11 if I did it 12 frets up).

When I get to the top I start descending in the C shape pattern.

When I get to the bottom and start ascending again I use the same lick in 3 octaves, ascending through the C, A, and G chord form patterns to get to the high E on string 1 fret 12.

Then I tried to descend in the G form, but blow it towards the end.

 #33446  by kevo
 Sat Dec 22, 2007 9:42 pm
Very nice Pete :D

 #33453  by Pete B.
 Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:51 am
OK I figered a coupla things out on the YouTube end... Here's a second pass at it with a background track.
Again, mostly just running scales to build general muscle memory and dexterity.
In this take I start off with a little intro run, then work down through a few chord forms on the top few strings. Then I do those same runs as in the first take, then a little single string trill towards the end.[/youtube]

 #38247  by cunamara
 Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:12 pm
Pete B. wrote:"memorizing mode patterns is mostly a waste of time and missing the point. The best thing to do is learn the CAGED sequences"

I guess I don't understand the difference yet.
I'm seeing it like this:

This is actually the most efficient set of fingerings for playing lines on the guitar. Congratulations for seeing these, these are the "five shapes" taught by Jimmy Bruno; I remember seeing them in stuff written by Arnie Berle 15-20 years ago in "Guitar Player" (back when it was worth reading- crotchety old fart warning) but I can't recall the terminology he used. However it's a mistake to think of them as modes IMHO. They are pitch collections- all the notes in a given key at a given position on the board.

The CAGED stuff is a good introduction to finding your way around the fretboard. These "five shapes" make it very easy to play over changes and to play in or out at will. Knowing them will also let you see symmetrical patterns across and up and down the fingerboard, once one starts playing arpeggios and melodies. Listen to what Jerry played- most often his leads were little melodies strung together rather than scales. According to Steve Parrish, Jerry knew hundreds of melodies and this obviously informed his playing quite a bit.

Jimmy Bruno has an online jazz guitar institute that is an excellent way to learn this stuff without getting into the semantical confusion of modes and such. Playing music should be conceptually simple so that you can devote more energy to self expression and less to "Bb7#9#11... dang, that's an F Mixophrygian altered bebop scale..." FWIW I have no connection with JB except as a student. Hope I'm not breaking any board rules by mentioning this.
 #39983  by jkstraw
 Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:38 am
qiuniu wrote:Okay I've only been trying to learn lead for a year and a half and I've been getting loops of Dead songs and playing the modes over them (as mentioned in my other topic) [...]

Last night I found a great loop for Other One and looked up the suggested mode
Could you post or PM me where you got your loops? I am doing just shy of you...been practicing lead for 4 months now. I know all the modes and Pentatonic shapes but no good loops to practice with.

Thanks for any help!


 #40321  by cunamara
 Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:17 pm
jkstraw wrote:I know all the modes and Pentatonic shapes but no good loops to practice with.
Umm??? There are hundreds and hundreds of great loops to play along with... over on the Live Music Archive at :-)

Seriously, playing along with the Dead is the best way to learn how to play these tunes. As for loops, if you just want to practice a short passage over and over, then recording your own backing track using one of the many computer programs for this and looping them works really well. It sharpens up your comping as well as playing lead.
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