Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

Musical Theory Abound!!!
 #3062  by spilly
 Sun Jan 22, 2006 8:49 am
My last post in the Album Disscussion topic gave me this idea.

How did you guys come to be musicians, what sparked the passion that drives you?

My father loved music, but never played. My mother was a dancer. I therefore came to love music early in life, my father used to play CSNY when i coundn't sleep in my crib. Thanks to my mothers talents i was born with a sense of rythem.

I had taken piano lessons as a very young boy, but the program i was in failed to impress or spark me in any way.

my fathers old friends from highschool were a pair of travelling musicans. Willy and Annie would ride around the country in there green short bus and play anyplace they could, when they rolled through Buffalo (or as they called it, home) they would often visit with my father for a few days before continuing their journy. One day they rooled into town and gave my brother and I 2 electic guitars and a Fender-Rhodes electric organ. none of this helped my brother though, he's a percussionist.

I don't know exactly where Willy and Annie are now, last i heard they had settled down by crater lake, on the opposite end of the country but wherever they are. Thanks.

so that's why I do what I do, Howsabout you?

 #3063  by Billbbill
 Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:16 am
I loved music from a very young age. Got into the dead at about the same time I started a friendship with a guy who played guitar. We were both around 16 or so. He had been taking lessons and had been playing in a standard HS rock band but we both started OD'in' on the dead. He had an electric and I just picked up his old Epiphone acoustic that had the most horrible action imaginable.

He taught me barre chords (yea I learned barre before open) and I'd play the jam progression of songs while he played lead. In retrospect learning barre chords first and using a guitar with such brutally high action probably helped me quite a bit. Aside from strengthening my hand it gave me a 'quicker' glimpse into chord structure, if that makes any sense. Picked up my own guitar soon after, an acoustic Yamaha 330 (I think), and umpty ump years later I'm still learning new things every day.

 #3068  by spilly
 Sun Jan 22, 2006 10:03 am
nice man, way to do it backwards

 #3070  by Shaggy
 Sun Jan 22, 2006 10:22 am
I think it was growing up hearing alot of folk music and country, some of it pretty obscure stuff too. My father played these records and listened to radio stations that played all old music, real old stuff and classical music too. So I got interested in music that was way before my time and not very "cool" with the other kids before I got interested in the music of the day, though I did that too. My grandfather played harp and piano and could play any song or style or at least it seemed so to me when I was young, he played in bars and did various bits I think. Though he drank too much to make it serious i believe.

My older brother had a guitar first and i would play his now and again, he showed me a few basic chord shapes, when he wasn't there I would go into his room and play for hours. He hardly ever played it and was only interested in strumming out a couple of the same songs over and over. I got more into it, got into the dead bigtime, around the same time that got my own guitar(after about 3 years of playing my brothers!) and it went from there.

 #3082  by Cosmic C
 Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:21 am
My dad always listen to blues/jazz at night working in his office. I would sit in there and do whatever it was that I did at the time. I didn't know what I was listening to but I liked it. Then in 5th grade one of mey friends gave me a tape to listen to. I thought it was the cool thing to borrow a rock album. I listen to it and became hooked and said to myself "I wanna do that". The album was Kiss the Sky. Later in college someone "talked me into" going to a dead show. It was all over after that.

 #3150  by qiuniu
 Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:19 pm
Piano lesson at four, stopped at 8, then stand up bass until I was 12, then my FIRST GUITAR. Parents always listened to music, classical and jazz.

Music was a drug for me when I was little and my habit has continued at the level of a junkie.

Went to my first Dead show at 16 and then went to as many as I could until the fat man checked out. Now I just collect shows and try to figure out what Jerry was thinking. My love of music and the Dead/Jerry only seems to increase over time.

 #3155  by ebick
 Sat Jan 28, 2006 2:22 pm
It's a wonder I found music. Neither of my parents were very passionate about it. My uncle was a teenager during the late sixties and exposed me to a lot of the music I have enjoyed throughout my life.

I got a cheap acoustic guitar from a great aunt of mine who listened when I said I wanted one around holiday time. Some time later, my sister and I got into a fight and she Pete Townshended it, separating the top piece of wood from the rest of the body around the bottom. If you could picture the damage, it may have been the first (and possible only) acoustic with a built in whammy bar.

My first Dead concert was 5/5/77. Was it any wonder that I got the bug? Prior to that, being that I was only 12 at that time, I had only ever seen Harry Chapin and Franki Valli (both with mom......and both really good concerts). At the time, I was very heavily into Yes and Alice Cooper. I remember that my friend and I had had tickets to see the group "Boston" who was playing at the coliseum the next night. We were trying to trade our tickets for Dead tickets (don't really recall why) and there were some dead heads who saw us as two young kids who didn't belong there, and tried to talk us out of it. Eventually, we found a taker.

From my lengthy concert going experience, I had known about warm-up naturally, I assumed....

Mid-way through the first set, my friend and I looked at each other and said "This band's pretty good.....I wonder who they are." I tapped the shoulder of a young lady in front of me and posed just that question to her........with a long, cold stare she replied, "It's.....The Dead". "Thank you", I said, and my friend and I proceeded to relocate to the other side of the coliseum.

Fast forward to 12 years later. Brendon Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ. In the parking lot, a young lady in our group says, "I hope they play Iko Iko!". They open the show with Let The Good Times Roll->Iko Iko. About 5 songs later she asked me, "So, when do the Dead come out?" I put my arm around her and said, "Let me tell ya a story".