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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #129160  by jalevinemd
 Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:40 am
So here's the story. Admittedly I never listened to that much of the GD. Always been more of a fan of Jerry's guitars than his music. Since joining this forum (which I did really just to find a builder to do a Tiger guitar) I started giving the music a try and am really loving what I hear. I've been playing with the same four guys now for a few months. Last session the singer says he wants to do a few GD tunes. Granted we're hardly a Dead band, but I still like to approximate (as best I can) the guitar tone of whatever artist we're covering. I know there's different eras and tones, so I'm not really sure what to do...plus we'll probably only do two or three songs at most, so I don't want to reinvent the wheel. I like the later tone that I've heard the best, after he got Tiger. I have my Resurrection Bolt that's equipped with the necessary Super II's and I've got the Tiger coming from Leo, so guitar-wise I'm covered (though I realize that's only part).

I have a few basic questions, though.

Was Jerry playing the middle pickup only?
Was the pickup split? To me I sound closer when I split the HB.
Did he use compression?
Did he use and Overdrive?
Was the envelope filter on most of the time or just a few songs?

Sorry to sound like such a friggin' newb...but I guess I am. Appreciate any basic help I can get. :-)
 #129161  by mgbills
 Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:42 am
Here is some brief replies. All of this is covered if you use the search feature in the upper right hand corner....in enormous detail. When I first got here I obsessively read every thread. Now...I remember vagaries of many tidbits. But I do have answers for your questions that come from this board.

1) Mostly middle. Split to single coil. Cowboy songs....bridge.
2) Compression was seen as Evil from very early on. May not be true in Bob-land. Haven't studied Bobby as deeply.
3) Overdrive - My knowledge of this is a little vague, since I've never owned an Overdrive pedal. Unless an LPB1 counts, and that only seemed to be a signal noise booster. Would the Stratoblaster be considered an Overdrive circuit? In my mind it was designed to hit the first preamp tube hard. Then Yes would be the answer. Also, the Mutron has a buffer/boost (?) gizmo...which may have acted like an overdrive. So yes...but not always. Distortion on certain tunes.
4) Envelope Filter on some classics, or as I refer to them as GD Holy songs... Estimated Prophet, Fire On The Mountain, Catfish John (JGB), Dancin' In the Streets,...I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting. But it's a specific list. He did experiment a bunch with it when if first showed up in the 70's.

There's the 101. Enjoy your exploration.
Peace
M

**Edit! Shakedown...another biggie!
Last edited by mgbills on Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
 #129162  by softmachine72
 Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:44 am
absolutely no compression. Yes, the middle PUP coil split mostly. Neck for tunes like intro to Eyes of the World and in and out for timbre changes during solos. bridge for country tunes like Big River or Cumberland blues. I believe in the early 80' I have even heard him use the bridge spilt on occasion( talk about cutting through the mix). Although , he used singles from 72-77 in the Strats , Wolf and Bean's. Generally the tone coming from his amp was pretty clean but, he had a nice slight over-driven clean sound too.I don't think his vol on pre -amped Twin got much above 5 and the Macintosh is not going to distort. He used the MXR distortion + or Boss super overdrive in later years.The envelope was a Mutron III and he had a custom switching unit that took each effect out of the chain when it was not in use. Songs like Estimated Prophet and Fire on the Mountain. Dancin' in the streets is the only time I have heard him use the "down" Wah function on the Mutron III . In my opinion, no other envelope filter gets that sound (Qtrtron or HAZ Mutron)
 #129191  by TI4-1009
 Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:49 am
mgbills wrote: All of this is covered if you use the search feature in the upper right hand corner....in enormous detail.
+10 "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life."

My testamonial: forum/viewtopic.php?f=309&t=14307
 #129195  by jalevinemd
 Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:51 am
TI4-1009 wrote:
mgbills wrote: All of this is covered if you use the search feature in the upper right hand corner....in enormous detail.
+10 "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life."

My testamonial: forum/viewtopic.php?f=309&t=14307
I know I was trying to cheat here. If I were starting my own GD band, I'd definitely take the time to cull through all of the wonderful information here. I was just being lazy and didn't want to make that kind of investment for a couple songs that I'm probably gonna butcher anyway. :-)
 #129252  by WharfRat42
 Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:37 pm
An honest admission! Caught you!
:lol: I'm guilty too. It happens. Good luck! And maybe, if you're kind, you'll make sure... oh, I dunno... maybe upload a clip for us? Or pics of the old and the new beauties?
-Peace