Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #110123  by wolftigerrosebud
 Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:50 am
can anyone tell or does anyone know if jerry held his pick against the side or the pad of his index finger? or was it kind of at an angle in between those positions? been wondering that for a while.
 #110139  by jeager
 Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:30 pm
Yea, I don't see how you can hold it on the pad, doesn't seem to work for me anyway...also with those 2mm picks you can get lots of variation in tone by angling/slicing with the pick or any small adjustment in how you strike, brush, pluck etc. Not to mention combining a little flesh from your forefinger with the pick. Experimentation...

I wanted to mention I came across a great tip i had never heard before that has helped me to maintain my grip on the pick. I have started applying a small amount of violin rosin to my fingers...scrape the rosin with a key and rub the powder between your fingers and it creates just of enough tack to help you keep hold of the thing with out using a death grip. If your hands get sweaty the rosin gets a little more tacky. Its still easy to shift the pick around, it ain't like glued there or nothing. I never heard this it from Billy Penn's excellent 300 guitars web site.
 #110779  by wolftigerrosebud
 Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:33 am
Alright, more picking questions/thoughts on picking:

Muting strings -- on slower lines, I often mute with a pick. The "Touch Of Grey" opening is a perfect example for that stuff. I tend to right-palm mute for chords, of course. I heard Jaco Pastorius talk about single-string left hand muting, though. Does anyone do this? What are everyone's experiences with string muting? Muting with a pick is quicker for me, but it doesn't sound nearly as clean. Perhaps muting with the side of my right hand would be preferable for single string lines as well? Since I usually anchor my right hand with my ring and pinky fingers on the guitar body, that should be possible. I'd try that theory myself, but my right hand is broken right (4th and 5th metacarpals) now so I've been playing with my hand resting on the stopbar.

So what does everyone do? How do you mute? What have you heard others do? Opinions?
 #110831  by JonnyBoy
 Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:08 pm
You all remember seeing the video with Jerry playing a practice amp, practicing Crazy Fingers in his dressing room. Some of the nuances you hear in his bedroom playing (for better or worse) is lost on a loud stage. Playing in a band setting gives some illusion to tone when its all mixed together as opposed to hearing it alone.... especially on a mastered recording. It is really apparent when you have multi-tracks and you only play one track, then hit the button and mix all of them together again.... Trying to get the same "tone" in the bedroom may or may not sound right with the band, or even vise versa. While the difference is not huge for some things, it is neat to hear him "bang" out crazy fingers in his dressing room lie a cave man, but on stage its so elegant and deliberate. It can really put a monkey wrench into the mix trying to copy a technique... I am trying like everyone else, and it seems like playing in the band setting has its own set of rules for some approaches versus practicing alone...
 #126511  by lunasparks
 Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:55 am
The following may be obvious to many players, so apologies if this sounds ridiculous. But doing some tone testing yesterday, particularly as I was fooling around with my Qtron+, I think I had something of a personal revelation. Now, obviously Jerry's pick attack varied all over the place but I think on average he must have picked his strings pretty damn hard. Deliberate, controlled, but dug in.

I think a lot of us who may be (mostly) bedroom players have a habit of being "too gentle" with the strings--at least I say so for myself. But when I was trying to wrangle some tone out of my Qtron it didn't sound good with my typical pick attack. Experimenting, I started really focusing on strong, deliberate attack and all of a sudden things started to come together. Even playing clean but digging in much harder, I think, improved my the general JG direction.

At about 1:08 mark in clip below, I kick on the Qtron+ ... I'm really digging into the notes here & the JBL cones were rocking. May be the closest I've ever gotten to good envelope filter tone: ... -edit-1984

Anyway, food for thought....
 #126512  by mijknahs
 Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:48 pm
The Q-Tron+ sounds really good there. Hard to tell the difference from a MuTron III.
 #126565  by NSP
 Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:54 am
Sounding real nice Luna, thanks for posting.

Another envelope filter technique besides pick attack, is picking location (I seem to recall this being addressed in another thread). Try picking back further towards the bridge. By doing this I've found you can achieve really nice dynamics without having to dig in too hard with the pick. I've also been using the bridge humbucker much more with my MuTron.
 #126594  by pv34pv3p
 Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:51 am
Here's a very rough example of a banjo tone/technique I stumbled into this morning using an Adamas 2.0mm with a stock Squier Bullet Strat straight into a Kendrick New Joyzee amp with 2 10" Fane axiom speakers, and recorded into my phone.

It's going to take some perfecting for sure but you can get an idea of what I was after, and why I love them Adamas pics.