Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #3458  by strumminsix
 Tue Feb 14, 2006 5:09 pm
Here is the key to how I recreate Bobby's sound, know the following:
Relative minors
Sus 4s
Sus 2s
Powerful transition majors
Use the "C" & "D" shaped barre-chords
Use 6s
And at times, "G" shaped barre-chords

Okay, now the C & D shapes is from a method called CAGED. Basically, what this means is that your barre-chord is the same shape as an open but barred down the neck.

Good examples of each:

Relative minors --- C to Am, G to Em. Get's hand to seemless tansitions. This is where Bobby really shines. See more on this in my shapes section...

Sus 4s --- Transitioning from 1 - 4 (G > C) or instead of the 4, think Bertha. Many people play the intro with a G to C swing, but really I hear a G to Gsus4 swing and so do many others.

Sus 2s --- sometimes a darker transition or to hint where you are going. If I were going from a D to Am, I'd likely throw in a Dsus2 right before. In fact I do that in Box!

Powerful transition majors --- It has to be quick and in the background to make it work well. Think GDTRFB. The first line is in E then A. Well, there is some room there USE IT! Slam a D for 2 hits before the A. Another is my fav, and that in US Blues when it goes into D. Try this (written out to strums) slide into D D, Bm C# D. You can hear Bobby doing this in the 70s especially on the SYF album.

Use the "C" & "D" shaped barre-chords --- This is Bobby. He's got these huge hands! It's hard, suck it up and learn 'em. At it's simplest you get seemless changes. Think Me & My Uncle. Em to G. Well play Em off the 7th then kick your pinky off the and put it on the 10th fret A string and there is your G! Seemless. But that's just a start......
One of the coolest transitions you will ever learn after you master is seen in songs like Looks Like Rain & Bertha and that's the mingling of E, C#m & F#m all barred off the 4 the fret...
Code: Select all
    E   C#m  F#m  F#sus4
e --4----4----5----7-------
B --5----5----7----7--------
G --4----6----6----6--------
D --6----6----4----4--------
A --7----4------------------
E --x-----------------------

Use 6s --- Bobby uses them. They fit in nicely in a lot of places. Golden road, the intro to Hell in a Bucket just add the 6! First note before the B7 in Hell is a D6:
Code: Select all
e -7-
B -7-
G -7-
D -7-
A -5-
E -x-


 #11704  by b weird
 Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:15 pm
Man,Strummin' how did you learn so much I'm in awe. Also could the intro be played: A Asus4 A instead of A Bm7 A since Asus4 and Bm7 sound alike ?

 #23705  by IamDocWatson
 Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:01 am
strummin i know these bob tips were old but i just noticed them and its a real cool subject/idea so i thought id try to add what i have observed from bobby and bump this thing back up for more input and ideas....

about caged chords bob definately uses alot of the forms combined a mix of two forms like an a/g form

x42225 thats an inverted A major with the C# as your root, that form is used alot, along with D/C also

xx4232 i realize u could play that D with the 5th string open but when u move it up to the next chords just play the top 4 strings

i hear bob doing some chord substitutions in this ship of fools from DP12 while jerry is soloing on the line of the verse that starts
Eb / / / | Bb / / /|
he actually brings in the diminished chord to walk to the Bb and to add color, and give jer a little something more to latch on to, it adds some nice movement also like this

Eb / Edim7 / | Bb / / / |

anyone else got any cool bobby trick or techniques to add??

how about the patented bobby arpeggio>squeal
Jdarks has a bunch tabbed out
Code: Select all
|”Bobby squeal”---|