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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #125205  by GratefulMets
 Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:40 am
Hi Folks,

I'm starting a new GD inspired project and need some help from all you Bobby players out there to help get a novice Bobby player up to speed, both musically, and gear wise.

The rhythm guitarist in this new project is NOT schooled in the ways of Weir. He's a younger guy in early 20's, never saw the Dead, but has nice chops. He's a good musician, eager to learn and expand musically. He does not have the means to drop cash on new gear. He's got a Tele, a Strat, a Fender Twin, and a few inappropriate stomp boxes. Not sure what pickups he's got in the axes, but they're probably stock. A few questions:

BTW, I'm partial to Weir's very late 70's/early 80's tone.

1. Any basic starting point suggestions (amp settings, pickup selection, etc) for getting the most Bobby like tone from this basic gear?

2. Assuming he can swing a few pedals, or possibly a rack unit, (or if I just decide to buy it for him!) where do you think he could get the most bang for his buck? I'm considering a used Ibanez UE405. Good choice?

3. More important than the gear, can you guys offer any tips or point to some resources to help accelerate a player's journey into the Bobby mindset, musically? I was fortunate enough to have seen the boys so often in my formative years, that the music, especially Jerry's guitar playing, is just part of who I am. I cannot imagine trying to absorb Bob's style without the benefit of having really experienced it. I have seen some of the You Tube video tutorials and I think there is some good stuff to be had there (eric rubenstein, I think, has some good stuff?). Wondering if there is anything else out there?

4. Has anyone tried any of the lessons being sold at www.gratefulguitarlessons.com ? The teaser videos look like they could be pretty cool, but $10 a pop seems a lot.

If I had the time that I used to have, I'd just hang out with the kid 24/7 and play through the Dead's repertoire with two guitars. But alas, those days are gone. Meanwhile, understanding there are no shortcuts, I do appreciate any insight you guys might have.

Thanks all.

Peace!
-Larry
 #125216  by strumminsix
 Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:22 pm
Some quick pointers:
1) focus less on gear pedals. Get a guitar with dual humbuckers and coil taps. Lots of parallel humbuckers and out of phase for Bobby.
2) learn about chord voicing and and inversions - learn CAGED system!
3) lots of right hand technique!!
4) he has to think like a piano player!!
5) learn about chord substitutions, stacked chords, walking bass notes down while fretting balance of chord an WHY!

The lessons videos seem very good from what I've seen. Dude, appears to be a helluva student of Bobby. But I say your buddy would benefit by some theory and technique first!
 #125219  by Tennessee Jedi
 Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:34 pm
GratefulMets wrote:
4. Has anyone tried any of the lessons being sold at http://www.gratefulguitarlessons.com ? The teaser videos look like they could be pretty cool, but $10 a pop seems a lot.

-Larry
I am a big fan of Seth and his lessons
The lessons are sick .....
There is plenty of theory .....
Dude is a real teacher and has a ear that doesnt miss anything. He has a real knack for the Bob stuff ...
I do Jerry stuff but have gotten a few Bob lessons and my oh my they are fun
Looks Like Rain and MNS are a blast
$ 10 for a lifetime of musical nirvana is a bargain
Good luck Larry & Co.
- Tom
 #125247  by Jerry1996x
 Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:27 pm
Seth is an awesome dude. I actually take lessons from him in person, great guy, amazing player. Probably the best Jerry AND Bobby ive heard. Not to mention he has the theory to back everything up. Definitely get some of his lessons if you want your guy to learn some Bobby stuff. He's helped me tremendously.
 #125254  by gr8fulbluz
 Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:08 pm
Jerry1996x wrote:Seth is an awesome dude. I actually take lessons from him in person, great guy, amazing player. Probably the best Jerry AND Bobby ive heard. Not to mention he has the theory to back everything up. Definitely get some of his lessons if you want your guy to learn some Bobby stuff. He's helped me tremendously.
Lucky dog! getting in person with Seth, good for you. I wish.
I know lessons here in DC range from $25 a half hour to $60 per full hour. {{Intermediate and Classical level from what I have seen}} I am sure they are about the same in NJ...
So...I was just playing along with Seth's Grateful Theory Case Study One Eyes of the World. 29 min long at 5 bucks. That is cheap
. . . I feel like I owe Seth to go get a lesson in person to pay him back. Gonna buy the new Jerry EOTW when finishes it.

His lessons have nuances with theory and technique. I cannot speak for the Bob lessons but I would suggest pick two and see how it goes.? I would bet he could apply the techniques to other songs and cop licks along the way. I dont see many Bob centered lessons elsewhere more Jerry emphasis, I could be wrong I was always more a 'Jerry head' than a deadhead.
Good luck.

Edit: Doesn't JDarks do some Bob lessons/tab?
 #125256  by brbadg
 Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:35 am
You will get him a lot furthur into the Bob zone with Seth's lessons than you would buying any new pedal or rackmount unit.
The key is to use all of the voicings that Seth shows you.I've saved a lot of time by getting these lessons,and has helped me expand into learning other Dead tunes with this approach.By the way,it's a LOT of fun!
 #125275  by zambiland
 Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:11 pm
While focusing on learning Bobby's parts is a good exercise and will get him into the ballpark of sounding right, learning how Bobby thinks will make his playing much more inspiring. A lot of people who I've played with who play this music know the parts but get quickly out of their comfort zone when confronted with new situations, which means that all the music, even the jams, will be just rehashing of material that the GD have been to before. It's certainly easier that way, but a lot less interesting. Music is a language and we should all speak with our own voices, instead of merely parroting what has come before (which reminds me of a funny story. In the mid 80s, my cousin, from Britain, decided at a crossroads in his life at age 17 that he should go to China to teach English. His students over there were English teachers who all had learned English from movies that were brought to China before the revolution, so they all sounded like they were in gangster films from the 30s and 40s. Do we want to be the musical equivalent of that?). Certainly, if we are able to develop our voices and ability to speak the language of music, we can visit Grateful Deadland and be not only appropriate but move the conversation forward.

Get him to listen to a lot of McCoy Tyner. String quartets where he can listen to the inner voices are also good. Motown horn arrangements can be another source of inspiration. All music is fair game where there are inner voices that support the bass, lead and rhythm instruments. Especially music where the bass and drums don't operate as a classic rock rhythm section, whether it's Bach or the Bill Evans trio with Scott LaFaro. This might be a good place to start: http://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Chor ... 1576235645
 #125278  by Jerry1996x
 Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:03 pm
Ill make sure I let Seth know how much you guys love the vids! I think he's on here, but he's not super into the gear end of things. ALSO, a big (and ridiculously simple) thing to do to get down with Bobby tone, is if you have 3 pickups, use Bridge/Middle, and if you have 2, then Middle position. I would say chord voicing and that are 2 of the biggest parts of the Bob tone.
 #125288  by GratefulMets
 Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:43 pm
While focusing on learning Bobby's parts is a good exercise and will get him into the ballpark of sounding right, learning how Bobby thinks will make his playing much more inspiring. A lot of people who I've played with who play this music know the parts but get quickly out of their comfort zone when confronted with new situations, which means that all the music, even the jams, will be just rehashing of material that the GD have been to before. It's certainly easier that way, but a lot less interesting.
I totally agree, and the point is well taken. As someone who has performed this music live for close to 30 years (holy! I should be SO MUCH better!!) I have often struggled with the balance between authenticity and creativity. For me, the performance has to at least create that undeniable grateful dead canvas, upon which the new, more individual ideas can be painted. In that respect, (self-rationalization: ON) I guess I've been fortunate (lazy?) that I've never really been able to "copy" Jerry's licks, but rather, I like to think I've taken the adventurous spirit of his playing, and I try to infuse my playing with that same spirit (self-rationalization: OFF). Oh, and of course I have to play through much of the same gear Jerry did. :P

I'm real excited to get my new project going. My last group played together for 20 years. We had great moments, and you cannot easily replace 20 years of musical chemistry. But we also started to fall into predictable patterns at times. I'm confident that the guitarist will ultimately bring some welcomed creativity, once he has a good starting foundation for his role, and the shape and structure of the music.

Thanks for the really interesting musical suggestions, too! This community is simply the best!

Further!
 #125509  by GratefulMets
 Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:45 am
Any suggestions for some recordings where Bob is prominently featured in the mix? Especially during the 78-84 time frame?

I love the Greek Theater SBD recordings from 5/21-23/1982. Bob's guitar is front and center. Have not found many like that.
I found mention of the Seattle show in another thread. Any others folks recommend?

Thanks!