Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #45775  by brutusbuck45
 Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:14 am
I was driving around town the other day listening to a late 70's show. Bob would likely have been playing one of his Ibanez guitars. It was classic Weir tone with mostly sparse, fill-type, rhythyms- you know, 'color.' I got to thinking, if his playing was heard unaccompanied- say if his amp was mic'd on a separate track and everything else was dropped from the mix- how would it sound? Would some tunes not be easily discernible? What would it sound like if vocals were to accompany his rhythym alone? Hmmmm...

Now, if Bobby were to sit on a stool at an open mic night with a only a guitar and mic, playing in his colored, oft dyslexic sounding patterns, would you think, this cat is amazing? or what the hell is he playing?

Of course, don't misinterpret my questions or thoughts... I love Weir's playing. In my opinion, his playing was glue that completed the sound and paced the masterful jams that was the Grateful Dead. Just food for thought... :-?


 #45777  by Tennessee Jedi
 Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:48 am
I think the Dead Movie Bonus track dvd has the option of listening to the isolated tracks ...
sounds cool ...
Bob is amazing.
If he were to entertain us at an open mike I'm sure he would prefer an acoustic to his electric rig ....
You would probably get a more traditional "monkey and the Engineer" than a " Stranger " jam ...
Bob knows what he is doing.I think his style goes over many a guitarist head.He is unique!

 #45780  by hesgone95
 Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:37 am
I agree TJ, I think you´d get something more traditional sounding. I don´t think Bobby´s Dead technique would translate to solo electric. As to finding him amazing or lame in a context like that would depend on the person listening. To folks like us here on the site who are a. musicians and b. Heads, I think it be if not amazing at least incredibly interesting. Someone else, a non Head or non musician would probably have trouble getting it.

My .02..-

 #45781  by Pete B.
 Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:48 am
fwiw, I would have loved to have heard the GD play "Fever" (or one of his other classic covers), instead of any of the 3 big Bobby blues #'s (LRR, CCR, WB's).
No need to isolate Bobbys slide tracks, eh? :shock: .

Bobby has a great sence of playing between the major CAGED inversions, often creating new chord forms by way of including open ringing strings and dissonent fingerings.
His string bending techniques and hammer-ons of partial chord forms alone are a large part of his contribution to the GD magic.

I'll have to check that GD Movie DVD for the separate mix's.

Yeah, It'd make a good study to decipher what Bobby is doing on say, the PITB space jam.

With that said, I mean, a guy could spend one weekend studying Bobby parts, and come away with alot of new rhythm guitar licks to use on the next weekends gig.
It's not like trying to learn a different instrument like Sax, Pedal Steel, or Banjo.

I saw the Bobby/Wasserman duo a coupla times, and I thought what Bobby played was great, although at times I thought... these guys are totaly out of sync.

Fever!!! [throw head back and stare into space].

 #45790  by tigerstrat
 Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:08 am
Bob may be found playing completely solo on 7/10/88 Greek Theater, opening for JGB. He does a couple of duet numbers with Brent, who has his own solo set at that show.

 #45816  by Rusty the Scoob
 Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:58 pm
The Dead Movie only has one song with the separate mixes and you don't have control, it just switches between tracks on it's own. Anyone who has done a lot of critical listening won't find anything revelatory, except perhaps that Jerry's guitar was so loud on stage that all the phase-cancelling vocal mikes and Bobby's guitar rig's mic picked it up. :lol: But if you're new to picking out the separate parts it's a good primer.

What Bobby does imho is conceptually similar to what everyone in the Dead did - constantly and continually play something unique and interesting while filling in only a small amount of sonic space so that the overall mix can be clear and transparent. If either he or Jerry had pounded 6-note chords for a whole song like a folk guitarist the whole band would have sounded like mush, there'd be no room for Keith or Brent, and Phil would have been reduced to pounding roots.

It's interesting to note that only Jerry and Billy and to some degree Bobby and Pigpen could play their instruments when the Warlocks got together. So Bobby and Phil really learned their instruments in a way that complemented Jerry and fit with the overall band. Either one of them is quite capable of playing regular, generic rock and roll, but their playing with the Dead was very specific to the Dead's style.