#168326  by bzbz
 
fiddling with geometric patterns, using intentional modes, etc - these are both the keys to learning how to play better, and traps that inhibit expression. No doubt.

Melody is the way to go.
 #168327  by Jon S.
 
>> Melody is the way to go.

I can't remember where but I read an interview once in which Jerry said, when learning a new song, he first worked out the melody line in solo notes. Then he immediately had two ways to solo over every new song: with the melody; and (for lack of a better phrase) against it.

I like this advice. Melody is one way to go. But like most things in life, a steady diet of just melody can become tedious.

So, by all means, learn the melody and how to solo using it. But also learn know how to use your scales, modes, chord tones, and intervals.
 #168331  by PurpleTrails
 
tdcrjeff wrote:
franklins_timmy wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:32 am @Jon S. or anybody else. Jon I understand the modal stuff & know the modes but have a hard time making them sound different. Since modes share the same 7 notes just in a different order/sequence how can you make them sound different? I know start on an A note for A major/ionian, B for B dorian, E for E mixo, etc... but once you get going it's all the same notes & I end up feeling like I am just playing the parent scale (major). Not sure if I am explaing very well. Franklins Tower for example is A mixo but how do you make it sound different than D major or any of the other modes beside starting on the A? Take hitting chord tones out just for this instance & focusing on playing the correct mode.

Thanks
But a big part of it is the chord tones. Check out this video:
Discovered Michael Palmisano early in the sequestration. He got turned onto the dead about a year ago, and has a series of reaction videos where he's going through videos and assessing what Jerry and the rest of the band are doing from a theory point of view. Pretty interesting stuff, and it's very cool to see his reactions as someone relatively new to the Dead seeing and hearing a ripping performance.

He's got a great one where he goes through the album version, a live Jerry version and a Mayer version of US Blues talking about what is being done on each. He's by no means an expert on playing Jerry-style, but has a good way of figuring out what is being done, why it works and how to translate the theory to improve your playing.

Think he's picked up at least 50,000 followers on youtube once he started turning into a deadhead, and passed 100,000 a while back.
 #168348  by LazyLightning72
 
Been having a blast recently with some improv over backing tracks. I prefer ones where it’s the boys playing looped.

The deeper I get into the Mixolydian scale, I find myself hearing little Garcia’ish licks in my playing almost on accident. If that makes any sense.

Tonight I’m going to start making an audio catalog of my progress. Something I wish I had done for years. Better late than never though imho.

Also going to start making my own backing tracks with audacity. I heard an incredible 74 Eyes today, and would love to play along with it.
 #168640  by LazyLightning72
 
So I’ve still been working on mixolydian, and have the positions down. Still working a bit on my speed, but that’s always an ongoing process for a while.

Recently when playing against a backing track, or a loop I have made, I keep finding myself doing something. Mixing it up a bit, moving back and forth between whatever position I am playing in mixolydian, and shifting over to a pentatonic shape, then back again.

Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much. However is really gives a better perspective of how they can play off of each other. If that makes any sense to anyone outside of my brain, lol!

Which got me thinking,
I think I’m going to work on some blues scales here and there too. The way I see it, blues is what gave way to rock at least imho. When “rock” really got momentum, theses guys were pulling from ideas found in blues. So in a way, the blues (and again this is just a personal opinion) is the foundation upon which early rock was built from.

I mean if I am just flat out wrong, please correct me, maybe I am looking at it the wrong way.

Also, on a side note.
Recording myself has, and going back and listening, not only to my progression, but to what I was playing at any given moment. Has given me a perspective I’ve never had. One of those things I should have done from day one, but better late than never.

Hope your all having a great weekend!
 #168652  by wabisabied
 
Glad things are going well @LazyLighting72. Movement between modes and scales is a great thing to work on.

And yes you should dig into the blues scales, major and minor. It will be easy to internalize them quickly, as they are nothing more than the Pentatonic scales with one added note. Major blues adds the flatted 3rd to the major pentatonic scale (same note that makes a chord minor.) Minor blues adds the flatted 5th to the minor pentatonic scale (same note that makes a diminished chord.) These create consecutive chromatic intervals within both scales, something you won’t get in pentatonic scales or any mode.

I find the major blues scale works quite nicely along side Mixolydian mode. It fits right within its 7 notes, plus the flatted 3rd, so that’s 8 notes to work with. Align those notes with chord tones, especially the ones that define the chord changes, and you will really start to enjoy your recordings.
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 #169666  by wpmartin1979
 
LazyLightning72 wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:33 pm Ok,
Now that I am getting back into playing after such a long time, I want to use this as an opportunity to fix some really bad habits I have.

One of the worst habits I fell into and never corrected came while learning a song. I could learn the different parts, sometimes by ear, others with tab. I’d get to where I could play it and move onto the next one. I never stopped to learn any “theory” of any kind. I could play the solo to a song, but have no idea what scale was used, etc...

When I came back to playing in ‘13/‘14 (After many years without playing at all, didn’t even own a guitar during that time) I tried to do what I’m setting out to do now. I learned the 5 position of the minor pentatonic, but knowing and using them in a meaningful way are two different things. Unfortunately right as I started to make any headway I broke my neck in 2015. Well everything, including playing guitar came to a screeching hault.

Without learning these things I am having a VERY hard time, when it comes to doing my own soloing, or even improv.

Anyhow,
Its time to fix this. I doubt anyone following my gear threads has any question I’m trying to play similar to Jerry. I have no delusions that I will ever play exactly like him, because I am not him. I do however believe it is very possible, to learn to play in a way that is similar in many aspects.

Every time I look up where to start with scales, modes, whatever, I see one of two answers. Either the 5 positions of the minor pentatonic is suggested, or the major scale because it is the start of all “theory”, that everything, chords, modes, etc... all come from knowing the major scale/positions

From some of you that already have a grasp on some theory, what is the best way to approach this? Should I just start over where I left off with the minor pentatonic, or learn the major scale first?
Not sure if anyone else mentioned this but I would learn triads. I wish I had leaned them earlier. Scales will weigh you down. However, you do need to learn your major scale positions up and down the neck. Anything beyond that is a bit excessive. Modes are not even that important although they will make sense to you as you progress - they are just the major / minor scale.
Triads are the secret sauce. Whenever you hear people say ‘melody’ or ‘chord tones’ they are essentially referring to triads. Jerry was a master at stringing together triads. Learn them on each set of strings (1-3, 2-4, 3-6). Learn them up and down the neck. These are all the notes that make the guitar sing.
Whenever you learn a song learn the chords and progression first, don’t worry about the key or the scale. Then when you solo play the triads that follow the chord progression.
Yes, there is more to it then that but that is essentially Jerry’s mindset. He’s not thinking about scales at all.
Sorry for the long winded answer!
There are some great lessons on YouTube for triads!
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 #169687  by LazyLightning72
 
Thanks for the suggestion, a little over a months ago, I started looking into triads. I can definitely see the benefit.

As for the scales, I have Mixo, and minor pentatonic down. I just need to work on my speed and accuracy more. Looking into the caged system, as well as a few other things.

I really wish I had learned these things when I first started playing in my teens. I think back at all the songs I could play all the way through, but had no idea why they worked, if that makes sense. Now I finally do, and thinking if I had back then, my playing would be on a completely different level then it is now.

But as they say, better late than never.
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 #169689  by wpmartin1979
 
LazyLightning72 wrote: Mon Feb 08, 2021 1:16 pm Thanks for the suggestion, a little over a months ago, I started looking into triads. I can definitely see the benefit.

As for the scales, I have Mixo, and minor pentatonic down. I just need to work on my speed and accuracy more. Looking into the caged system, as well as a few other things.

I really wish I had learned these things when I first started playing in my teens. I think back at all the songs I could play all the way through, but had no idea why they worked, if that makes sense. Now I finally do, and thinking if I had back then, my playing would be on a completely different level then it is now.

But as they say, better late than never.
All Mixo means is that the chord progression has a flat seven in it. It’s just a major scale with a flat 7th. That’s an easy way to look at it! So just take the seventh note of the scale and move it back a fret on the guitar.

Jerry used the major pentatonic a lot in the early days through the 70s. A good example is the album solo from Frankin’s Tower on Blues For Allah record...it’s all A Major Pentatonic, but then by the 90s it’s all triads and arpeggios. Same can be said for the song Deal on the Garcia album, all A Major pentatonic - he uses that scale a lot in the 70s!
Fun to study how Jerry’s playing progresses over time - he was vey fluid and quite prolific, always moving forward!!!
 #169697  by LazyLightning72
 
wpmartin1979 wrote: Mon Feb 08, 2021 1:59 pm
LazyLightning72 wrote: Mon Feb 08, 2021 1:16 pm Thanks for the suggestion, a little over a months ago, I started looking into triads. I can definitely see the benefit.

As for the scales, I have Mixo, and minor pentatonic down. I just need to work on my speed and accuracy more. Looking into the caged system, as well as a few other things.

I really wish I had learned these things when I first started playing in my teens. I think back at all the songs I could play all the way through, but had no idea why they worked, if that makes sense. Now I finally do, and thinking if I had back then, my playing would be on a completely different level then it is now.

But as they say, better late than never.
All Mixo means is that the chord progression has a flat seven in it. It’s just a major scale with a flat 7th. That’s an easy way to look at it! So just take the seventh note of the scale and move it back a fret on the guitar.

Jerry used the major pentatonic a lot in the early days through the 70s. A good example is the album solo from Frankin’s Tower on Blues For Allah record...it’s all A Major Pentatonic, but then by the 90s it’s all triads and arpeggios. Same can be said for the song Deal on the Garcia album, all A Major pentatonic - he uses that scale a lot in the 70s!
Fun to study how Jerry’s playing progresses over time - he was vey fluid and quite prolific, always moving forward!!!
Indeed Jerry was, my closest friend just started playing a couple months ago. He has already begun to gain a bigger appreciation for what Jerry was doing, as well as Bobby for that matter.

Watching his understanding of the Band we all love grow in those terms is very inspiring.
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