#171305  by FromWichita
Playing the melody is in Jerry's DNA.
I think I saw/heard Merle Saunders say "Jerry liked to play things sweet." I had an instant recognition of what he was getting at.

"Talking about music is like dancing about architecture."
 #171306  by Jon S.
FromWichita wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 12:42 pmI think I saw/heard Merle Saunders say "Jerry liked to play things sweet." I had an instant recognition of what he was getting at.

"Talking about music is like dancing about architecture."
On your first point, I think John Mayer intended the same observation with his words below.

On your second point - the Zappa quote - this is an area where I think FZ, who, third only to the Dead and Tuna I've been more live shows than any other band, got it wrong. Sure, I know what he intended to mean. But, ultimately, one absolutely can communicate concerning a genre or sense through a different genre or a different sense. Think about it - we all do it every day.

"To best understand what makes Garcia’s guitar playing so unique, it helps to start with what it sidesteps: though it drew from blues and R&B, his guitar approach left a few traditional elements out of the equation, he didn’t play from that wellworn feral, sexual place that traditional blues music traded in, nor did he really touch the sinister aspects that were born into the idiom. Garcia didn’t sing about wanting to rock a young woman all night long, and any of his deals with the devil existed metaphorically as mere setbacks. (What’s 20 bucks, anyway?) These changes affect the fundamental color palette of the storytelling. I’m not sure the sun ever rises in Chicago blues music, but in the musical storytelling of Garcia and the Grateful Dead, it shines so bright it hurts.

On a more technical note, he played most often in a major blues scale, which added to this mix of innocence, and even joy. Minor blues notes lend themselves to the exquisiteness of pain, while major blues scales kind of explore the relief from it. Garcia played to relieve people of pain. That melodic innocence must have something to do with bringing so many people to their “happy place.” He wasn’t pulling notes from an anguished place within, he was catching them with a butterfly net as they went flitting by overhead. On a tactile level, he held the guitar with grace. It wasn’t a weapon, it was a vehicle. He took it easy. He may have played fast, but he was thinking slow. And that makes us listen with a smile."

John Mayer (forward to Secret Space Of Dreams by Jay Blakesberg, foreward titled, "The Past, in Present Tense")
FromWichita liked this
 #171318  by Tennessee Jedi
RobertMedica wrote: Tue May 25, 2021 7:43 am Hello Rukind, I am Robert and am 16 years old from Chicago. I've been playing guitar for a little over 2 years now. The reason I picked up guitar was because of the grateful dead so I always find myself playing them whenever I pick it up. lately I have been stuck trying to expand my soloing and often find myself doing the same licks over and over again and playing the same old scales. Does anyone have any help to get me out of this ditch i'm in?
Lots of great sage advice from the RU Kind crew but in order for theory to become the practical you need to eventually apply it - finding others to make music with can push you to improve by listening to what the others are playing
Find a drummer and work on your strum hand /rhythm skills ; get the fret hand technique down - muting / positioning / strength
Remember playing a great lead might be just single note lines but it always must be a rhythmically strong phrase and at 16 I would concentrate on rhythmic consistency

Need inspiration for new riffs and other jam ideas ?
Listen to music you might NOT think about listening to : Horn guys play great lines for instance

Practice up and then get out there and tear it up

Bill Parcells sums it up best

strumminsix liked this
 #171383  by FromWichita
TI4-1009 wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 1:59 pm "Sustained intensity equals ecstasy." - Wynton Marsalis

The rare "Ultra Glide" moments. :musicsmile:
Two embryonic responses were conceived when I first read your reply about "rare Ultra Glide moments".
The first was about how the vast output of live and to a lesser degree, studio Dead, and the uncountable instances of sustained intense music sparking ecstasy are there for everyone to check out, but there's a great part of the population who have no idea. In my various attempts to explain how special the Dead are compared to pretty much every other band in history has to do with the thousands of hours of live improvisatory music. I mean, I'd been really into the Beatles, who have great songs, but you generally only have the one studio version on whatever album. A little analogy would be the Dead created an ocean and the Beatles issued a river.

The other thought's gestation period that took longer and it has to do with a version of "West LA Fadeaway " (which was inspired/informed by the tragic overdose death of close Dead friend John Belushi at the Chateau Hotel) that I listened to rather recently - I don't remember what show - in which Jerry, at the end of the song when he repeats the first verse but reduces the duration of time he wants to use a room at the Chateau - not just from "an hour or two" to "a minute or two", but to "a second or two"! It was the only time I ever heard that variation.

On a tangentially related note, there's an early, say 1984 version of "Touch of Grey" in which it's not the dog that hasn't been fed for years but a cat. I really like early versions of Touch o' Grey. The first performance was on 9.15.82 as the encore! The whole show Jerry is at the peak of his powers, btw. So, Touch started out with a bouncier, more swinging vibe which obviously evolved into what became crystallized on 'In the Dark'. My favorite version is probably from Greek Theater 7.13.84 - it occurs between Scarlet Begonias and Fire on the Mountain, and that whole suite, which opens the 2nd set is a must-listen! It may be the version where he swaps in the cat for the dog.

"You should take that into account when you write a song - it should be fun to play. When you write a song that's a chore to play, the performances never sound anything but strained." - Jerome Garcia