Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

Musical Theory Abound!!!
 #104567  by austinhumphrey
 Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:08 pm
i cannot understand how jerry does it. i know some of the scales he used but whenever i try to apply it to a song it just doesn't sound right, i don't know what it is exactly but it always comes out like crap. i know this question has been asked 1000's of times but how can i sound more like jerry? i've heard about the CAGED system but i'm not sure what it is. anything will help, i'm kinda knew to playing grateful dead tunes, Thanks.
 #104573  by WildEye
 Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:09 pm
I find with a lot of tunes you just can't get away with playing a scale (some you can) but a good rule of thumb is to think what cord is being played - and play that pentatonic - when the chord changes so do you. It's a good place to start but by no means 'the answer". I do also find alot of mixolydian. I'm working on the same thing myself - and trying to do my own thing but have it very rooted in Jerry. Bird song is a good one cuz the jam is over E and I can focus more on melody and riffs and not worry about the chord progression. Stagger and Loser have pretty easy changes to follow and improvise on. Songs like MHST keep me on my toes and I don't improvise very well as and generally play the same licks over. I've been working on learning tunes for the past few years and there are much more qualified people on this board to help - but that was my answer to that first hurdle.
 #104575  by spilly
 Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:54 pm
i haven't logged on in a long time but i still browse every now and then. he's a link to a lesson i posted on caged theory a long time ago
 #104759  by trking8
 Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:54 am
forget about scales and theory for now - just do the melody.

do it strong and clear. try the smallest variations off it.

work on slow tunes. that's what jerry did for Positively Fourth street, Dixie, etc.

don't force it, maybe add a passing note or two to the melody, take your time, no hurry. eventually you'll see passing notes and scales that fit in, but don't worry about it.

good exercise? do a couple of very very simple bb king riffs (I have that on one of my youtube vids, I think). work on your tone and phrasing. sounding good has nothing to do with how many notes you play - it's how you tell your story.

good luck, bud.