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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Well, Well

3 comments:

  1. Gene likes the "Dead"? Now that is a surprise to me.

    When I was a kid all of the deadheads would camp at Dover Lake (about 10 minutes from my house) whenever the band made it around (sometimes they would even show up for a low-key jam). While I wouldn't call myself a deadhead (I do own a number of albums, mostly live), I have always found Jerry to be a great soloist (like swing-bluegrass) and Weir to be one of the best rhythm guitarists ever (his loose, jammy-style comping is second to none).

    Just out of curiosity, do you play at all, Gene?

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  2. I played percussion in a reggae band for about 10 years.

    The photo is of a member of the British diplomatic core, who also happens to be the curator of the Grateful Dead song archive, wind surfing to work during a London Underground strike.

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  3. Hmm, that's interesting. Listens to the "Dead" and used to play percussion in a reggae band... Hmmm? Eh, I won't even go there. ;)

    I've been playing guitar and bass for about 22 years, piano for about 10 years. I actually wanted to play drums most of my life, but due to the fact that there is no way to practice/play them quietly I never got around to it.

    That changed about 7 months ago when I bought an electronic kit (Roland TD-9SX), I've hardly touched my other instruments since. Due to the fact that throughout the years I would always hop behind my drummer's kits during practices and that my internal clock has long been honed and established, drumming is coming pretty naturally to me. I still need to practice more on the rudiments and such, but I can still jam. Eventually, I will get an acoustic kit.

    Oh, I meant to say "swingin' bluegrass" (not swing bluegrass) when describing Jerry's soloing style. It is very obvious that he had very jazz-like phrasing, as well as using particular interval jumps that come straight from jazz, but he also had that bluegrass style.

    Jazz phrasing (aka swingin) is very different than most other styles because of the way it sees 8th notes. For instance, if you want to play two consecutive 8th notes, you don't play them in the normal sense, rather you imagine them as a single triplet, just without the middle note. Ex. Trip-el-et becomes trip-___-let. If you listen to Jerry's longer runs, you can distinctly hear it (sounds like he's swingin).

    While I love music in all of its forms and can appreciate just about anything, jazz has always had a specialness to me. While it was its shear difficulty that first attracted me to it, once you've practiced and practiced (and, practiced some more) you find that you can play the notes that appear in your mind without even thinking about it. It is at this point that it becomes one of the purest ways of expressing yourself musically (improvisation).

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