Loose jamming to Althea...

RaySachs

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 25, 2017
1,814
Philly area
Just messing around this morning making a looper track of the basic progression to my favorite Dead tune ever and then decided to make a quick Youtube of some jamming over it.

I'm not one to post much of my own stuff, but you all seem like a gentle bunch. I've got no chops and no theory, but if I have any feel or taste, this is what it sounds like...



-Ray
 

nickmsmith

Dr. Stratster
Jul 28, 2011
14,194
USA
I've got no chops and no theory,



-Ray

Yeah you do, you just don't recognize it.

Even if you don't have the words to describe it, or the notation on paper.. you've got the theory in your head, clearly.

And "chops" are overrated. I consider what you are doing more listenable than a lot of people with "chops."
 

Electgumbo

Not Of This Earth
Dec 26, 2010
12,746
Scott, La.
Don’t know how long you’ve been playing but you got a good start. Didn’t hear any sour notes and you kept it simple. Keep working at it!
 

RaySachs

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 25, 2017
1,814
Philly area
Thanks all for the kind comments. This one is my favorite though - an unintentional backhanded compliment of enormous proportions...

Don’t know how long you’ve been playing but you got a good start. Didn’t hear any sour notes and you kept it simple. Keep working at it!

Well, I started in about 1978, so at this rate by about 2378 I might be getting somewhere!

Actually, I played a lot of three chord rock and roll and and blues and played a lot for about 7-8 years when I was a kid. Even played with some bands and a regular duo and played a few times for some decent crowds. And back then, when I was playing a lot, I still kept it simple, went for whatever level of soul I could manage, but played a lot louder and more aggressively and with a fair amount of overdrive and fuzz. Unlike now. And then I more or less didn't play for 30+ years, just occasionally getting back into it for a month or two, just long enough to start getting callouses again and then letting it slip again as life continually got in the way. I got back into it last year but I have no ambitions beyond entertaining myself. Nowdays I've lost almost all of the rock and roll mojo and play just mellow blues and spacey stuff like this video.

I play guitar like I used to play golf - I don't worry about how bad the round is as long as I hit a few inspired shots - they're all I tend to remember after I'm done. So when I'm just playing, I revel in the moments of inspiration and barely even hear the clams and dull majority of what I play.

-Ray
 

808K

Senior Stratmaster
Apr 24, 2018
1,131
Philly, USA
Nice playing!

Althea is what turned John Mayer onto the Dead. The story goes that he was listening to XM radio in his car and Althea came on. Apparently Garcia’s playing inspired him to dig deeper into the Dead’s songbook and Garcia’s work.

Edit: So he first heard it on Pandora radio. I had to look it up. Don’t blame me, I’m old.
 

RaySachs

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 25, 2017
1,814
Philly area
Yeah you do, you just don't recognize it.

Even if you don't have the words to describe it, or the notation on paper.. you've got the theory in your head, clearly.

And "chops" are overrated. I consider what you are doing more listenable than a lot of people with "chops."
Well I don't think I ever left the B minor pentatonic in any of this except maybe for a passing note or two. I do have the minor pentatonic for any key pretty well internalized at this point and I'm getting almost as unconscious with the major pentatonic. But I rarely switch keys as the chords change - just try to find the notes that sound best within the scale I'm playing in. But I appreciate that you think there's more to it than that!

And I agree with you completely on chops - obviously the more of them you have, the more doors are open to you, but they too often become the point instead of the music part of it. I'm not sure if that's an excuse or rationalization but it's all I've got!

-Ray
 

nickmsmith

Dr. Stratster
Jul 28, 2011
14,194
USA
And I agree with you completely on chops - obviously the more of them you have, the more doors are open to you, but they too often become the point instead of the music part of it. I'm not sure if that's an excuse or rationalization but it's all I've got!

-Ray
A lot (excessive amount) of focus is put onto "lead guitar" in the form of soloing, but in reality.. in most genres, a small fraction of the music is spent soloing by the guitarist. and you did a fine job there, at it.
 
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RaySachs

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 25, 2017
1,814
Philly area
Nice playing!

Althea is what turned John Mayer onto the Dead. The story goes that he was listening to XM radio in his car and Althea came on. Apparently Garcia’s playing inspired him to dig deeper into the Dead’s songbook and Garcia’s work.
Yeah, I know - I read that recently too. I was already pretty into them and had been going to shows for a few years when they first started playing it. I first heard it on the Go To Heaven album and then saw them play it in the spring or summer of 1980 in Phoenix and I'll never forget the first time I heard it, just thinking "this song is everything that's wonderful about Jerry Garcia and Dead - it's all right here in one place". I consider that a bit after their songwriting prime, but damn, they sure nailed it on that one. And actually hearing Mayer playing it was the first time I started thinking there may be something worthwhile in this latest iteration of the Dead. I didn't like much of the pos-Jerry stuff at all, but I think he's really growing into that role nicely. I haven't been to a show since about 2002 or 2003 and had gotten really disappointed with all of the post Jerry configurations, but I may go back the next time they come around. I recently read the book about the post-Jerry years and I sort of get why I never loved any of those bands - sounds like a real sh!t-show of backbiting and internal politics that Jerry smoothed over when he was alive but came to the fore when he wasn't. But to the extent that Phil was the poison, better he stays home and plays in the Bay Area while Bobby and the drummers tour with Mayer...

-Ray
 

808K

Senior Stratmaster
Apr 24, 2018
1,131
Philly, USA
Yeah, I know - I read that recently too. I was already pretty into them and had been going to shows for a few years when they first started playing it. I first heard it on the Go To Heaven album and then saw them play it in the spring or summer of 1980 in Phoenix and I'll never forget the first time I heard it, just thinking "this song is everything that's wonderful about Jerry Garcia and Dead - it's all right here in one place". I consider that a bit after their songwriting prime, but damn, they sure nailed it on that one. And actually hearing Mayer playing it was the first time I started thinking there may be something worthwhile in this latest iteration of the Dead. I didn't like much of the pos-Jerry stuff at all, but I think he's really growing into that role nicely. I haven't been to a show since about 2002 or 2003 and had gotten really disappointed with all of the post Jerry configurations, but I may go back the next time they come around. I recently read the book about the post-Jerry years and I sort of get why I never loved any of those bands - sounds like a real sh!t-show of backbiting and internal politics that Jerry smoothed over when he was alive but came to the fore when he wasn't. But to the extent that Phil was the poison, better he stays home and plays in the Bay Area while Bobby and the drummers tour with Mayer...

-Ray
Your thread was the last one I read before leaving work yesterday. I got in my car and the radio was tuned to the XM Dead station. And in one of those cosmic Dead coincidences, what do you think was playing? Yup, Althea, and by Dead and Company. Sweet.

I feel the same way as you about all the post Garcia Dead bands. Never took a liking to them...until Dead and Company. Mayer just has the right feel, not copying Jerry’s licks, but having the right spirit. As good a replacement as could be had...IMO.

I highly recommend you check out a Dead and Company Show, I think you will have a good time. The outdoor shows (Camden) seem to be more enjoyable than the indoor shows. And everybody in the band just seems to be having a really fun time playing together, you can really sense it.

I read the same book, it was a pretty pathetic situation. But Oteil is a dynamite bass player, loved him back with the ABB. And he sings way better than Phil lol.

Ok, enough Dead talk for this metal forum ha ha.
 

RaySachs

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 25, 2017
1,814
Philly area
Your thread was the last one I read before leaving work yesterday. I got in my car and the radio was tuned to the XM Dead station. And in one of those cosmic Dead coincidences, what do you think was playing? Yup, Althea, and by Dead and Company. Sweet.

I feel the same way as you about all the post Garcia Dead bands. Never took a liking to them...until Dead and Company. Mayer just has the right feel, not copying Jerry’s licks, but having the right spirit. As good a replacement as could be had...IMO.

I highly recommend you check out a Dead and Company Show, I think you will have a good time. The outdoor shows (Camden) seem to be more enjoyable than the indoor shows. And everybody in the band just seems to be having a really fun time playing together, you can really sense it.

I read the same book, it was a pretty pathetic situation. But Oteil is a dynamite bass player, loved him back with the ABB. And he sings way better than Phil lol.

Ok, enough Dead talk for this metal forum ha ha.
Nice moment to have Althea come on like that. I've had too many of those "Dead moments" to count over the years. I'd love to see Dead and Co. I'm getting to the point I hate dealing with crowds, but once I got to the show, I'd be over that. They're on my radar and the next time they come around, I'll make the effort to check 'em out.

Yeah, Otell is a way better singer than Phil - I think I may be the only person I've heard who's actually a worse singer than Phil and it's not by much! Reading about the politics was a real drag, but I'm glad they all managed to come together for those Fare Thee Well shows and put it to bed with less of a sour taste in their mouths. And the other three guys are kind of having their "success is the best revenge" moment now because I think Dead and Co appears to be a lot more successful than any of the Phil and Friends lineups over the years. And I'm sure Phil's very happy to be off the road and enjoying his scene in the Bay Area, so it seems to have all worked out for the best...

Regarding my recording above, I just did it yesterday morning not long before I posted it and it sounded pretty OK to me, so I put it out here. Listened to it again just now and it honestly sounds like crap to me. I should probably not record myself (I do it really rarely anyway) because in the moment, my mind passes right over the clams and focusses on (and probably embellishes!) the good moments. But on a recording, I pass right over the good stuff and only really hear the clams and they sound worse every time I go back to it. Lesson learned!!!! I enjoy the playing too much to worry about stuff like that!

-Ray
 

Triple Jim

Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar
Silver Member
Feb 27, 2018
8,160
North Carolina
Nice playing. It's funny that I misread your title and thought I was going to hear Alethea, not Althea. :)

(Trower vs. Grateful Dead)
 


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