I love the way Trey plays but I have a specific question about some of their jams. They often have a point in a jam where you hear the whole band kind of switch and start a slow climb with a ton of tension that usually resolves with Trey hitting an awesome bend way up the neck. (if you are failliar with Phish you should know what I'm talking about). Anyhow, I'm wondering if anyone can offer some insight into what they are doing musically in these instances. They really are masters of tension and release. Just knowing how to creat that kind of tension and correctly resolve can make a mediocre musician sound really good! Any tips here? Also while we're at it, any other insight on trey's technique would be great!
I know exactly what you mean. Phish is truly one of the most unfairly underrated bands of our time. Its always a relief to see someone bring these guys up. One thing they do to create tension is to experiment with dissonance. So a lot of times when they go into those long climbs that are doing things like using the chromatic scale to add dissonant notes and kind of break down the established key. They do a lot of weird things like for example (and this is on Trey's own words) they will overlap time signatures. So maybe Try will play 11/8 while John plays 7/8 while Mike plays 3/8, and they cycle through until eventually they hit a common denominator and all the time signatures come together. This would be a good time to hit that huge bend. Its hard to say what precisely makes them so good at tension and release, but mess around with these kind of ideas.
I know that they have done that but I'm talking about the harmonic and melodic phrases. It seems like Trey will grab a note and the rest of the band follows along and they go into this twisted dissonant run for a few bars that usually ends with Trey somewhere above the 17th fret on a huge bend and the band resolving to the tonic. What are they doing there?