#2
Really depends on the song that you are talking about. A scale doesn't really achieve the sound of a band.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#4
Quote by tate.givans
MaggaraMarine I guess I just mean what's the scale/mode used for the majority of that style of guitar playing? For improvisation

The scale will depend on the chords in the song.  If you know the chords, all you need to do is add up the notes in the chords.

I could say that Jerry Garcia was known for mixolydian mode (much like Carlos Santana is for dorian mode), but that makes no sense if you can't link it to the song.  
Firstly, mixolydian mode is not always suitable (even where it fits most of a song, it might not work on the rest).  
Secondly - which mixolydian mode? How well do you understand modes? (Tip - they're not fret patterns)
Thridly - mixolydian mode is a kind of standard rock scale anyway.  Nothing specifically "Grateful Dead" about it.

Seriously, work from the chords (and listen to the Dead and play along), and you can't go wrong.  I mean, it can be tough for a beginner, but it's the right path.  Applying a scale or mode from outside, according to some theoretical principle, is not the path.
Last edited by jonriley64 at Sep 14, 2017,
#5
The best way would be to just learn a lot of their songs and solos. This way you will learn their style. Just playing the "correct" scale will not achieve any sound (for example just because Steve Vai likes Lydian doesn't mean that playing the Lydian scale will make you sound like Steve Vai - it's not that easy), and the guitarist of Grateful Dead would still sound like himself regardless of the scale he used. So if you want to achieve that sound, you just need to learn their music. You will start noticing certain kind of patterns that they tend to use in their songs. I'm not familiar with their music, but this same principle applies to learning to sound like any band/guitarist - you just need to learn a lot of their songs.

And yeah, the scale you should choose has to do with the chords that you are playing over - the scale needs to fit the chords (i.e., it needs to have chord tones in it).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#6
tate.givans 

It's a good question, and I can see why you might associate the "sound" of Grateful Dead songs to a certain "scale".   But more times than not, it is a Major or minor scale type thing, with other scale notes, such as a b7, from Mixolydian.

Where you'd really get insight, is to break down the scales and notes as they fall over certain chords.   So, then....is it a chord tone?  a Tension?  An extension, etc.     Also, it would be helpful to understand the harmonic tendencies of intervals.  Intervals as a whole, are great and essential to analyze what you are hearing.  

Dont just analyze guitar solos.  Study the melody lines as well. GD are a very melodically rich and intuitive band, when it comes to catching the ear.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Sean
#7
Quote by tate.givans
What Scales/modes to play Grateful Dead?

the few radio "hits" the dead had..try "truckin"  now you can get the sheet music and learn all the chords and the melody and even the solo..but you need to feel the songs ..learning all the scales etc will not get what you are trying to "hear"..learn the songs until you are able to play them with some of the feeling you get when you hear the dead play them..there is no easy way to get the "sound" of a song but to keep playing it until it starts to become part of you..also try playing with other musicians-more advanced than you- on the songs..you will grow musically much faster. Scales are one small part of music..and by themselves they are rather boring to play. 
play well

wolf
#8
Quote by jonriley64
The scale will depend on the chords in the song.  If you know the chords, all you need to do is add up the notes in the chords.

I could say that Jerry Garcia was known for mixolydian mode (much like Carlos Santana is for dorian mode), but that makes no sense if you can't link it to the song.  
Firstly, mixolydian mode is not always suitable (even where it fits most of a song, it might not work on the rest).  
Secondly - which mixolydian mode? How well do you understand modes? (Tip - they're not fret patterns)
Thridly - mixolydian mode is a kind of standard rock scale anyway.  Nothing specifically "Grateful Dead" about it.

Seriously, work from the chords (and listen to the Dead and play along), and you can't go wrong.  I mean, it can be tough for a beginner, but it's the right path.  Applying a scale or mode from outside, according to some theoretical principle, is not the path.


Do we need a mode jar for every time that somebody uses the word "mode" to describe something that isn't modal?
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#9
The Grateful Dead use every common scale just like any well-rounded improv group would, the most common of course being just the major scale. Their sound comes much more from rhythm, chord choice, good lyric/melody writing, vocal harmonies, and energetically exploring every possibility during their improv. If you want to sound like Jerry you have to study Jerry, you have to find out the chords to the songs and figure out by ear what he's doing as it relates to the chords. Often it doesn't fall neatly into a particular scale, there are a couple songs where he won't hesitate to use all 12 notes but they're not random, they relate to the chords and to a smooth melody line.

Edit: oh yeah and tone. Tone is a huge factor.
#10
Quote by theogonia777
Do we need a mode jar for every time that somebody uses the word "mode" to describe something that isn't modal?

a jar??...perhaps several 55 gallon drums
play well

wolf