Jerry Garcia

It’s fun smashing stereotypes. Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead were, of course, known for their extended modal explorations, but pigeonholing Garcia as favoring “endless one-chord jams” (as some 6-string elitists did) was simply unfair. In fact, as is the case with most stereotyping, this demonstrated a profound ignorance of the subject at hand, as it completely ignored the Dead’s impressive compositional forays into odd meter, extended harmony, and key modulation. For instance, check out how this high-flying phrase soars through a variety of harmonies and sequenced licks before landing in the cozy key of A minor, much like Garcia did on his famous “Help on the Way/Slipknot” interlude (which was transcribed in the December 2005 GP). Crack your knuckles on that!
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