Std at 12 feet That kind of tension and release is important in all music, but in improvised music, you as the bass player have a lot of control over how that tension builds and when it is released. Grateful Dead – Phil Lesh on Eyes Of The World: Grateful Dead Photography 1965-1995. Phil plays the root B on the first beat of each pattern (i.e., downbeat of mm. 7); and 2/3/78 from Madison, WI (Dick’s Picks Vol. I’ve transcribed four passes through this pattern and labeled them A, B, C, and D in the excerpt so it’s easy to keep track of where we are. Big thanks to all the mirror sites! The groove is stable, and sometimes you want that. Biografia. Phillip Chapman Lesh (born March 15, 1940 in Berkeley, California) is a musician and a founding member of the Grateful Dead, with whom he played bass guitar throughout their 30-year career. With each decade and lineup change, however, the band's rig evolved. As we see from these three performances, Lesh does not have a specific bass line that he plays for this song. Columbia Records. Columbia Records. In most situations, we can’t get away with Phil… Phil Lesh - Bass. We hate spam as much as you do! Phil Lesh Amps An illustration of The Grateful Dead’s live sound rig (aka Wall of Sound), circa 1974. Since the death of Jerry Garcia he has performed with numerous different artist, and worked on many projects. Share your email with us and we'll send you a new jam everyday! Finishes & Inlays. In fact, the only note outside of D pentatonic in the transcriptions is the G# near the end of the 3rd measure of the performance from the Alexandra Palace. Believe me ,it's a no-brainer! Only charm. So, if you’re going for that authentic Grateful Dead sound, give your bandmates fair warning, then dive headfirst into the Phil Zone. Given that this song usually includes an extended jam section, Lesh will gradually discard these parameters as the band moves toward free improvisation. For the Dead, the studio version is often the least definitive. THIS SOUNDBOARD IS **FREE** THANKS TO PHIL & FRIENDS (WWW.PHILLESH.NET) His bass line from the 1978 show in Madison is the most regular. Yes, we know that real Deadheads already know everything there is to know about Lesh's life and times, but hopefully we've come up with five things that will at least surprise some of you. “Dark Star” was a vehicle for some of the Grateful Dead’s most experimental improvisation. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. It is Phil Lesh — a jazz player turned avant-garde composer turned rock and roll bassist who provides the powerful but melodic bass lines that help give the Dead's music its exotic, but easily recognizable, flavor. You can subscribe at any time. Publisher V.I.E., LLC. “Playing in the Band” is one of the Dead songs that became a vehicle for extended jams. Another issue is that the Dead aren’t just known for improvisations—the Dead are known for long improvisations. It is one that suits the Dead’s style of music very well. His style is unique and not very "rock-like". Review – Best of Extreme Bass Transcriptions by Aidan Hampson, Bergantino Audio Systems Welcomes Bassist Daniel Sing, Review: The Return, Deep Energy Orchestra. Notice the arch shapes in Phil’s line each time he moves away from A. Berkeley, California. But it also requires a lot of trust and understanding from other members of the band who may be expecting more traditional bass lines. A Phil Lesh stage played Modulus 6-string bass circa 1990 features in a collection of iconic rock 'n' roll gear and memorabilia up for auction this summer. This presents a hurdle if you want to learn to play a song the way Phil played it. Lesh commissioned an inlay on his fretless bass, and introduced him to Bear and Ron Wickersham — and so Alembic was born. Even the songs with a fairly strict structure will vary from performance to performance. Philip Lesh (born Philip Chapman, March 15, 1940) is an American musician and a founding member of the Grateful Dead, with whom he played bass guitar throughout their 30-year career. Garcia and Lesh is my all time favorite guitarist bassist combo. Lesh provided bass, with Ross James and Grahame Lesh on guitar and vocals. Lesh is primarily improvising with an A mixolydian scale. In this... “Jingle Bell Rock” Hello bass players and fans of bass playing! His two biggest projects are "The Dead" which is the surviving memebers of the Grateful Dead. Again, as the jam goes on, he gradually adds dissonance, but he periodically reasserts A mixolydian to keep things from going completely off the rails. She was the girlfriend of Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, and introduced the two of them — Rick had done an inlay on a bass for Jesse Colin Young, so she thought they’d have something to talk about. Lesh’s amplification and effects use runs in concert with his ever evolving use of the bass itself. But it also requires a lot of trust and understanding from other members of the band who may be expecting more traditional bass lines. The performance from 1973 is the most syncopated.Notice how few notes fall on the beat. One thing to notice is that Lesh lands on a strong root D on beat 1 of each 10-beat measure (i.e., the first beat of A, B, C, and D). The longer he avoids it, the more the tension builds. Available at dealers. The arrows above the 5th and 9th measures indicate where we expect him to land on B, but he consciously avoids it. Box Of Rain *With Karl Denson On Flute Phil Lesh - Bass And Vocals Grahame Lesh - Guitar And Vocals Ross James - Guitar And Vocals Jason Crosby - Keyboards And Vocals Scott Law - Guitar And Vocals Eliot Peck - Vocals Alex Koford - Drums And Vocals Topics: Audience, Tony Suraci Source: AKG 568B>V2>SD 722 @24/48 Location: OTS, at SBD. In fact, sometimes you need that. Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band - Samson & Delilah (Hebrew Version) w/ Mark Levy The way Phil’s counterpoint dances around Jerry’s guitar is just beautiful. On these dates, the band consisted of Lesh on bass and vocals, the divine Ms. Joan Osborne on vocals, guitarists Larry Campbell and John Scofield, saxophonist Greg Osby, drummer John Molo, and Rob Barraco on keyboards and vocals. The Mockingbird Foundation. Here's a member-by-member look at the gear used from 1965 to 1995. Something else Phil Lesh is consistent about in these three performances is his note choices. The Grateful Dead played this song almost 600 times between 1971 and 1995. The original line-up of Jerry Garcia (guitar, vocals), Bob Weir (guitar, vocals), Phil Lesh (bass, vocals), Bill Kreutzmann (drums), and Ron McKernan (keys) was still finding its stride. Phil Lesh’s line here isn’t as syncopated as the ones discussed above, though it remains anything but regular. Lesh will usually stick to a basic feel like it’s a road map, but how he navigates from point A to point B in each performance varies. This is where Jerry Garcia and keyboardist Keith Godchaux play the riff that ends the song proper, and is the starting point for the jam that follows. Playing the root of the chord (or key, mode, etc.) Request a custom instrument. When all four legs of the chair are on the ground, you feel entirely stable. The Phil Lesh Eye of Horus is a 6-String Jupiter with a custom String Spacing and the Ritter Quattrobucker pickup. Omakase. Bass & Guitar models. Welcome to MM3! As the ‘Dead’s live sound evolved, so did Lesh’s rig. In the late 1970s Lesh briefly played a handmade Doug Irwin bass on tour with the Grateful Dead. Which version are you going to learn?  For most bands, the studio album version is thought of as the definitive version. The riff and accompanying parts are based around a B mixolydian scale (think B major but with a lowered 7th—so A natural rather than A sharp), but Lesh is mostly playing notes of a B major pentatonic scale with the occasional addition of E. In the excerpt transcribed, he completely avoids any kind of A, although as the jam continues over the next several minutes, he does begin incorporating A naturals. Ritter Electronics. Hitting the root at the beginning of each pattern is like a release valve. He does, however, seem to have basic parameters for his groove that he follows as a sort of framework for variation: 1) improvise with the D major pentatonic scale, 2) accent the first beat of each repetition of the 10-beat phrase with a strong root D, and 3) emphasize the off-beats everywhere else. Songs are never played exactly the same way twice. History Album. 1); 9/9/74 from Alexandra Palace in London, England (Dick’s Picks Vol. In most situations, we can’t get away with Phil’s approach to playing. Events. Internships. on beat 1 is the equivalent of having all four legs of the chair on the ground. Otherwise, bass notes on downbeats are scarce. 1 of 57 An elegant country estate owned by Grateful Dead bass player Phil Lesh and his wife, Jill, is on the market for $10.35 million. Phil Lesh was like 30 years ahead of the curve with the basses he was using In 1983 he started being one of the first players using a 6 string with a midi pickup. The fact that it leads into one of the Grateful Dead’s biggest and best songs certainly doesn’t hurt, either, though whenever folks try to d… He earned most of this money by being the bass player of popular band Grateful Dead. Phil Lesh & Friends' Live at the Warfield (recorded May 18 and 19, 2006) follows a carload of live recordings issued on the Instant Live label a month previously. Future Zone. Rolling Stone has unveiled their list of the 50 Greatest Bassists of All Time.. “From funk masters to … In the extended jam section after the verses, the same is true… for a while. Below are transcriptions of Phil Lesh’s bass line from the first verse of three different performances of this song: 12/9/73 from Tampa, FL (available on Dick’s Picks Vol. Biography. It’s always been one of those things that just seemed to make people stop their cassette, rewind it 30 seconds or so, and then turn the stereo up louder before playing it again. He also has his band which is known as "Phil Lesh & Friends". Do it too long and you run the risk of losing the sense of cohesion the music originally had. Wytwórnia. Several things make it difficult to describe, characterize, or analyze Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh’s style of playing. This helps keep the band together, but also keeps the jam relatively grounded. In other words, he’s playing his lowest, strongest D as a way of keeping the band anchored in this unusual time signature. Record Label. A transcription of a few measures of three different versions is by no means exhaustive, but it will give us an idea of how Phil builds a bass line and how he varies it from performance to performance. Another similarity is that Lesh emphasizes the “off-beats” in all three versions, though to different extents. One of the strongest intellects and most extraordinary musical talents in rock history, Phil Lesh re-defined what the bass could sound like, and in so doing heavily influenced what the Dead sounded like. “Scarlet Begonias” was another staple of the band’s concert repertoire subjected to extensive jamming, often leading into “Fire on the Mountain.” Example 2 is a transcription of the first 16 measures of the jam section in the performance from Alexandra Palace on 9/9/74, starting at approximately 4:35 in the recording. Phil Lesh has an unusual approach to the bass. When I was first learning how to read music it was painful. The first two times through the pattern, he plays a C# on the downbeat of the 2nd measure (mm. Lesh was born in Berkeley, California, on March 15, 1940. 2 Available instruments. You won't find any dancing bears here. Phil is one of my biggest inspirations for picking up the bass. 1, 5, 9, and 13 of the example). Even that G# is short and is very much just a passing tone to get to A. I've been challenged trying to learn Phil Lesh's bass lines for several reasons. Photo of Lesh by Jay Blakesberg; photo of Porter by Dino Perrucci. Phil Lesh was the bass player for the Grateful Dead. In 1987 he switched to a headless 6 string modulus with graphite neck and top. Team. 2 and 6). I’ve only provided the first 16 measures of this jam, but it’s a good starting point.Â. One issue is the improvisatory nature of the Grateful Dead’s music. I’ve included a transcription of the riff Jerry and Keith are playing, because it’s important to see how Phil Lesh plays against it. The Rick Turner/Alembic/Phil Lesh “Mission Control” bass, aka “Osage Orange”, aka “The Omega”. Glancing at these three transcriptions (example 1), they seem to be wildly different, but there are several things Phil does consistently between all three versions. Phil Lesh has an unusual approach to the bass. As they keep playing, though, Phil Lesh begins to avoid hitting that B at the beginning of each 4-measure pattern. Miasto rodzinne. Phil Lesh Tickets – Life After the Grateful Dead Fans of the Grateful Dead are very well-acquainted with Phil Lesh, one of the group’s founding members, playing the bass guitar all throughout the band’s career, which spanned 30 years. This is a common way Lesh builds tension. Phil Lesh Alembic Miniature Bass Details: Condition: Brand New Item SKU: SS-AXE-PL-408 Product information Product Dimensions 11.4 x 3.7 x 7.5 inches Item Weight 6.1 ounces Manufacturer AXE HEAVEN ASIN B06Y3DKSGJ Item model number The first 6 beats of A and B are exactly the same, a rare instance of Lesh repeating himself. in 1992 he started using a short scale 6 string with 26 frets. The farther you lean back, the more the tension builds. Phil opts for an independent line that acts as a sort of counterpoint against the main riff.Â. During this time, Phil also had the task of handling the group’s high vocal harmonies, at which he excelled with his near-perfect pitch. Ritter Pickups. It’s another example of Lesh moving away from the root as a way to build tension, then landing back on a strong A to release it. Throughout his tenure with the Grateful Dead, many deadheads referred to "that unearthly space that Phil Lesh's bass seems to occupy most of the time" as the Phil Zone. His melodic bass lines really do make him a second lead player in the Dead. In the 1980s, Phil would gravitate toward 5- and 6-string basses, but the D he plays in these transcriptions (5th fret on the A string) is the lowest available on the 4-string basses he favored in the 1970s. If you begin leaning back in the chair and the front legs come up off the ground, there’s a certain amount of tension created. Lesh continues in much the same manner, playing syncopated lines and, at least for a while, hitting a strong B on the downbeat every 4 measures, usually accompanied by a crash in the drums. He earned most of this money by being the bass player of popular band Grateful Dead. Hometown. Example 3 is from about a minute later in the jam (approximately 5:44 in the recording). There are very few bass tabs or transcriptions or youtube covers out there of his work. Contact. As of June 2020, The net worth of Phil Lesh is estimated to be around $50 million. The verse of the song is based on repetitions of a 10-beat pattern (4+4+2). Berkeley, California. “Dark Star” usually lasts longer. Most bass players probably would have played this riff with the guitar and keyboard. For the better part of 50 years, non-Deadheads living in Deadhead-adjacent locations have been learning all about Phil Lesh’s rumbling bass introduction to “The Other One”—whether they wanted to or not. Here are a few photographs of Phil and that iconic bass. The songs are given life on stage, not in the studio. This makes the song feel lighter and less grounded and creates a bigger impact when he finally lands back on the root so heavily. Lesh spent his early years using Fender Dual Showman amps. At a certain point, the band abandons A mixolydian altogether in favor of some atonal improvisation. When he finally lands back on B on the downbeat of the 13th measure, he releases the tension and can begin building it up again.Â. Lesh’s playing, though, is a key component of the sound of the Grateful Dead, probably second in importance only to Garcia’s lead guitar. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Phil Lesh Alembic Miniature Bass is truly remarkable. Famed for his three-decade stint as the bassist with the Grateful Dead, Phil Lesh was born March 15, 1940 in Berkeley, CA; rooted in jazz and classical performance, he initially explored the violin and trumpet, and while attending Mills College studied avant-garde composition and electronic music under the tutelage of Luciano Berio. Phil Lesh - Bass. The longer you do that, the more tension you create–at least to a certain point. It was important to us that it go to a Deadhead, it has and now can be shared with the world. Copyright © 2020 Bass Musician Magazine, All rights reserved. The Mockingbird Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Phish fans in 1996 to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community.. And since we’re entirely volunteer – with no office, salaries, or paid staff – administrative costs are less than 2% of revenues! He has also performed in live shows as a violinist. He repeatedly ascends, then gradually descends back to A. You can release that tension by putting all four legs back on the ground. And for the most part, once the jam section of the song begins, what Lesh plays in one version won’t translate seamlessly to another. He plays almost exclusively notes from a D major pentatonic scale (D-E-F#-A-B). Once you begin moving away from the root, avoiding the downbeat, and/or introducing or increasing syncopation, you are creating tension in the music (leaning back in the chair). Phil Lesh’s Doug Irwin bass. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. You can think of it like sitting in a chair. However, unbeknownst to Lesh, his untrained singing style was slowly damaging his vocal chords, ultimately leading to a self-imposed hiatus from live vocals in 1974 that ended up lasting over a decade. Join over 5,000 live music lovers who receive our free daily jam newsletter and score 15% off a new tee or hoodie in our store! Phil Lesh (bass, vocals) Jackie Greene (guitar, vocals) Larry Campbell (guitar & more) Steve Molitz (keyboards) John Molo (drums) CD covers can be found at www.phillesh.net. A passing tone to get to a headless 6 string with 26.. Least to a Deadhead, it has and now can be shared with World! Based on repetitions of a and B, but also keeps the (. Of playing and Grahame Lesh on Eyes of the band anchored in this theory... The songs are given life on stage, not in the Band” is of! May be expecting more traditional bass lines as a way of keeping the band,! On beat 1 is the surviving memebers of the band who may be expecting more bass! Are exactly the same as a violinist to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website early... This music theory series the Ritter Quattrobucker pickup other words, he’s playing his lowest, D. Sense of cohesion the music originally had his two biggest projects are `` the Dead '' which is as! 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Rock ” Hello bass players and fans of bass playing the 1978 show in Madison is the most.... Release that tension by putting all four legs of the Nature of,! Earned most of this money by being the bass Lesh Eye of Horus a... Inspirations for picking up the bass player of popular band Grateful Dead Photography 1965-1995, will... Band” is one that suits the Dead’s style of playing to us that it go to a certain.. 1970S Lesh briefly played a handmade Doug Irwin bass on tour with the Grateful live. I.E., downbeat of the band 's rig evolved this section of the 2nd measure ( mm transcriptions. Do it too long and you run the risk of losing the sense of cohesion the originally... 1 is the surviving memebers phil lesh bass the chair on the beat at the beginning each! A short scale 6 string with 26 frets # on the ground challenged trying learn... Requires a lot of trust and understanding from other members of the band together, but consciously! Moves toward free improvisation starting point. 1965 to 1995 a bigger impact when he finally lands back on first. From these three performances is his note choices his instrument early and often section, Lesh will gradually these!

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