Want to play like the Grateful Dead? Relax.
Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers, author of The Complete Singer-Songwriter, taught Boston Globe reporter David Filipov how to play some Grateful Dead songs on the acoustic guitar, like the Grateful Dead would. David was rather stressed-out trying to play these songs, but Jeffrey says a key component is to try to stay relaxed. Read the article below to learn more and click on the link below to watch David’s guitar lesson take place!
Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers teaches acoustic guitarists how to play Grateful Dead songs — which, he acknowledges, is a contradiction in terms.
The Dead never played their songs exactly as they sounded on their studio albums, instead reinterpreting them in pretty much every performance. And since improvisation was the foundation of their shows, each live rendition was unique.
So “learning” a Grateful Dead song is quite a different proposition from learning to play, say, “Yesterday” by the Beatles or “Wonderwall” by Oasis.
“Normally when people want to learn a band’s songs, they want to learn it like it is on the record,” said Rodgers, who will hold a workshop at the Passim School of Music in Cambridge on April 2. “That doesn’t really apply with the Dead.”
During a recent interview at the school, Rodgers demonstrated his approach: He teaches the basic chords of the song, adds in leads, inversions, and other embellishments that capture the feel, and encourages his students — who range from low intermediate to experts — to do the same.
Click here to watch David’s guitar lesson!