Which books did Jerry Garcia read that helped him learn to play?
September 28, 2012 5:25 AM   Subscribe

Which books did Jerry Garcia read that helped him learn to play? I'm not much of a deadhead, but I do have great respect for Jerry Garcia's playing, especially acoustically with David Grisman. In my own study of music generally and guitar specifically I've been venturing out of pentatonic scales into the major scale and associated modes, as well as trying to become a more knowledgable and lyrical improviser. I'm in a wormhole of reading tons of interviews with Jerry and he commonly refers to learning heaps about the guitar by "reading the books" that have come out since the last time he "read the books" about guitar/music. These interviews have been mid seventies to mid to late eighties. I'm wondering: What books was Jerry reading that were so valuable in helping him develop his playing? He never seems to reference them specifically. Anyone know what kind of literature was coming out and of good quality in that era? Thanks.
posted by idzyn to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Is it possible "reading the books" is shorthand for listening to lots of fellow musicians and where they've taken the music?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:30 AM on September 28, 2012

No, he specifically talks about reading books published about music/guitar. He also speaks to not being too impressed with many other contemporary musicians.
posted by idzyn at 6:37 AM on September 28, 2012

Well Randy Bachman would have been a contemporary and he said several times over the years that he learned everything he knows from the Mickey Baker Jazz Guitar Book2 (he emphasized NOT book 1!).
But nowadays the equivalent would be all the stuff available on the internet.
posted by canoehead at 7:54 AM on September 28, 2012

Well I'm not sure why I didn't think of this before posting the question, except that I guess I was hoping someone on the internet might be able to say "Oh he made a list of what he considered the best books for guitarists and it's at this link right here!" - but Google Books is fairly useful in finsing at least what was being published in that time period. Here are a couple of links to search results for anyone who might be interested:

Guitar Books from 1965-1980

Music Theory Books from 1965-1980

I'd still love it if someone knows about that wishlist link above.
posted by idzyn at 8:36 AM on September 28, 2012

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