At the December 3, 2009 jam I distributed the newest version of the Jerry Garcia Song Book which I recently updated and printed. While I call this version 7, to keep up with the recent Microsoft Windows release, it really is the 5th major release of this song book. This song book has been a multi-decade effort on my part starting in my early days of guitar playing as a means to remember how to play the songs. The song book has remained such ever since.
It must have been around 1990 that I found a text file of many Grateful Dead lyrics which I then copied and used as a foundation on which I added my chord charts. Many of those I transfered from the official Grateful Dead song books and others I just knew from playing with others. Then again, there are many that I have figured out on my own since I started playing the Grateful Dead. As those who have used my books in the past, I’m not going to claim they are totally accurate, I wish they were better and will accept any recommendations, but they are as good as I can do in the time I dedicate. Take a look at the books at the links below in both PDF and Word format, so make you own damn book if you don’t like mine.
- Jerry Garcia Song Book V7 (PDF) - Released December 2009
- Jerry Garcia Song Book V7 (Word File) – Released December 2009
The reason I was able to get this release out at this time is the new exciting world of working on the web. Kinkos now has an online printing service where you can upload a Word document and print and bind it directly on Kinkos copiers/printers. There is no need for me to print out the documents myself. This is a great convenience. In addition, the quality is much better being a much more direct route to paper. I printed up 9 copies, of which 6 have been spoken for, so I have 3 left so if anyone want an already printed version let me know. First come first server at $35/book. Printing at Kinkos online was so easy that I now look forward to the release of a Deadstein Song Book Packet V1 in the near future that includes all those other songs that we may play that aren’t in the JGSB-V7.
It has always been my intention to make the charts usable during a jam and to fit the entire song and its structure on one page. Eventually as the Internet became a resource I found the clutch Ed Bick library of Grateful Dead text files and tabs and I took a lot from that. Of course there were lots of mistakes in the music along the way and this Version 7 represents a new version that incorporates most of the corrections discovered to the songs over the past 10 years or so. While there aren’t many new songs in the book, from version 4, there are plenty of fixes and subtle corrections. The only real new songs are a few that were included from the Pizza Tapes. To the right is the cover from my home version of the Release 4 of the song book. My jam copy of the song book was missing the front cover and a few songs at the end. Few others still had there release 4 books. Scott lost his and Kev’s blew apart and he was working off a half-ass mid-term release in 2 volumes. Yuck! For history’s sake, below is a link to a link to the Release 4 of the song book.
- Jerry Garcia Song Book – V4 (PDF) – Release in 2000
- Jerry Garcia Song Book – V4 (Word File) – Release in 2000
There is still a lifetime of improvement to make to the book and our playing, but a new printable release marks an important stepping stone in at least my playing and probably those who play in and around me.