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Thread: Vai's For The Love of God --picking lick on a 6 string

  1. #1
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
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    Vai's For The Love of God --picking lick on a 6 string

    I have a 22 fret JS, and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions as to how to end the tremolo picked run up the high E string that Steve ends with a full step bend at the 24th fret...you know, the part that precedes the crazy fast solo. Cheers.
    Karma Chameleon...You come and go...You come and go, oh..........MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!!

  2. #2
    Bedroom metalurgist LaughingSkull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curiousgeorge
    I have a 22 fret JS,.
    1. save money for 24 fret JEM ,
    2. allow yourself freedom to change that part completelly, after all you might not be Vai, but you are curiousgeorge, and that should mean something by itself. You don't have to play it exactly like Vai.
    I did a jazz cover of FTLOG once, with acoustic bass, drums and piano. Still It was great song.
    3. play it an octave lower

  3. #3
    Registered User ashc's Avatar
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    2 step bend from the 22nd fret!

  4. #4
    Registered User Shredmaniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashc
    2 step bend from the 22nd fret!
    And of course you do that on a jazz guitar set up with '14s !!

  5. #5
    Registered User ashc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shredmaniac
    And of course you do that on a jazz guitar set up with '14s !!
    LOL, I think Stevie Ray Vaughan might have managed that, but not anyone else. But, anyone with a JS is using 9's so it's a doddle

  6. #6
    Modally Challenged!!!! mattblack850's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashc
    LOL, I think Stevie Ray Vaughan might have managed that, but not anyone else. But, anyone with a JS is using 9's so it's a doddle
    I can just about get that with 11's on the G&L before it 'chokes' out!!

    CG, is there no way you can start the bend as per normal and then use the whammy just to get up to pitch?

  7. #7
    Mad Scientist forgottenking2's Avatar
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    That's how I used to do it back when I was attempting to play that song (I still haven't gotten it down... depressing isn't it?) and while it doesn't sound exactly like it, it gets the job done, actually because you are bending onto both pitches IMO sounds cooler. I wanna play that song again Thanks for the inspiration! Now how do I get out of the office?...
    "If God had wanted us to play the piano he would've given us 88 fingers"

  8. #8
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
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    Another shortcut to get a 24th fret note in lieu of bending is to play the harmonic where the 24th fret would be. It's relatively easy to play and will be in tune (sometimes bending isn't right on the mark). However, this doesn't do you much good if you also need a 23rd fret note.

  9. #9
    Guitar Virtuoso MJK's Avatar
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    Allow me to count the reasons why I bought a JEM in the first place... and why every guitar since then has had 24 frets!
    Johnny was a clever lad
    Johnny is no more
    What he thought was H2O
    Was H2SO4.

  10. #10
    I am not very nice DemonSorcerer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curiousgeorge
    I have a 22 fret JS, and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions as to how to end the tremolo picked run up the high E string that Steve ends with a full step bend at the 24th fret...you know, the part that precedes the crazy fast solo. Cheers.
    Ok, another way culd be....playing an artificial harmonic on the A that‘s located on the b string on the 22 fret...find the exact location where the harmonic happens and nail the E (perfect fith) and bend it...

    Enough blabbing...

    David
    Creativity without strategy is always annoying...Strategy wthout creativity is always mute.

  11. #11
    Registered User Strum's Avatar
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    Stop playing exactly when that part comes on and squeal using your mouth...

    Seriously though, like someone mentioned earlier, improvise man...You don't have to play it note for note

  12. #12
    Registered User ernzzz's Avatar
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    "..you know, the part that precedes the crazy fast solo"

    hello there!

    i am more concerned in knowing what all of you think about this crazy fast solo part..

    to me it isn't typical in any sense.. it's not arpeggios, it's not normal lead notes placed on a scale, it's not random stuff... maybe its like a mix of the three.. i would like to know what you all think about it, mainly in the compositional or musical side of it, but also the guitaristical side of it..

    anybody know of any example somewhere from modern rock music (or whatever) to any classical piece, that resembles this weird thing?

    i cant really play this thing.. i mean, i can play it a bit more than half speed.. but it's like if my consciousness (or perception of time) is not as deep, or long, as to let me imagine all the notes i want to play at the current tempo... some ppl have told me, that one should just memorize it practicing speed, and just let the hands play it for you (muscle memory).. but i really want to be able to play it fully consciously, at my will (or apply this technique in my own leads)..

    i have learned the thing note to note from a transcription by "dave kilminster", very nice one, from a magazine.. in it, it is signaled that one must apply "tremolo picking", and all of the notes are marked as "32nd" notes ...

    obviously when you listen to the original (and more in half speed, wich is unreal the precision of it..) it isnt everything 32nd notes... some of em have accents of some sort.. some of em dont..

    there's other transpcriptions of it, mainly the good old gp3 files that are more like the original transpcription in the books, they give a somehow more real feel, but is not perfect either..

    so how will all you play this, technique wise? strict alternate picking, strict economy picking, maybe one of em with a casual legato here or there for the accents... what way? i would like to know what a super-shredder (one of those that can play mamlsteen, michael angelo, impellitteri..) thinks about this section of the song.. is it easy for you? is it normal?

    what about the accents?.. mr vai seems to put odd accentuations to many of his playing.. from that magical tapping accents, to here on FTLOG.. what you think of em? are there any precedents that you know of?? how will those be considered in a more traditional way of seeing music? (btw i reccomend the song "pompeii" from the album "harps of the ancient temple" a.k.a. "bicycle riders" on some blade runner OST's.. it has some of those accents hidden between watery clashing of notes)

    and, any of you felt what i feel about not having enough consciousness or time control/awareness, with this thingie, or with any other musical piece/idea?? what you think of it?

    lots of thanks in advanced

    PS: about the bending on the 22/24th fret, i will just bend a lot on 22nd fret, and help me with the whammy bar..
    Last edited by ernzzz; 06-10-2007 at 09:31 PM.

  13. #13
    Guitar Virtuoso MJK's Avatar
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    Don't have much time to give a really in depth answer, but maybe a few insights.

    I know the solo fairly well, but I'm not familiar with the transcription. So pointers for specific riffs I can't help you with. The crazy fast part starts at 3:23...

    The first part until 3:43 or so is fairly structured. It's four riffs that switch up on the chord changes. I'd suggest practicing these slowly at a tempo you can handle, then gradually increase speed on your metronome. For the most part these are licks loosely based on 2-note per string pentatonic box shapes with large stretches. I prefer to alt-pick this whole riff. There's one big long riff in Michael Angelo's speed kills that is along the same style... speed picking pentatonic box shapes.

    At 3:47, you've got chromatic licks, also structured and seemingly divided over 2 adjacent strings. Lots of finger independence required here. Try scrambling the order of notes on your standard chromatic warmup exercise if you're looking for another way to develop this kind of skill.

    At 4:00 or so, you get to rest until 4:14, where you've got some insanely difficult arpeggio sequences. If you've seen Steve play this live, you'll recognize huge slides between the ascending/descending parts of the sweep-picked arps. The arps themselves aren't tough, but sliding between them requires some keen practice (if you're not used to it, symphony x's smoke and mirrors is a good start for these kinds of sweep riffs) since the slides are a whopping 12 frets.

    At 4:37-4:42 theres another quick speed picked riff on the low end. Another good alt-picking exercise, not much use for economy picking here.

    Remember also that the neck pickup is your friend during those shred lines!

    Hope this helps....it's not impossible to play, but requires serious chops. I'd give it a 7/10 on the difficulty scale.

    *edit* Just found a decent tab of the song... and adjusted my previous answer accordingly.
    Last edited by MJK; 06-10-2007 at 11:03 PM.
    Johnny was a clever lad
    Johnny is no more
    What he thought was H2O
    Was H2SO4.

  14. #14
    Guitar Virtuoso MJK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernzzz
    and, any of you felt what i feel about not having enough consciousness or time control/awareness, with this thingie, or with any other musical piece/idea?? what you think of it?
    Don't get caught up in the often inaccurate details of transcriptions. What's more important is knowing the song in your head and finding the feel for each riff. If you listen carefully, you should be able to pick out which notes are accented. Every player has his own style which nobody else can perfectly recreate, and this impinges on timing, dynamics, and tone.

    Knowing that, you have to find your own way to capture the essence of the riff and play it as close to how it sounds in your head when you listen to the song. Luckily, the solo is pretty structured, so understanding what scales/chords the riffs are based on will go a long way to making it playable.

    I don't see awareness/consciousness having much to do with being able to shred through this solo. If you can't do it yet, you probably just don't have the chops or you don't *know* the song. Memorizing tab notes I find infinitely less useful than understanding the underlying structure (note arrangment and scale) behind every lick, yet both could be considered "knowing" it. A big problem with tablature is the "literal" translation of what is played on a single slowed-down recording. Even great players make mistakes and hit extra notes...but when you listen to the song, you don't pick up on them. Again, structure is important. Play what stands out... if you play tab note for note, you'll end up putting a huge emphasis on notes and other miscellaneous background noise you never notice in the original recording.

    What is important about awareness is how well you are aware of what YOU are playing. As a teacher, I see lots of kids playing what they think is the exercise laid in front of them. They frequently aren't aware of their mistakes or timing. More advanced students might be aware of their accuracy, but inaware of their dynamics and tone.
    Johnny was a clever lad
    Johnny is no more
    What he thought was H2O
    Was H2SO4.

  15. #15
    Registered User ernzzz's Avatar
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    thank you for the fast reply..

    the difficulties for me are on those parts " The first part until 3:43", "3:47, you've got chromatic licks" and "4:37-4:42"

    the arpeggios somehow come faster to me..

    "What's more important is knowing the song in your head and finding the feel for each riff. If you listen carefully, you should be able to pick out which notes are accented."

    well actually this is what i try to do.. i just use the notes the tab uses but apply the timing that comes out at that moment.. sometimes might be close.. sometimes might be utter ****.. but either way, my mind gets completely saturated of too much data.. as i say i cant even "imagine" the notes in my head at the actual song tempo.. (oddly enough i can imagine things just as fast as what i am able to play..)

    i will try to figure it this way, but the reason i post this is because, well.. i consider important somehow being able to play whatever notes that are given to me (to the limit of human possibility.. i wont play impelliteri, or transcript godowsky on guitar..) specially on "freaky" things like this.. i understand that even Vai play it differently from time to time.. but looking at him seems like he really plays it with full awareness and consciousness of each single note movement and nuance out there.. (or at least..)

    "What is important about awareness is how well you are aware of what YOU are playing. As a teacher, I see lots of kids playing what they think is the exercise laid in front of them. They frequently aren't aware of their mistakes or timing. More advanced students might be aware of their accuracy, but inaware of their dynamics and tone."

    very interesting point this quality of the awareness.. i see what you mean..
    in my case, i am 22yo and played 8 years the electric guitar.. i have always played leads, so i have a good domain of the dynamics of the instrument, but as i am more friend of the legato and the economy picking (wich i subconsciously mix to make the picking even more economic..) i am not so good at straight alternate picking.. specifically at this godamn speeds...

    ..also my experience as rhythm guitarist is not quite wide, and is more intuitive than anything, yet i understand music notation and can read rhythm just well..

    so i will say that my case is exactly opposite of what is more common with shredders.. they play way way faster than me, and their picking technique is insane, but their dynamic and tone control it's sometimes missing..

    and maybe this is my problem.. i want to play everything controlled, but it's just too fast to even imagine the notes..

    "If you can't do it yet, you probably just don't have the chops or you don't *know* the song"

    certainly i dont have pure shredder chops.. i have some chops tho, i played 8 years.. and listened the song a thousand times.. why this little parts are that hard to me? i guess i should just stick into it.. but still i dont understand why this is happening.. i wonder if there is some analogy for violinists, pianists, or any other instrument different than guitar?

    btw i know, and practiced pretty often in the last 4-5 years, various songs that might be considered shred.. (crossroads, arpeggios from hell, nuno's flight of the bumblebee, agustin barrios la cathedral, or paganini 5th at half speed..) but exceptuating nuno's bee and la cathedral, i play em slower than they are.. often from 50-75% .. i would love to learn things like malmsteen's evil eye, or black star, but they come really freaky to me (almost as much as this vai section we were talkin of..) its like if my improvement in this area was very slow and painful for some reason; while tapping or legato runs come effortless..

    but now i'm just talking in circles.. lol

    thanx for the replies, i will try to stick at it, and look it from a more factual perspective, or ear, or muscle memory.. like you say " finding the feel" ...

    .. but quoting my old friend Plant "it really makes me wonder"..

    edit: thnx again, you made me think..
    Last edited by ernzzz; 06-11-2007 at 12:53 AM.

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