I have never spent much time learning someone else’s work. I played cover songs in Second Glance before, but in all those cases I made it a point not to try to sound too much like the original. I “made it my own” as they say, and thus I only had to approximate the original. I’m not ashamed of that. In that situation, I think it was the right thing to do — we weren’t a cover band, so we wanted to bring our own sound to the songs.
But with this project, the point is to learn the solos as the original guitarist played them, and it’s definitely challenging. Tonight I had a breakthrough moment with this first solo. It’s that moment where you not only know the notes the guitarist is playing, but the intent behind the notes. You suddenly understand the way they are supposed to be played. It’s that moment where it all makes sense and you understand what Brian May was thinking when he crafted the solo.
I don’t want to oversell the moment. It wasn’t a life-changing epiphany, but it was enough of a genuine breakthrough that I wanted to write about it. I’m only at the foot of this tall mountain that I’ve set myself up to climb, and each encouraging step makes it seem worthwhile.
As far as learning the solo for We Will Rock You, it’s still pretty sloppy, and I’m only half-way through the hard part, but I “got it” tonight in a way that I hadn’t been able to the last few times. I had forgotten how much joy there was in working on something until it clicks. I’m glad I’m rediscovering that.