I love this solo. It’s very, very fun to play and I was almost reticent to record it because I enjoyed playing it so much. I often practiced this twice a day just so I could play it some more. I know that I can never capture David Gilmour’s fluid style and eccentric timing, but I put my own spin on it, and couldn’t be prouder. Hope you enjoy.
Category Archives: Performances
Performance: Welcome to the Jungle
I love solos that use the whole neck of the guitar. That’s one of the reasons I liked learning Shine On You Crazy Diamond so much. Welcome to the Jungle is great in that regard, especially for such a short solo. It really makes good use of all the real estate. It’s also a lot of fun to play and harder to get right than it seemed when I first started learning it. I think it turned out well.
PS: If I look a little mad in the video, it’s because in earlier takes I kept missing notes at the end, and the takes were otherwise perfect until the very end — I was getting really frustrated with myself. I didn’t even have the energy to smile when I finally did nail it. Oh well.
Performance: Hot Blooded by Foreigner
This solo didn’t take me as long as my radio silence on this blog would indicate. I had to take a hiatus from practicing for a while due to work pressures and other family commitments that cropped up over the past few weeks.
I got back into practicing a few days ago and polished it off fairly quickly. I’m proud of how this turned out. Let me know if it captures the essence of Mick Jones’ raunchy style.
Performance: You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC
Two weeks later and it’s done. I’m kind of sad to see this one over with. It’s such a fun solo to play, with bends all over the place and a lot of movement up the neck. But I must move on. Let me know what you think.
Performance: My Best Friend’s Girl by The Cars
This is the first solo where I’m just glad it’s over. I don’t want to denigrate The Cars or Eliot Easton in any way. The song and the solo are amazing. It’s just not my style and it’s so damn fast.
I’m really glad I stuck with it, though. The speed and finger work I had to learn will definitely help me down the road. That said, I cannot wait to start learning the next solo, which is… well, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to learn that.
I recorded this one sitting down. Standing up was just not comfortable for this one. Let me know how I did.
Performance: Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi
This solo took way, way longer than I thought it would to complete. There are two main reasons for this. First, I didn’t play guitar for a month, mainly due to my Mom’s passing, funeral and interment ceremonies which took a lot of my time and emotional energy. I also got very busy at work during the same time, so I was doubly pressed for time.
Second, the solo is a lot harder than it looks. Getting all the pinch harmonics in the right places is a nightmare — I ended up doing pretty well with it, but it’s by no means an exact duplicate.
It’s a really fun solo to play, however, and one of my favorites so far. I hope you like it. Let me know in the comments.
Performance: Rockin’ the Paradise by Styx
The really hard part about this solo was trying to perfect the recklessness of the original. When Tommy Shaw plays it, it seems like it’s about to come off the rails at any moment. It has to sound both precise and rough at the same time, and that’s a hard feeling to capture.
I performed this with a little more energy than I have in the past, partly because I needed to really lose myself in the solo to achieve the sound I was going for, but ultimately I feel like it came out pretty well.
I apologize about the strange sounding backing track — there were no backing tracks available on-line, so I had to make my own by using an equalizer to pull the solo down as far as I could, while still leaving the bass and drums intact. I think it turned out OK, but it’s a bit strange at the beginning and end.
Performance: Lights by Journey
I love the way Neil Schon puts his solos together. They have a lot of range and a variety of styles that mix together within the same solo to take the listener on a little ride. There’s a lot going on, but it never feels haphazard. It always seems to flow perfectly from one section to the next. I enjoyed learning this one, especially since it required me to improve my speed playing and precision. I’m happy with the way it came out, but let me know what you think in the comments.
Performance: Shine on You Crazy Diamond
Sometimes the best way to improve something is to not practice it. I’ve know about this phenomenon since I was a gangly 14-year-old kid who used to go to the arcade every day and try to set the high score on the Tempest machine. I would get slowly and steadily better at it, but it was only after I went on a week’s vacation and came back to machine after a break that I bested my high score, and by a substantial margin. The brain needs some time to process skills.
Last week, I spent 4 days away from my guitar (not by choice, just due to circumstance), and when I came back to it this past weekend, I had improved my ability on this solo, so much so that I felt comfortable recording it today.
David Gilmour’s style is something I don’t think I could ever fully match, but let me know if you think I came close.
Performance: More Than a Feeling
I loved learning this solo. It’s such a classic song, that everyone knows, and it’s hard enough that I feel like I’ve really accomplished something. Because this solo has a harmony part, I recorded it twice and have included both parts through the magic of “picture in picture”, which thankfully iMovie makes ridiculously easy.
I think I got pretty close to Tom Sholz signature “Boston Sound” using the Ampkit+ app on my iPad. It really makes practicing and recording these solos a breeze. Let me know how it sounds. I’ll be announcing solo #7 in the next few days.