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The Assault: Solo Transcriptions pt.1

It has been a long time since I’ve written a chops based column. So, just in case you thought that I was going soft or something, NO WAY! I’m back in action with some transcriptions off my latest release, “The Assault.” I’ve had a lot of emails since the release to transcribe solos or parts of them.

So, I started transcribing some solo parts and then I realized that I don’t know what the heck I play half the time! I just kind of do it. I like to throw a lot of improvisation into my fast runs especially. When I play, I know exactly the neck position and scale I am using, but the licks usually turn out with slight variances every time. Going back and figuring out a lot of licks turned out to actually be quite a headache. So, if you see me play this stuff live some day (live in the video clip I added) and are like “you played note 3,814 of 10,167 in your solo differently,” then get over it! It is just my style. :) With that being said, let’s get started.

By The Waters

What can I say, I love this song. It is utterly thrashtastic (they should add that to the dictionary). Lewie did a full rhythm guitar transcription for the song last month, so be sure to check his column out! I decided to transcribe a little of the fast part of the solo. When I play it, it is very similar to what I have transcribed. I actually work in several different patterns in the recording. What I transcribe here, is going to give you a good idea of what I do play. But, like I said, I do a lot of variations through out the solo on this idea.

The hard part about this lick is the picking. In the middle of a speedy fury, the picking switches from outside, to inside the strings. This usually ends up causing a heck of a mess of slop if not executed carefully. This lick will definitely give you a great lick to practice switching your picking from outside to inside and back.

Beyond the Dark

Beyond the Dark has some of my all time favorite solos in it. They are really fast, aggressive, and always fun to jam on. Here are a few of my favorite licks from those solos. Please keep in mind that every thing sounds 1 step lower than written. (I tuned down to D for this solo)

(4:52 – 4:55) – This is definitely one of my favorite licks in the whole song. It is a hyped up pentatonic exercise I used to practice! Looks easy hey? Try playing it up to tempo.

(4:44 – 4:47) – This is an example of one of those improvisation licks that I was talking about earlier. One of my favorite things to do is rip apart the pentatonic scale with alternate picking runs. It can be a real beast if you aren’t good at 2 note per string picking and string skipping licks.

LISTEN to both licks in a solo excerpt

Fit of Rage

Now this is a song that I’ve had a lot of transcription requests for. This lick in particular. I play most of it with my index finger, and occasionally the ring finger.

(3:44 – 3:49)

The next lick is in the 3rd solo of the song. This is one of those great improvisation licks where you hit the red button…. turn blue in the face, and just go completely berserk to the point that when you stop playing, you need to catch your breath and wipe the sweat off your face. Upon playing it back, you say to yourself… “how the hell did I pull that one off?”

This is pretty much what I’m doing. Its so damn fast that I can’t exactly make out what I played, but this should be about 90% accurate (it sounds 90% correct when I play it live at least).

(4:17 – 4:21)

The lick then ascends with a pentatonic lick in E minor similar to the one I tabbed in ‘Beyond the Dark.’

Listen to the song

This is all I am going to transcribe for this month. Look for more
transcriptions next time!

<Be sure to check out ‘The Assault’!

See you all next month.

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