Recently decided I wanted to learn this tune in order to improve my legato, pinky, and two-handed playing as well as learn some terror licks.

Right now I've got the introduction down as so:
- The arpeggios I can play at about 50% speed perfectly and I've played it full speed a few times with it sounding good, but I practice it around 1 note per click at 60 BPM.
- The last two-handed pull-off lick I can play at 100% speed most of the time, but I practice it at about 1 note pr click at 120 BPM just to ensure my timing is good.

Not too concerned with the verse or chorus parts, I've been able to play those for awhile.

I'm having a little trouble getting that first part of the intro up to speed. I notice it is really challenging for me to keep my pinky from flying away from the fretboard when I play it closer to speed and I think this has to do with the index finger's pull off to the open string. Prior to posting, that was the most difficult part for me to keep clean, probably because of the stretch. It's clean now though.

Any pointers here? A word on thumb placement during the trouble part would be appreciated as I notice it's a bit easier to play when it's closer to my index finger.
I would advise sort of tucking your elbow under the neck and kind of having your thumb laying flat on the bottom of the neck. That's how I do long stretches like that. As for getting it up to speed, practice makes perfect. Though personally I didn't even use a metronome when I learned this song, I just practiced the intro a few times until I thought it sounded about right and then played along with the song to get the timing down. Worked for me.
Yup, my thumb is flat on the neck, but question - is your thumb closer to your index finger or your pinky?

Also, my hand is shaped a little weird - I have really big, rectangular palms, but my fingers aren't even as long as my palm is the long way. I feel like flexibility is what's killing me here - I can hit the notes, I just have to move my hand and fingers too much when going from note to note.

Any recommendations for stretches too?
Last edited by STONESHAKER at Jul 22, 2010,
Dude. It's not because your hand size or you're doing something wrong. Don't expect to get it up to speed by practicing the same lick 6 hours a day for a month. Guitar doesn't work like that. It's a VERY gradual process.

It's taken me TEN YEARS to get some solos up to speed, practicing them on and off. If you're only getting it to 50% speed now, I suggest you move on to something else and keep coming back to it periodically.
Last edited by jogogonne at Jul 25, 2010,
Well, as a status update:

I've succeeded in playing it clean at full speed twice now and I can play it at about 75% speed cleanly every time.

Couple things that helped:
- String gauge. I went from having a hybrid set-up of the three high strings from a set of .9's and the three low strings from a set of .11's. to taking the three high strings from a set of .11's and the three low strings of a .12. Surprisingly, it made my legato much better and it only took me about a day to get my bends intonated again.
- Practicing it real slow and building up.
- Isolating the hard parts; namely the pull off to the open string from that stretch as well as changing positions in time.
Make sure you really pull off on those strings to get those notes to ring out. I use my middle finger when I'm tapping so I don't have to move my pick.

Eddie uses that same ending lick you're having trouble with on the Jump solo as well, just in a different key, you might wanna practice that also. I notice they're many similar licks in the 1984 album, especially in Panama, Jump, and Hot for Teacher solos.
The ending lick as in the one with the pull-offs? That one's not much of a problem, I've been able to play that perfectly about half the time I try it now. I work on it a little bit every day so I'm sure I'll have it down by the time I've learned everything else.

It's the part before that pull-off lick that I have trouble with, the single string arpeggio sequences that are all 12-7-3-0-3-7-etc. It's getting there though.. I'm giving my hands a break today cause I notice that part tends to tire them out even though I'm trying to be relaxed as possible. I blame the stretch as I have no problem with similar licks that are not as wide.
the descending part was the harderst part for me, but if you stick with you will be able to play it consistently everytime. It is a really fun song to play!!!