Hi everyone,

I am currently learning Tender Surrender, and I have two reasonably general questions about the technique used to play certain parts.

Firstly, I have the tab book for this song, which looks to be EXACTLY the same as this tab:


1. Around half way into the song, on the bar beginning with


on the high e string, I notice Vai plays this with just his fretting hand, and hasn't got his picking hand on the guitar at all. What I am currently doing is using my free picking hand to mute the strings around the string I am playing on. So my first question is: Is this a good technique, or a lazy technique? Should I make an effort to play that bar by doing these hammer-ons/pull-offs without hitting any other strings? I.e. tips of my fingers.

2. The bar after this he does a bit of tapping, going up from the A string to the B string. As you finish on say the A string, and then want to play on the D string, I have to be careful not to let the A string make any unwanted noise as I am moving on from it. What I am doing now is using the palm of my picking hand to mute it after I have finished playing the notes on it. Is this a correct technique? I have heard that using the thumb of your picking hand is sometimes used, but this doesn't feel natural when moving up the strings.

Thanks very much for reading all that!


Vai's got a killer legato/psuedo legato technique. Work on trying to get notes cleanly with low gain. Try experimenting using different parts of flesh to mute. Develop the technical aspect that is most comfortable to you.

You can always place your picking hand in position to mute the open strings that may resonate throughout the licks.

Legato and fluidity in your playing is where it's at