#1
Hoi,

Of late I've been learning Slither by Velvet Revolver. The solo of the song is quite fast but it would still be possible to get by ear. But as you may know Slash loves wah-pedals and that love shows up in the solo..

The first seconds are easy to get but when he starts that fast descending it's almost impossible to hear the notes due to wah.. How the heck am I supposed to get the solo right if I can't hear the notes because of wah? Should I just listen to the solo again and again and again or what? How should I approach it?

Might have been better for Guitar Techniques but it's too late now.
#2
If you're asking for my honest opinion, which you aren't and no one really cares, if you can't hear the notes in a solo properly due to them being an incomprehensible mess, there probably isn't much musical value to the solo

I listened to the bit though, and I'd say you can learn it by ear. I'd say I could do it if I cared. Definitely not impossible, you just need to practice.
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Theory: Not rules, just tools.

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*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#5
Quote by Billie_J
Hoi,

Of late I've been learning Slither by Velvet Revolver. The solo of the song is quite fast but it would still be possible to get by ear. But as you may know Slash loves wah-pedals and that love shows up in the solo..

The first seconds are easy to get but when he starts that fast descending it's almost impossible to hear the notes due to wah.. How the heck am I supposed to get the solo right if I can't hear the notes because of wah? Should I just listen to the solo again and again and again or what? How should I approach it?

Might have been better for Guitar Techniques but it's too late now.

If you know how rocksmith works with the layout of the strings and what the symbols mean why don't you just watch a video of that on YouTube.
#6
Quote by Random3
One option is to work out what key he is playing in and then just noodle around a bit while wah-ing.

If you are trying to learn it note-for-note I would just use a tab.


I don't want to use tabs unless necessary. And most tabs suck or are unnecessary complex.
#7
Quote by Billie_J
I don't want to use tabs unless necessary. And most tabs suck or are unnecessary complex.
Many tabs do indeed suck, but how can they be "unnecessarily complex" unless they contain more notes than were actually played?

Correct tab is only as complex as necessary. Incorrect tab is simply, er, incorrect.
Of course, a lot of tab is correct as far as the notes go, but may not be the same positions the original was played in (because a tabber can usually only judge by ear). That might, I guess, make the solo needlessly difficult to play, but it would need to be a pretty dumb tabber to avoid the easiest way to play a solo....

Of course, the original solo may well have been unnecessarily complex. I'd say that was quite common...
#8
Quote by Billie_J
Hoi,

Of late I've been learning Slither by Velvet Revolver. The solo of the song is quite fast but it would still be possible to get by ear. But as you may know Slash loves wah-pedals and that love shows up in the solo..

The first seconds are easy to get but when he starts that fast descending it's almost impossible to hear the notes due to wah.. How the heck am I supposed to get the solo right if I can't hear the notes because of wah? Should I just listen to the solo again and again and again or what? How should I approach it?
Without listening to it myself, I'd say - in general - there's a limit to how faithful you need to be.
If you really can't hear the individual notes - even using a slowdowner? - then no one is going to care if you don't get it exactly right. How would they know? Just turn on the wah and get it approximate. Sometimes the overall effect is more important than individual notes, at least if they're extremely fast.

You might also consider that "improvisation" is a worthy concept to bear in mind. There was a time when a "solo" would be something a player would improvise: make up on the spot and play differently every time.

If this particular solo is something Slash plays identically every time they do it live - and it's an iconic part of the song that everyone recognises - then it's worth trying to get it down right. But only then.

But also ask yourself: do you want to be a poor copy of Slash? Or do you want to be yourself? (You'll never be as good as Slash at being Slash. But he'll never be as good as you at being you.)
#9
First step is to listen out for the notes he hits on the strong beats.
Then determine where the accidentals in the lick are, if any.
Decide if he's playing notes from a chord or from a diatonic or pentatonic scale.
Then see if he approaches those notes you've already figured out from above or from below.

These are all pretty important things to be able to figure out by ear. Particularly #s 2 and 3.
It should be pretty easy to figure out things using these methods, even if they're fairly low in the mix or otherwise distorted.
#10
Quote by Billie_J
...but when he starts that fast descending it's almost impossible to hear the notes due to wah...
I don't really think your issue is with hearing the notes but more to do with Slash's phrasing?
I seem to be able to hear the notes okay and I don't think the Wah is getting in the way that much?

And I know how much you like TAB, so I thought I would do my best to illustrate with a "count" over the TAB, in an attempt to try highlight the "Slash-isms" that might be the real issue (which his style is kinda known for ...well from my experience anyhow).

And because quite a few of his notes don't actually land on any specific beat, but are actually almost rushed and delayed... (which is what I think gives that "musician flavour" to what he's doing... again phrasing?)... yeah it can mess with your ears sometimes, almost "suggesting" other things are going on... Go Slash!!

Well that's my shoddy way of trying to explain it, and I'm sure some of the others here can explain the timings and things a lot more accurately, but I just called them Triplets etc hoping you may get what I mean? (ie: my cheap-ass musical terminologies).

But yeah I dunno, I gave it a shot, hope it helps... a bit?


1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a |
e|(14)--------------------12--------14--P--12------12--------------|
B|---------------------------------------------15--------------13--|
G|----------------------------------(-Tri-pl-et-)------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
note the timing of 13th B string (above) & 15th B string (below)
1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a |
e|----------------(tri--pl---et)-----------------------------------|
B|--------15------12----13----12-----------12----------------------|
G|---------------------------------14--------------13------14------|
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------|


1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a |
e|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-12------sl-----sl-----------------------------------------------|
G|-------14\13----\12------10------12----------------------10------|
D|-------------------------------------------------12--------------|
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
then switching back for these 2 bars in straight 4's
(meaning with everything kinda landing evenly on the pulse)
1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a |
e|-----------------10----------------------------------------------|
B|-----------------10--------------13(B15)-------------------------|
G|-12----(13)------------------------------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------|

Last edited by tonibet72 at Oct 19, 2015,
#11
What I meant with complex is that the whole tab is a mess and you need to scroll up and down and up again all the time to find the parts you want. For example one of the versions of Paradise City is messy as f.

And I think I got the solo part. I listened to it like 15 times in a row and I managed to "memorise" the descending. Now I only need to try it on guitar. Shouldn't be impossible anymore.
#12
tabs aren't good to use as a crutch but they're a good "cheat sheet" if you're having problems. it doesn't mean they're right, but it can give you a jumping off point. respect for sticking to your guns (n roses) tho, you have the right idea

you seem to have got it more or less figured out so, yknow, good job
modes are a social construct
#13
Quote by Billie_J
Hoi,

Of late I've been learning Slither by Velvet Revolver. The solo of the song is quite fast but it would still be possible to get by ear. But as you may know Slash loves wah-pedals and that love shows up in the solo..

The first seconds are easy to get but when he starts that fast descending it's almost impossible to hear the notes due to wah.. How the heck am I supposed to get the solo right if I can't hear the notes because of wah? Should I just listen to the solo again and again and again or what? How should I approach it?

Might have been better for Guitar Techniques but it's too late now.


If you can't hear the notes clearly, are they really that important? Many would argue the answer is no. Why not quote the few signature riffs he uses that punctuate the solo and then write your own wah solo section that is even more awesome than Slash's. That is what Jimi, Eddie, and SRV would do. Creativity and innovation beats paint-by-numbers every time.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Oct 20, 2015,
#14
Quote by Cajundaddy
If you can't hear the notes clearly, are they really that important? Many would argue the answer is no. Why not quote the few signature riffs he uses that punctuate the solo and then write your own wah solo section that is even more awesome than Slash's. That is what Jimi, Eddie, and SRV would do. Creativity and innovation beats pain-by-numbers every time.


I largely agree, if you can't hear the notes, you're not really going to be able to reproduce them well, anyway. You play what you hear

There are a couple of technical very slashy riffs in that solo but for the most part it's a very thematic solo - held note, riff, held note, riff, held note, riff.

I would find all the held notes, and then find riffs that works for you to go between them that capture the energy of the solo. If you can't hear the individual notes in those riffs, then they're going to come out pretty sloppy if you try to play them - better to vary to something you can hear (and thus play) well and go from there.
#15
Quote by Billie_J
What I meant with complex is that the whole tab is a mess and you need to scroll up and down and up again all the time to find the parts you want. For example one of the versions of Paradise City is messy as f.
Right! That's why I much prefer notation myself.
Some tab is OK, if they use barlines and mark beats, but otherwise, if it's just a whole string of numbers line after line, I agree with you. Waste of everyone's time (the tabber too).
Quote by Billie_J

And I think I got the solo part. I listened to it like 15 times in a row and I managed to "memorise" the descending. Now I only need to try it on guitar. Shouldn't be impossible anymore.
Well done! I personally don't agree with copying solos note for note for performance purposes, but you do learn a lot from the exercise.
#16
My first struggle of figuring stuff out by ear was a very fast run. Without wah. You know how much time I spent learning it? I believe in total it was 8 hours, 8 hours of listening to the same few seconds, but slowed down.

If the notes are too fast as well, get a good slow down software.