Okay, I'll start with a little background information. I'm sixteen, and have been playing for slightly less than two years. I can currently play stuff roughly around the difficulty level of the Sweet Child O' Mine solos. I know the basic techniques like alternate picking, legato, tapping, and I've recently been trying to pick up sweep picking, but it's hard.

My school has a talent show every year in October/November, and I was thinking of joining and playing Canon Rock. Flame all you want about the choice of song, but I want to play a guitar piece that people have actually heard before and can recognize, as opposed to something by Vai or Satch, which I know are awesome, but most people have never heard any of their songs. So as I was saying, I really want to win this thing, or at least put up a decent performance, since it's probably going to be the last thing I'll do in this school (graduating this year) and I want to end it with a bang.

So, my questions:

1) What kind of techniques would I need to learn to play this song?
2) How would I go about learning these techniques? (websites, tutorials, and the like would be appreciated.)
3) Would it be possible for me to master this song in time for the talent show? (I am able to practise around an hour a day, more on weekends.)

dunno mate the sweeping isnt that hard tbh, but im still getting it clean. This song is well worth learning not least as a warm up or a practise song. Simply because it has all the techniques you can reall do on a guitar.

How long is the show away? the song isnt too difficult but i still havent memoriazed it properly and i have been able to play it for ages.
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The basics of the song as very easy, but depending on who's version you play, there are tricky bits. I learned the main part in a few hours, and on the bits I haven't learned or can't play, I improvise instead.

Basically, you could pull off a great version of it, and it wouldn't even talk long to learn.
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What do you mean "Canon Rock", I didn't know there was any official version. There are loads of people who have turned Canon into metal. If you want to play Canon Rock then choose a version you want to base yours on and make it suit however you play. I find all the available version to happy anyway. When I performed with our band we added diminished scales and overlapping descending chromatic riffs. Muhahahahaha, it sounded evil as!!!.

But yeah, you catch my drift.
I was thinking of playing the original version by JerryC, since the other, more impressive-sounding ones seem too hard for me, and I really don't want to cop-out either and choose an easier version. So the original is what I'm aiming for.
o.k how are you graduating at 16? two years early?

well canon isn't hard if you break it into pieces but the harder parts will take weeks for some people.
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o.k how are you graduating at 16? two years early?

well canon isn't hard if you break it into pieces but the harder parts will take weeks for some people.

I'm from Singapore, where we do four years of secondary school (13-16) and then move on to "junior college" (17-18).

With only about an hour of practice a day, maybe a little more, do you think I'll be able to master the entire song (including sweep/speed picking parts) by the time the show comes around? And it'd be great if someone could direct me to a helpful sweep picking lesson for beginners as well. Thanks in advance.
Last edited by doom3rulz at Apr 23, 2008,
if you are worried i would stop asking here and get to it. You can do anything if you try hard enough and want it bad enough.
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If you don't want to learn the sweeping parts then you could just improvise in that section instead.
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You won't be able to sweep that fast in time.... not to burst your bubble or anything, speed sweeping takes quite a bit of practice. At least if you're aiming for accuracy and good technique.
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You will need:
Pinch Harmonics/ Artificial Harmonics
Harmonic Tapping as seen in the Video of Jerry C
basic legato stuff

Its not that hard, just need to practice it more. I've tried it, I learn't 3/4 of it in about 2 months with 1hour per day on average practice time. Don't worry yourself about the sweeps, its actually very easy to do, also its just 3 string 4 string and a few 5 string sweeps here and there,but nothing too hard. Practice hard thats all I can say..Sadly I never got to finish the song because I had to stop guitar lessons... But I'm sure you can do it just as well, but remember to start SLOW, and train your pinky finger if its not strong enough yet, that really helps. Anyway, good luck and rock on!! By the way, I have been play a little over 2 years as well
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And don't forget palm muting. You use quite a lots of those in this song.

For talent show I would go for Neil Zaza - I'm Alright instead. Easier to play.
Don't you have to do National Service soon since you live in Singapore?

Anyway, doing a song that everyone knows will increase your chances of winning (provided it's not over-played) but if you put on a stunning technical performance with something no-one knows, they'll love you.


Technical Difficulties - Racer X


The Gargoyle - Paul Gilbert


Bultaco Saturno - Paul Gilbert

Those songs are great, Technical Difficulties has a kickass riff, so does The Gargoyle, kickass technical licks/string skips and a blistering solo and Bultaco Saturno has a funky blues feel to it.

I'm pretty sure you'll win with one of those songs provided you have a backing track.