This solo is diamond encrusted win. I remember hearing this solo as a wee tot and thinking "Hot diggity damn, that's bogus!" Keep in mind it was the early '90s and I would've been maybe 6. Now, an older gentleman, I put aside about 4 hours to nail and transcribe this solo properly and here we are.
The majority of this solo is a bit of whammy action and some tapping EVH style and if you're familiar with Eddie's soloing style from other songs, you'll probably see some motifs and themes of his you've seen in other songs and solos. As usual we'll break the solo down into sections and look at anything that could be potentially problematic. I'll also leave a link to YouTube and the tab at the bottom of the article.
Section 1 TipsThe opening to this solo is with the rising whammy. However the tapped and artificial harmonics are a little tricky (see excerpt below).
You'll notice in the 3rd bar of this excerpt that there's 2 artificial harmonics on the 14th fret of the 3rd string. Due to the tension changing between the 7th fret and the 9th fret the pitch changes as well as the technique. I found it easy to tap the first one and do an artificial pinch harmonic by gently brushing the 14th fret with my index finger on my picking hand and then plucking the string with my thumb. This is a very Eric Johnson way of getting harmonics smooth and less squealy harmonics. I'm not 100% whether Eddie taps both of them but it's extremely difficult to get a clear tap harmonic the second time. If you listen to the John 5 cover of this song he plays a tap then the pinches like I do.
Section 2 TipsThe section deals with a pretty weird and complex legato lick that stretches from the 12th to 19th fret. Let's have a look at it as a 6 note shape (see diagram below).
I tried a 2 formations and pointer-middle-pinky finger worked the best for me. If you use the ring finger on such a massive stretch the pinky note can be especially hard to get to. Get as comfortable as you can with this shape and the fingering you with to use as the lick we have to put with it is pretty tough (see excerpt below).
Pay close attention to legato in this lick and be wary of questionably timed string changes. I dare say this little phrase nearly made me give up on the entire solo so be super patient with it guys.
Section 4 TipsThe tapping in the final section is a relatively simple idea played across 2 strings. There's a bit of a stretch on the fretting hand but the tapping itself is pretty simple (see excerpt below).
The timing on this is pretty predictable and consistent. We're basically working in semiquaver (or sixteenth note) triplets. It's not ridiculously fast on the tapping hand so you have options as to whether you want to have 2 tapping fingers (one per string), or to just let one tapping finger do all the work.
Finally, I wanted to have a look at the epic and fist raising crescendo of the solo that uses an aggressively attacked tremolo picking phrase (see excerpt below).
Once again we're ealing with semiquaver triplets. The timing on this is important. I listened to the solo countless times to nail the phrasing and to get the tremmed notes changing at the right time. If you can get your hands on a program to slow solos/songs down I would definitely recommend it for this phrase in particular.
Take care guys and happy shredding!
Download tab here.
By Chris Zoupa