“I did the bits that sound "noodly" or "solo-y".
@finnkisch did everything that sounds like "an awesome motherfucking song".”
In January, Finn sent me an mp3 of this great song -- a bit minimalistic for my taste, but undeniably strong lyrically, just a great song no matter how you slice it. And he wanted me to lay a guitar solo down on it.
I was going to go see Ninja Academy that night, but the song grabbed me and I ended up playing guitar on it. A lot of guitar. I not only recorded a raw solo, but also noodly clean bits that trampled all over the vocals and repeated a theme in the first section of the mosh part. Think, maybe, of asking Jackson Pollack to paint an empty corner of your floor, and finding the entire house covered with an inch of paint.
Just the way I am, you know? I'll solo over anything.
I really liked what I did, and so did Finn, but we agreed that a lot of the busy-ness was detrimental to the vocals, which should really be the focus here.
We talked about the song a bit, then tried throwing other half-finished songs at each other to see what stuck. Nothing came of that, and no one was surprised. Months passed.
Then, in July, Finn started his song-a-month project under his old solo project moniker All the Meat Wants, and it was good. I recognized a lot of the songs off of Yesterday Again Today from the Dark Secret Love days; it's good finally seeing 'em in a finished and presentable form.
Labor Day weekend, Finn emailed me about making Fracture September's song of the month.
All in all it was fun, though there were times when I was frustrated at my own limitations on guitar. I idealize the first-take solo, the imbued channeling of godhood through the mortal instrument in one perfect transcendent performance. Yet, take after take after imperfect take later, I resigned myself to my own mediocrity. And turned to my skills at editing shit together ;-)
I think the clean guitar bits are comprised of 3-5 different takes, edited together; the solo is definitely 5-6 takes hacked into, as Finn called it, a Frankensolo. Phrasing my solos into distinct sections is not only advantageous for letting the solo "breathe", but also for covering ugly fuckups the fuck up.
My innate ability to hear flourishes and counterpoint melodies that aren't there, yet, added a lot. But Finn's devotion to the purity of the song (read: keeping me from going hog wild and trampling over everything), plus, y'know, the awesome song he wrote and recorded, were even more important. And it just meshed and gelled and whatever other verbs that connotate symbiosis or collaboration.
I think it's the best work I've done to date.
It's definitely my favorite song of Finn's, hands down. As he said, it's something special. I'm really glad he let me be a part of it.
Take a listen.
And share it with somebody.
So which direction to go in this, the final solo of the day?
I thought of putting a turntablist here, most likely DJ Shadow, but didn't find a definitive performance that screamed SotD to me... it's more the body of work.
Next I reached for an old college favorite, SRV's Riviera Paradise, where SRV delves into his jazziest moments but is still fully grounded in slow blues. That isn't my favorite, definitive version of that song though. That's the trouble with live performances, you know? I think this might be, but the video is crap. So no matter how much I like the song, I just can't make it the SotD.
Then how about Clapton's Edge of Darkness, where he plays with an orchestra? Except his tone is too thin and the orchestra starts the second half much too fast to maintain the mood... I think he had better performances in later nights (24 nights of concerts). Or maybe I'm misremembering the recording... senility will do that to you... the old days seem warm and bright in your memory and the present seems harsh and cold.
How about a nylon string guitar solo? I love those, even though I can't ever seem to justify keeping a classical guitar around for whatever reason. Performances like this Paco de Lucia piece certainly are making me rethink that.
I think Steve Steven's performance is well deserving. Besides, I play nylon string guitars with a pick too. And I have to go back to work now.
So far I've mostly avoided typical 80s shredder types and their spawn. Although you could say Zakk Wylde is spawn-of-Randy-Rhoads, he's also fully grounded in the blues scale and will reach for the lightning fast pentatonic solo instead of going off on major scale modes, sweep picking, or eight finger tapping.
This is both by design and a matter of taste. I have been known to be amazed by the technical prowess of a lot of these shredders but find they too often ignore tone, melody, singability, emotional response, and originality in their quest of stuffing as many notes in the least amount of time possible.
I nearly chose Joe Satriani's Always With Me, Always With You, especially since he may use my current company's products (we think we found him on our forums). When I listen to it I feel a bit guilty since it's almost like it's a guitar shredder's version of Kenny G, but I like it. Especially the switch to minor around 1:15. And the slow melodic finger tapping at 2:06.
I also didn't choose the master of guitar facial expressions' Bad Horsie (finally, Vai rocks out. And he's silver. And I love heavy riffs with slide) or I Know You're Here which I mainly like for the much-too-brief-fretless-guitar-single-
Plus, the previous 3 solos of the day were new to me as of this week. I surprisingly had never heard Marooned or Farewell Ballad and that looks like a new KJ Sawka video. But I'm today breaking all the rules. A shredder who's in utter and complete look-at-me mode, in a video I found months ago. Why?
Have you tried using chopsticks with your off hand? Or writing? Or anything generally requiring more finger dexterity than you can manage?
Michael Angelo Batio not only plays reverse-righty but also fully left handed and with both hands at the same time on opposite necks. And I just can't stop watching. So there you have it. Solo of the day.
ok, so i cheated by linking three other solos. but hey, i'm aiming at ending this series tomorrow.
Wait a minute Aki, you're calling this "Solo of the Day" and not "Guitar Solo of the Day"... any reason why?
Ha, you clever dog. Today's solo of the day goes to KJ Sawka. How many drummers do you know of who can play live drum'n'bass? Of those few, how many play as well as KJ Sawka?
KJ, this one's for your kickass grooves that put most drum'n'bass drum loops to shame. For the awesome buzz snare hits you do near the end of this clip. For your classy beverage of choice. And for dropping a stick and looking goofy, reminding us all that hey, this is live, and shit happens.
The second one goes to Zakk Wylde. He can be all over the map; his studio work with Ozzy is spot on but his live stuff tends to get a little dense in the pinch-harmonics-per-minute. (Tom Morello: He gets a 10 for his "kwaa's", 6.5 for the rest.")
But Farewell Ballad gets full marks for everything, except for the fact that I want it to be a lot longer. Zakk has a soft spot in his heart for the power ballad (as do I) and his brand of intensity and tone and feel just floors me every time.
The first one goes to the guitar god David Gilmour. For having such a tasteful, melodic, achingly beautiful tone and style. For using a pitch shifter in this song to just add to the way his guitar sings, instead of as a gimmick. For inspiring me to pick up the guitar as an instrument the first time.
But most of all, for inspiring me to pick up the guitar time and time again, after months of letting it gather dust, after the callouses on my fingers long disappeared, after I wonder if I'm over the guitar as an instrument, as a hobby, as a dream.
Somewhere early this weekend I made a conscious decision that maybe it would be nice to just stay in. Get familiar with my new studio setup. Rest. Work on reducing the copious amounts of yummy yet perishable food in the fridge before it goes bad. Avoid buying new music equipment.
Nearly 48 consecutive hours so far without having to deal with anyone else. The antisocial hermit's paradise.
The view from Loft Ness from earlier this evening:
( +2 )