Troy Grady on Steve Vai's "Crossroads 'Intimidation Lick'" - Jemsite
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Troy Grady on Steve Vai's "Crossroads 'Intimidation Lick'"

This is awesome, on a number of levels:

http://youtu.be/7M8GfYMqfWM

First, it's a good look at a blistering run from right before the start of the Crossroads duel scene that contains a number of "signature" bits of Vai's style - analyzed in a significant level of detail, from positions employed and how they relate to other licks of his, to note groupings and some of the rationale behind them, to a pickstroke-by-pickstroke analysis of how he picks this.

Second, it's a great look on the philosophical and "research" side of transcription - it's a really well reasoned and thought out reconstruction of what he played.

Third, it's just kind of a great "cultural" analysis of this lick, how it fit into the performance, how it fit into the prevailing attitudes around shred at the time, etc. I was five when this movie came out, so while a lot of this was stuff I was aware of on some level, it was still an interesting "story" that Grady gave this performance.

The whole "Cracking The Code" project (this is an offshoot - some of the material comes up elsewhere in the project, but this is a much deeper dive than he gives this lick in the episode) is excellent, by the way - I've only seen Season 1 and the first episode of Season 2 (which is all that's out there for free on YouTube), but I'll probably suck it up and pay for a pass, as it's both really entertaining, and also has been pretty helpful in getting my picking technique sorted out - I spent a night in the middle of last week watching this from beginning to end and staying up WAY too late because I'd gotten sucked in, and between some of the observations on pick technique and just the fact that I'm fired up to start binge-practicing again because of it, I feel like I've made a lot of progress in the last week and a half.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 01:53 PM
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Re: Troy Grady on Steve Vai's "Crossroads 'Intimidation Lick'"

Yeah, I saw this a while back. Great production and very entertaining and interesting.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 05:58 PM
 
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Re: Troy Grady on Steve Vai's "Crossroads 'Intimidation Lick'"

Very cool! Thank you for sharing. I hadn't come across Troy Grady before. The man can play and instruct!
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 04:02 PM
 
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Re: Troy Grady on Steve Vai's "Crossroads 'Intimidation Lick'"

His upcoming "2 way pick slanting" technique might give something reaaally interesting.
The whole "cracking the code" videos are amazing.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Troy Grady on Steve Vai's "Crossroads 'Intimidation Lick'"

Yeah, it's a pretty great series. I figured all the action would be in Season 3, so I didn't even bother with Season 1 on YouTube and when I watched the one episode of Season 2 (on Yngwie) on YouTube I really didn't expect to take much from it, but I was wrong, to the extent that I then went back and watched the entirety of Season 1.

The first season is really interesting - it definitely covers some useful aspects of picking mechanics, but it's also just a great story; I kind of want to make some of my non-guitar friends watch it so they "get" what a lot of being a guitarist into shred is like. And, it does a really good job of capturing the excitement of being a young guitarist and practicing stuff in your bedroom and thinking you were really getting somewhere until someone comes along out of nowhere and just blows you away - I got pretty nostalgic watching it, even though I was from a different musical generation (Cobain got me to pick up the guitar, and it was Hendrix and SRV, and then Satriani, that made me get serious about getting faster).

I don't think it's as simple as he's letting on (at least through Season 2 Episode 1) - I've been binge practicing Paul Gilbert's "Technical Difficulties" lately, and there's no way he's only crossing strings on upstrokes on those fast triplet runs in the intro - but at the same time increasing my pick angle (relative to the floor) a little has helped, though I think just getting all fired up on practicing my picking again is really where the progress I'm making is coming from.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 06:30 PM
 
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Re: Troy Grady on Steve Vai's "Crossroads 'Intimidation Lick'"

You forgot about the chunking! That was the epiphany moment for me
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-17-2014, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Troy Grady on Steve Vai's "Crossroads 'Intimidation Lick'"

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilch View Post
You forgot about the chunking! That was the epiphany moment for me
I think that was something I'd already been doing. I mean, I've always been more of a legato guy and I can get around the neck well enough with slurred techniques, and for a LONG time now I've looked at scales less as six or seven string shapes, but two striung, three-note-per-string groupings that sort of interlock all across the neck, so the idea of breaking scales up into little pieces that I could move around is something that makes a lot of sense to me and is something I've been doing anyway. Picking, however... My technique has always been VERY rough. Between a week's worth of binge practicing and refining my angle a little (and I'm now moving back towards neutral, as I think I was overdoing it for a bit), things are starting to come together for me.

I think maybe that's the bigger point though, and what Troy's doing right here - there's a lot of little "parts" that add up to the complete package here. And, a lot of guys in my situation (and his situation in high school, where he could get by on EVH pentatonic speed licks), where we're not world-class talents like Gilbert or Vai or Satch, but there are a few things that we can do very well that allow us to get by, have a couple of the parts down pretty well, but very few of us have ALL of the parts needed to add up to a complete package.

There's a great passage in David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest" about dissecting a bunch of the characters' tennis games, actually, that probably makes a lot of sense here, where they're talking through the games of a number of the characters, and how some of them add up to a "complete game" while some of them don't. Some of their strengths are complimentary and work well with each other, others are not and leave gaping weaknesses, and one or two guys literally have no weaknesses at all.

I think things are similar as a guitarist - there's a whole bunch of things you look for in a guitarist, picking technique, sweeping technique, legato technique/fretting hand control, bending technique/control, phrasing, melodic sense/awareness, compositional ability, etc etc etc. As a guitarist, you can definitely make a career out of an incomplete list there, provided your strengths are complimentary - say, strong legato technique and strong melodic/compositional sensibilities gets you something like a Joe Satriani, even with average picking and sweeping abilities. However, I think the goal for all of us is to have a complete set of abilities, and while this is ostentatiously a picking discussion, Troy covers a lot of the other things you need to support that.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-17-2014, 08:40 PM
 
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Re: Troy Grady on Steve Vai's "Crossroads 'Intimidation Lick'"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew View Post
I think things are similar as a guitarist - there's a whole bunch of things you look for in a guitarist, picking technique, sweeping technique, legato technique/fretting hand control, bending technique/control, phrasing, melodic sense/awareness, compositional ability, etc etc etc. As a guitarist, you can definitely make a career out of an incomplete list there, provided your strengths are complimentary - say, strong legato technique and strong melodic/compositional sensibilities gets you something like a Joe Satriani, even with average picking and sweeping abilities. However, I think the goal for all of us is to have a complete set of abilities, and while this is ostentatiously a picking discussion, Troy covers a lot of the other things you need to support that.
^ This. You've hit the nail on the head here. I think the bar is way higher than at any point in the past and not to chase the elusive complete package feels like selling short. It's weird, I always had more trouble with pentatonic licks than learning legato and alternate picking. Not that I am good at either of those, but I feel my pentatonic stuff is remedial. Anyone else find that?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 07:20 PM
 
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Re: Troy Grady on Steve Vai's "Crossroads 'Intimidation Lick'"

Thanks for posting this.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 09:41 AM
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Re: Troy Grady on Steve Vai's "Crossroads 'Intimidation Lick'"

I found Cracking the Code recently and have really enjoyed it and learned from it as well.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Troy Grady on Steve Vai's "Crossroads 'Intimidation Lick'"

I saw this as a recently replied to topic and was about to come in and congratulate the OP for his or her exceptional taste. Then I opened the forum...

Seriously, this is a great series. Season 2 is where all the meat is, but there's some quality information in Season 1, and over and above that, it did an awesome job of capturing the feeling of being a kid with a guitar sitting in my bedroom and wondering how the hell my heroes were able to do what they were doing.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-21-2015, 02:34 AM
 
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Re: Troy Grady on Steve Vai's "Crossroads 'Intimidation Lick'"

CtC is straight up life-changing. Found the videos earlier this year and i'll never play the same way again.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 07:36 AM
 
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Re: Troy Grady on Steve Vai's "Crossroads 'Intimidation Lick'"

I watched a few and was impressed so I have downloaded as many as I could this stuff is reference material!

He should release this stuff as a DVD package, well worth it
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