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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-17-2015, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Which Vai song to learn?

Hey guys,
So I wasn't exactly sure which part of the forum I should put this in, but this seems liked the closest match.

I am trying to figure out which Vai song I should learn to play. I have been playing for about 13~14 years, but I have never tried to learn on of his songs before; note for note that is. The reason being, I want to pick up a new guitar (JS1200), but I feel like I need show myself I actually have the required skill to use the instrument. I know that sounds dumb as hell, but I have always looked at buying guitars that way.

I don't want to learn the easiest song on his discography, but something maybe in the middle of the road.

Any suggestions?

-Keith
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-17-2015, 12:21 PM
 
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Re: Which Vai song to learn?

Hand on Heart - my favorite Vai song - lots of interesting parts and not the easiest song but not the most difficult from his catalog either...that would be my 1st choice. K'm-Pee-Du-Wee is fun to play too - I've only learned the easier parts but it's really fun to play...
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-15-2015, 10:52 AM
 
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Re: Which Vai song to learn?

The attitude Song is still one of his greatest. I would start picking that one apart.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-15-2015, 12:39 PM
 
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Re: Which Vai song to learn?

The Attitude Song is a good example, but I would also suggest Die To Live.
Salamaders in The Sun, Touching Tongues, Whispering A Prayer for a sensual melody.
If you're into bluesy-fusion stuff you can try Call It Sleep and Tender Surrender.
If you want to rock it, then The Animal or Erotic Nightmares.

Those are from his solo catalogue... but most of his work with Alcatrazz, DLR and Whitesnake could fit your needs as well, like David Lee Roth - Big Trouble and Bumb&Grind have coolest riffs evahr, as well as Whitesnake - Slip of The Tongue and Slow Poke Music...

Those are just from the top of my head, don't know which music you prefer.

If I have to name one, I'd say Die To Live, so there you go.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-15-2015, 07:11 PM
 
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Re: Which Vai song to learn?

Definitely Tender Surrender. There is a terrific live performance on youtube I remember watching. It is a rock guitar masterclass.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 07:20 PM
 
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Re: Which Vai song to learn?

Quote:
Originally Posted by satch89 View Post
Hey guys,
So I wasn't exactly sure which part of the forum I should put this in, but this seems liked the closest match.

I am trying to figure out which Vai song I should learn to play. I have been playing for about 13~14 years, but I have never tried to learn on of his songs before; note for note that is. The reason being, I want to pick up a new guitar (JS1200), but I feel like I need show myself I actually have the required skill to use the instrument. I know that sounds dumb as hell, but I have always looked at buying guitars that way.

I don't want to learn the easiest song on his discography, but something maybe in the middle of the road.

Any suggestions?

-Keith
Your line of thinking is not uncommon amongst guitarists. What is your current guitar(s)?

I've both experienced and witnessed in others that "improvement comes when you have a guitar that you can grow into, rather than out of." A guitar that plays better and sounds better is a guitar you will play more. The more you play/practice the better you get. If you are serious about music, you earn a better instrument AFTER you buy it, not before. I realize that is backwards thinking for 95% of the world but in music, thats the way it works. Now, if you just want another guitar to add to your vast collection of high end guitars, that is a different matter.

As for a Vai song to learn, I would aim for the easiest song in his discography because chances are you will find it deceptively challenging. I think the best song to learn note for note would be "Ballerina 12/24" because if you own an Eventide PitchFactor, the algorithm for that song is one of the presets. The dry guitar part, which is what you would play, has to be perfect because the two delayed signals depend on it. It is a definitely a playable piece but its no easy task to nail it in one take.

Anyways, good luck with your practicing and guitar purchasing!
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-29-2015, 04:37 AM
 
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Re: Which Vai song to learn?

+1 for Tender Surrender, as it will work your brain as well as your fingers. It's also got pretty much all the 'Vai-isms' you could ever find in just one song.

There's a great 'Lick Library' tutorial on that song, I think the instructor is Guthrie Govan. It was from an old DVD but it's readily available on youtube and will help you no end!
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-29-2015, 05:15 AM
 
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Re: Which Vai song to learn?

Quote:
I think the best song to learn note for note would be "Ballerina 12/24" because if you own an Eventide PitchFactor, the algorithm for that song is one of the presets.
Why would he own it, what gives it away? It's very expensive and not that "essential" for an average guitarist. The composition is truly wonderful, though. Not offending or anything, just was strange to read.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-29-2015, 11:56 AM
 
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Re: Which Vai song to learn?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ianblack8 View Post
It's very expensive and not that "essential" for an average guitarist.
I got pretty close with a Ballerina 12/24 preset for my old Boss GT-3, and that was a long time ago!
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-29-2015, 12:58 PM
 
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Re: Which Vai song to learn?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tearsx View Post
I got pretty close with a Ballerina 12/24 preset for my old Boss GT-3, and that was a long time ago!
Yes, must be possible to replicate by other means, no doubt. But Eventide might have it's own flavor.

Last edited by ianblack8; 04-29-2015 at 01:23 PM.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 06:10 PM
 
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Re: Which Vai song to learn?

For a fun one, and probably one of the easier to lean into -- Racing the World.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 11:31 PM
 
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Re: Which Vai song to learn?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ianblack8 View Post
Why would he own it, what gives it away? It's very expensive and not that "essential" for an average guitarist. The composition is truly wonderful, though. Not offending or anything, just was strange to read.
You are right, it is a little strange to read. The long version would have been Steve Vai explains how the piece is performed in the Passion & Warfare tab book: "The piece is performed with the use of the Eventide H-3000 harmonizer. A stereo harmonizing delay program is set. There are 2 echos, the first being 180 ms (one sixteenth note) and sounding a major 6th higher. The second delay is set to 360 ms (one eighth note) and is sounding a perfect 4th higher than the original. The two delayed harmonized signals are panned left and right respectively. The part is played in an 8th note fashion to the delays. The noted part is the performance part of the original 8th (The dry guitar)."

There are probably many ways to successfully create the delayed harmonies but the easiest way, and possibly the most affordable way, is to use the preset on the Eventide PitchFactor. My assumption was meant more as a suggestion even though it does not really "read" that way. I hope everything has been made clear now.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-04-2015, 12:04 PM
 
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Re: Which Vai song to learn?

Attitude Song/Gravity Storm/Erotic Nightmares all have great riffs.

For the Love of God, Tender Surrender (or Blue Powder) for "soul"

As also mentioned, Racing the World is a good and easier intro piece.

But personally, I've always wanted to learn Juice note for note.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 01:30 PM
 
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Re: Which Vai song to learn?

I wouldn't jump straight into the complex stuff. I think a song like Ladies night in buffalo (DLR first album) has some cool rhythm stuff, and very melodic solo that helps with learning his sweeps and fast picking.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 10:41 PM
 
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Re: Which Vai song to learn?

I've been playing for a while however haven't exactly tackled too many solos.

Racing the World was my choice. However, there are lots of these intricacies that comes with repetitive phrases that I need to differentiate. I guess listening properly would help me. Just need the time to go through it.

I also attempted Dyin Day. I suppose it's another one of his accessible stuff. Not easy, it is an interesting challenge, but it doesn't have licks that an intermediate player would need years to nail (e.g. eugine trick bag type stuff!)

These are my personal choice once i get around to this instrument!

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