Any COB fans? Trying to get this solo down

Hey all!

I’ve been trying to get this solo down for a few years now, lately I think I’ve gotten better after learning the concepts from the pickslanting primer.

I’m mainly a downward pickslanter, so for this lick I’m starting with DWPS, then rotate to UWPS when switching from the B to the E string, then rotate back from UWPS to DWPS when switching back from the E to B string.

I can’t get it up to 200 bpm (16th notes), not sure where my limitation is or what approach I should take to get there.

Any help would be appreciated, thanks!!

Front view:

Down the strings view:

From what I can hear, it’s 100% picked?


I was a big fan back in the day. The line you are referring to is doubled with the keys, so that is helping with his phrasing and may be masking a pull off. He most certainly is economy picking on the way up, as that is his style. I think the Volcano series and Yngwie style licks would be a good starting point, as that is foundational in Alexi’s playing.

While sitting at my desk, I would say, he probably has a pull off (whether intentional or not) to change strings to the B string, and then a sweep back up to the E string on that change. I would try to map it out using the Yngwie style even notes picked per string, using pull offs to get there. Map out the picked notes and align the pattern so that you change strings staying with your natural downward pick slant.

I would also add, can you pick just 16th notes on the high e at 200bpm? Try playing just the E string portion of the lick in loop, then focus on changing strings. Again, going back to the Yngwie lesson and chuncking patterns on a string, then moving that pattern down.


Interesting. If that’s the case I think it should look like this, with only one pull-off needed to keep the downslant:

    D  U  D  D  U  D  U  D  U      D  U

    D  U  D  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U

I’ll try it when I get home!

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So I assume trying to get this up to 200 bpm with my original approach (100% alternate picking with 2 way pickslant) should still be doable, but is significantly harder?

Yes, it would be harder to do two way pick slanting. The lick is similar the way you have it tabbed to what Rusty Cooley does (and John Petrucci on Erotomania’s middle section)…Rusty plays 5 or 7 note patterns and changes strings playing the next run in 5 or 7 notes. So, 7 9 10 12 10 9 7, change strings 10 9 7 9 10 change strings back up, repeat. Practicing these patterns as fast as you can (or legato), will really help you with the lick you are trying to learn.

The way I’d go about getting it up to speed using pure alternate picking and two-way pickslanting.would be to divide the lick into 4-note chunks, and then practice said chunks individually with the addition of the 1st note of the following chunk to end the pattern and prepare myself for the transition into the next chunk. I’d be winging it at my top speed at first, even if it’s not as clean at first. I’d work on the chunks that feel the easiest to play, and string together those chunks that I feel the most comfortable with. I’d recommend practicing the chunks both at your top speed and at an extremely slow tempo (e.g. 40 bpm).

Following strictly Yngwie’s style though, would you (or anyone) tab it differently? My approach to that tab was to maintain DWPS using the least amount of legato

Two things, I think you have tabbed it correctly for the Yngwie style. The trickiest part of that is the pull off, so I would practice first the lick up to the U on the 19th fret E string, right before the pull off. I would play that over and over with a metronome. It shouldn’t be too hard, as the lick up until that note flows fairly easy on the left hand and right, with the economy picking. That 19th fret and the pull off is the trickiest part of this whole thing. Work through that change, and the rest will come together quickly. The other part is that you stumbled a little on the slide up to the 22nd fret on the second part of the lick. That is a classic Paul Gilbert lick straight off the Street Lethal solo intro. Paul loops that second part as an exercise to work on picking, he shows it in his first video. You can circle that lick forever, but again, I think the first part with the pull off is the hardest part of all of this.


If Alexi is doing any pull offs in there, it’s not intentional. His scale runs are pretty strict alternate picking as far as I’m aware. I don’t consider Yngwie his main influence, I’d say it’s Randy Rhoads and Zakk Wylde. His right hand posture suggests he was trying to copy Randy.

So I went home and played through this and this is what I found. I economy pick or swipe on the transition from the b string to the e string, pick that whole line (no pull off necessary) and back to the b string. The tricky part for me is the same as you, the slide up to the 22nd fret. I found that I can play the lick at tempo if I just play the 22nd fret with my pinky as a four note per string lick. So I play the lick 17 19 20 with my i m r fingers on both strings, then the 17 19 20 22 i m r p and back down. It may not be the way that he plays it, but for my style, it works.

For your picking style, I would practice 17 19 20 on the b, then 17 19 20
on the e. Start with sweeping that transition, like the Joe Stump interview. Just brrrp, brrrp, over and over, to see if you can get to that tempo. I found that I pick differently when playing at top speed, vs trying to learn a lick speed, so I would disregard a metronome and just try to play as fast as you can at first, then slow down to a manageable tempo. Next, chunk the e string lick, 17 19 20 19 17 19 17, can you play that at tempo without the string change? Try a simpler pattern of 17 19 20 19 17 on the e string, then add the two notes at the end. Lastly, play 17 19 20 19 17 on the e, then 20 19 17 19 20 on the b, and repeat that, to get to tempo. That will work the transition back down from the e to the b, seeing that you already worked it going up in the first ‘lesson’. If you want to work on the slide, then I would start on the e string and chunk the 17 19 20 / 22 20 19 / 17 repeat, then add, 17 19 20 / 22 20 19, 22 20 19 on the b string. I should work on that more, as it sounds cool at tempo.


I like that approach, some of it I have been doing already.

I agree, that slide is tricky, but sounds cooler. I learned that adding a hammer-on before the slide makes it far more manageable. I think I hear it on the recording as well, but I could be wrong.

    D  U  D  D  U        D  U  D  U  D  U
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Here’s my video from the day I first posted here. This was my process of working on 100% alternate picking method for playing the lick, and chunking is the key here:

I’m playing unplugged because I don’t have my amp with me at the moment.


Hey mstaro!

That solo has been my long term goal for the last decade … :,)
It’s a top entry on my bucket-list, so to speak.
I can play all the parts in isolation up to speed but i am still am a long way from being able to reliably and nail the whole thing.

I play the first lick with economy picking, which translates to a sweep on the first stringswitch, then strict alternating. The last downward stringswitch is a sweep again. Like that:

                  D  D


But honestly, i dont think thats an advantage or disadvantage, just a habit.

The trickiest parts imo are the diminished sweeps after the run we have discussed, as well as keeping the ascending part of the one-string run clean. Also, the transition from the sextuplets into the descending parts is very fast, especially considering that the last note before the switch intuitively deserves some drama but still is only a 1/4.

I just felt the need to wish you good luck, it feels good to know there is somebody else who has played this lick a zillion times more than alexi.
We will get there in 2020! (which is what i told myself at the beginning of 2019, as well as 18, 17, 16… but i dont plan to stop)


Same here! I hope we can all break through this solo in 2020, or 2019…we still have 19 days left :slight_smile: