Cracking the code episode 6 - EVH Lick

Troy mentions mastering a 3 string repetitive lick that he copped off Eddie. Did he ever provide the tab for it? Is it available?


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I think we (the people) could come up with a tab by slowing down the animation - I recall the (probably?) correct frets lighting up.

Are you talking about the pentatonic stuff? The “fret dots” for it are on the screen around 13:40 or so. And then we put it in the soundtrack around 15:35, in the classroom scene.

@Troy do you have an idea of the picking pattern used by EVH for this lick? I know we have many systems in place to do it now, but I’m asking for sorta archeological reasons.

I don’t know specifically but it’s mostly legato so I don’t know how much it really matters. Top note / only note on that string is picked, first note on middle string is picked, first / only note on bottom string is picked. Use whatever pickstrokes you like. I think I do it with an upstroke on the top string and a downstroke on the other two strings. I think!

Edit: You can also try sweeping the two low strings. I doubt EVH does this because that’s more of an EJ thing, but it does work. That might actually be what I do.

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Yeah I agree that given the above info on picked/legato (thank you!) I can find my own way around it!

I just get curious sometimes about what great players actually did! And I think your Steve Vai intimidation lick lesson is partly to blame for the start of this obsession :smiley:

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I think if it matters here, it matters in the sense that your choices are tied to your arm position and picking motion. If you are an EJ-style player, you’ll probably do it the up-down, then sweep way, and that makes sense, given that you’re doing a deviation motion out of a supinated arm position. i.e. Because this traps the downstrokes.

If you’re EVH, he has more of an Albert Lee-style setup, with a supinated arm position but a more shallow escape trajectory where he can get upstroke and downstroke string changes. And this is true even though he’s got a more supinated arm position than EJ, because of his middle finger grip. When that’s your setup, there may not be any specific advantage or tendency to want to sweep a downstroke because the pickstroke isn’t necessarily trapping. This is also maybe why he occasionally writes things like “Hang 'Em High” where a more “dwps” player might not think to try and alternate pick something like that.

Just some hypothesizing.

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I think EVH sometimes hammered on from nowhere for those types of licks. Pick the first note, hammer on from nowhere onto the second string, pull off, then pick the 3rd string.

Ben Eller did a video on the technique recently:


Yes totally. In this case, though, this pattern is the same fret on both the E and B strings, so you (probably?) have to pick it. The low note on the G string could be a hammer. We’d need some video.

What VH song is that solo from?

Lots. I think we used Panama and Romeo Delight. I know it’s in Hot for Teacher as well. All over.

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Thx. I know he uses that riff all over , I thought you sampled a specific song… but you’re saying you spliced the solo from 2 VH songs?

Yes the audio that plays in that animation is a sample of Panama, looped, and then a sample of Romeo Delight. I forget if we used any others.

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