Added later: Below is the version with the main guitar mixed much louder (9db!) and with less delay, so that the track is more separated from EJ’s solo. That way you can hear the notes being played much clearer, but it’s also less flattering to listen to
Louder guitar track version:
It’s finally done
This has definitely been one of the hardest solos I’ve had to learn how to play up until now, and that’s coming after having to learn the first Lonely in the Night solo. Many parts of Venus Isle were beyond my abilities and I had to play them over and over and over until they became playable. This is a solo where the slow parts are deceptively hard as well.
It’s a big challenge for the left hand AND the right hand. The right hand has to switch picking techniques every other phrase (alternate, economy, sweeps, fingerpicking) and the left hand has to constantly adjust itself, play wide shapes, mute arpeggiated notes, and also be able to play very fast phrases. This is enough to give you a migraine.
I tried to play the solo as close to note-for-note as possible and match the sound as closely as possible as well in the DAW.
In this era of “fake guitar” accusations I have to make certain clarifications to be completely clear
The video is definitely NOT a live take. To paraphrase Boromir: “One does not simply recreate a studio solo of EJ in a live setting”
EJ fans know how high the level of perfectionism is that EJ aspires to, especially 90s era EJ. So to try and recreate a studio solo note-for-note in a live take is quite a task, although I’m getting closer and closer.
For this cover however I chose to record several live takes, compile the best parts and punch in the trickiest parts to get to the most accurate result.
The recording took me around two hours, but that’s not counting the many dozens of hours of learning and rehearsing this solo for the past months.
Also, I couldn’t have done this without the help of Sensei Peter C who taught me the ins and outs of the solo, helped me through the rough spots, showed me what to focus on, the tricky bits, to persevere even if you think “it’s too hard” and especially to LISTEN before playing and while playing.
I hope the EJ fans like it, any comment, critique and question is welcome!
Have a great day!