[Edit: Re-uploaded with louder guitars.]
If there ever was an archetypal EJ solo from a composition/tone/phrasing/speed/duration standpoint, out of all his pieces, I’d have to pick Venus Isle above any other.
I had attempted this before (like many others) but I felt I had half-assed it with lazy chops and used whatever I had, so this time I felt like doing it justice so that I don’t have to redo anything in the near future.
The more and more I get the picking mechanics under by fingers (at least the relevant ones for EJ style playing), the more liberating it is in terms of the rhythm and swing it offers (in that you can break up notes, rush and drag target notes etc.) and it is an incredibly consistent mechanical tool that it’s there even on a bad day.
Yet with this realization I am also reminded that no matter the technical mastery of some guitar technique, one is always at square one so to speak, that still the notes have to speak, and to this day above speed or any other aspect of playing, the little inflections and tone of the note is the most difficult of all to nail down on a daily basis. I guess the little things keep you honest.
In terms of playing the piece, oddly enough, I dreaded the slower arpeggiated parts and couldn’t wait until the speed runs came along since it’d be somewhat automated (it’s basically DWPS and a combination of slide/pull-offs). Venus Isle as an album has much more dynamic playing than Ah Via Musicom I feel and thus it’s so much more difficult that it sounds.
The gear is just a reissue strat through a ts-808 and a marshall on 10, both channels jumpered.
As always thanks in advance for watching and it’s always cool to discuss and share EJ anecdotes with you CTC folks.