I’m practicing my transcription skills - have any requests?


Thank you, that makes it much easier to play. Dan Huff is a monster! That lick makes a great pickzing work out.


Can you notate the solo section from 1:43-1:53?
I know the licks but would love to see them on paper!


That’s one of my favorite EJ licks. Such an audacious intro to a solo, in the spirit of the Yngwie “salute” lick from “I’ll See the Light Tonight,” which Troy profiled in the Volcano seminar. EJ’s fretting is also interesting and wonderfully awkward - he slides up with the pinky!


Oh, this certainly won’t be easy :exploding_head:
Sure, I’ll try it but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to hear some of lower notes.

I love the bend at ~1:47-1:48 :heart_eyes:


I was checking out that EJ “Desert Rose” video again, and there’s a great run that goes from 3:26-3:32 in the video. EJ is just lighting up the fretboard! If you have time I’d be curious what you come up with for that!


@Vortexan, well…I don’t know. These fast licks, especially in live performances…I’m really torn by them. It’s not the first fast lick that I try to transcribe and I can often hear all kind of oddities. Sometimes I can hear a clear mistake and sometimes the player crams whatever number of notes resulting in a really complex rhythmic figure or an odd tuplet and I’m quite sure that these quirks are not intended. Moreover, I can perceive many of these details only when I slow things down. So, I really don’t know what and how I should notate. (I’m just learning :wink: If anybody has advice, I’d love to hear it.)

The more I transcribe, the more relaxed my attitude becomes. At first I wanted to transcribe everything as precisely as possible. Now I notate things the way I think they were intended. I’m not sure whether that is wise or ill-advised.

All that being said, here’s the tab. Please let me know how it differs from the way you play it :wink:

Some notes:

  • I don’t think it begins precisely on the beat. First note is a bit early.
  • In the second beat there are two Bb in the row. This is where he changes positions. Perhaps there should be some note between them but I couldn’t hear it.
  • In the third beat, many of these low notes are hard to distinguish. I did my best but there may very well be mistakes (this comment goes for all of my transcriptions :wink: )
  • The slide in the second bar: I hear that F note but he doesn’t let it ring for much. Just end slide there and that’s it.
  • Artificial harmonic should sound one octave higher than the original note.
  • The beginning of the third bar is a bit laid back. I put the first note of that phrase in a previous bar but…this is one of the cases of either quite complex rhythm or just an artefact of live performance. You can play all four notes as straight sixteenths or the way I wrote. He played it somewhere in between.
  • The worst thing is that I’m not a shredder and I can’t play along these fast passages. I can’t properly test my transcriptions :cry: All I can do is to synchronize the original with GuitarPro file and listen for mistakes.


Any tips on how to transcribe? Are you working with relative pitches?


Sure, but I’ll work on it tomorrow. I’m trying to limit myself to one lick a day :wink:

Oh, I’m definitely the wrong person to give advice on this. All I can do is to tell you how I do it :wink:

In the beginning, I used to loop (and slow down if necessary) some small section and to play along with my guitar. Sometimes I would loop only a single note and would try to find it on the guitar. Once I got, I would notate it. Then move to the next bit.

Later on, I got courageous enough to attempt things without guitar. That was and still is very difficult. The only help that I get is GuitarPro playing the pitch as I enter it. It is still a crutch but I would fail miserably without any help at all.

For this last Eric Johnson passage I tried another method: at first, I notated only rhythms and only then I tried to add pitches. I did all of this without guitar and made mistakes in every step: rhythm step and pitch step :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: Also, there were bits that I couldn’t figure out at all. I worked on these with guitar the way I described my first transcribing efforts.

Notating isn’t too difficult for me just because I learned to read music early on and if I can read it, I have an idea how things should be written. Of course, sometimes my musical literacy proves to be deficient.

I guess that’s it. Again, keep in mind that I’m wrong person to give advice on transcribing :wink:

Relative…perfect…I have none of them. Only a terrible pitch :rofl:
Seriously, it is really difficult for me to distinguish intervals or melodic patterns. I did improve on interval quizes but that skill didn’t really translate to transcribing real music. My aural abilities greatly frustrate me.


You sell yourself short dude! Your transcriptions are excellent.


Taking that into account, why are there so many submissions if Vinnie Moore solos? Talk about high speed solos!

I’m going to try to follow your guidelines with this submission which I think would be interesting for you because while it’s heavy, guitar oriented music, it’s not technical on the level of a Vinnie Moore. I’m interested in the whole song, but if you don’t have time for that, how about the solos that starts at 1:46?


Can’t wait to check it out! I know exactly what you mean about transcribing and notating Eric’s lead playing. The third beat had me pretty perplexed when notating it my self. Maybe I’ll share with you what my version is after I complete it. Thanks!


Oh, some activity in the thread :sunglasses: Nice :+1:

Awww, thanks :blush:
Seriously, I gladly accept and appreciate kind words :slight_smile:

That being said, these transcriptions are mainly the fruit of my persistence and patience. Things should and would be so much easier if I would have at least ordinary aural skills.
That’s why I transcribe. I hope that it will improve my ears :innocent:

:smiley: Some of forum friends missed them. That’s ok. Nothing too tragic. But thanks for reading and considering my guidelines :+1:
Still, this solo appears to be hard to hear. I’ll see what I can do :wink:

I can definitely work on the whole song but I want to upload transcriptions to my instagram as well so I’d rather cut things in separate riffs and licks :wink: Also, I’m not sure about the legality of transcribing a full song at once and putting it on the internet :thinking:
If there are some parts that you can already play, please let me know. Otherwise I’ll work on it whole (but piece by piece :wink: )

Please do. I certainly want to know about the mistakes I make. Or at least to compare my work with yours and to consider the differences :wink:


I really like the phrasing “I’d be curious what you come up with for that!” :slightly_smiling_face: I like it because I do not claim my work to be highly accurate. It’s just what I think happens in these passages :wink:

And that’s what I came up with:


  • The rhythm of triplets are probably innacurate. Bizzare things happen when you slow down fast runs and that seemed to be the easiest way to notate whatever happened there.
  • I indicated two fingers (4 and 3) because that’s where Eric seems to make a position shift. I wanted to make it clear.
  • Fingerings/positions…I tried to match it with the video footage but some things were hard to see. There may be mistakes.

The rest seems to be straight forward despite some hard to hear notes and wobbly rhythms. I guess my tabs lie somewhere between real [accurate] transcribing and interpretation. To my defense, transcribing these fast licks super accurately would make them look really confusing: hard to read and hard to play.

I played along at 35% speed one bar at a time and it sounded reasonably well. Let me know if you spot any mistakes :wink:

Also, I made a short DWPS / rest stroke exercise out of this lick. I don’t want to flood this thread with too many pictures so I’ll point to my instagram if somebody wants to check it out :wink:


If you could transcribe any of these Eric Johnson inspired licks, that would be amazing:


Well done! To my ears all the notes/pitches are there, and I know what you mean when you said you have to balance exact transcription vs interpretation/practicality. Maybe that’s the nature of the transcriber’s art, in a nutshell. Many solos with irregular rhythmic groupings have scared me away in the past because they required too much brainpower to chunk and learn. But I like how you’ve grouped the notes in this run - it makes it way easier to conceptualize and learn. I also like the DWPS exercise on your Instagram. What you’ve isolated there is a classic EJ lick!


Even if the notes are rhythms are right, I doubt EJ would play it the exact way again? I know that I certainly couldn’t play it exactly as written!


Your comment encourages me greatly! :star_struck: Thanks :+1:
And you wrote quite a precise word that I didn’t use before: “practicality”. I think this is what I should strive for.

Thanks for the comment and for the suggestion :+1:

Sure, I’ll try something from that video. But first, there was a piece suggested by Acecrusher :wink:

Thanks for the suggestions, everybody. Keep them coming :sunglasses:


Well, now I feel dumb. After your brought up my guidelines and tried to follow them, I have to admit that I’m not able to transcribe that solo :cry: There’s too much noise there. I can hear few licks and some more prominent notes but I have no idea happens in between them. Sorry :worried:

What I can do is to notate the riffs. Here I did the first one.
(Wait, first of all, the tune is in Eb standart. My tabs/notes do not match the actual sounds. In order to play along, one should detune guitar. Or to screw with audio, which I did.)

It seems straight forward but I managed to find uncertainties anyway. I’m not sure if it’s played in position V or in open position. Both ways are possible. The difference is that the string skip becomes larger in open position.

Also, I’m not overly sure if two first notes are both low E. Second note may be F natural on the first fret but it’s hard to distinguish. If this is the case, then one should play in open position.
Or perhaps they pick the second note harder or move the muting palm a bit closer to nut which makes it sound different :thinking:
Anyway, it sounds totally acceptable to my ears the way I wrote it.

If you want, I can notate other riff that comes at around 0:32.

By the way, cool composition :+1: It reminds me a bit of Lethargy. (I don’t listen to much music so it’s the closest match I have in my musical memory.)


Thank you very much. Don’t worry about the solo. If you could transcribe even a few more riffs that would be great! Yes, they play in E flat or sometimes in drop D which actually becomes E flat with the low string tuned down to D flat, but this song doesn’t use drop D tuning.

I’m interested to find out what some of the chords he uses are since they’re not chords I hear often in other songs.


Oh man, chords are death of me. I find it hard to hear melodic intervals and often have to rely on guitar and/or blind guesses. With chords, I can’t get them down even with the help of guitar :worried: I’m afraid I won’t be able to help with that. I certainly plan to improve in this regard as well but first I’d rather focus on melodic ear training and transcribing.
But I’ll gladly work on riffs :wink: (probably tomorrow. It’s Sunday now :wink: )