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


It’s likely that Landau players with his fingers. I have followed him for years and, to my knowledge, he has never used a thumb pick when playing with either Burning Water or the Raging Honkies.


So far, this was the most difficult piece to transcribe. The double stops pushed me further than before (just by looking, they are laughingly simple. But not to my broken ears :point_up:)
And those lower notes…at times I was wondering if guitar plays them at all. They are really percussive and it’s really hard to hear a pitch in those cases.

What I wrote here sounds kind of ok when I play along or when I synchronize GuitarPro with the track but I’m not confident about anything here:

  • These double stops…at times some notes sound dirty enough for me to suspect there being two notes but I could distinguish only one sound. Nothing else along it sounded appropriately. So, I’m confused and lost. This comment goes for every note that is played alone on B string.
  • The last long note is confusing as well. It also sounds dirty but I couldn’t find any other fitting note that goes with G and makes that kind of sound. The closest I could get was doubling the note on other string.
  • Percussive sounds…first of all, notation: I wrote them as palm muted and also added a dampened string just to indicate that these are heavily percussive. I don’t think that extra string is being played. It’s just my sybol for extra percussiveness :wink:
  • Pitches of these percussive sounds were difficult to distinguish and at some points I couldn’t really hear anything. These extreme cases were the two last muted sounds. The last one sounds like pitch A but A is being played around it so it may be that I hear a delay. The percussive sound before that…I have no idea. Nothing sounds good there but D note sounds the least wrong.
  • A note on rhythm: these percussive sounds sometimes swing a bit or get slightly delayed. I took liberty to notate them in a straight manner.
  • One more thing: delay is used here. It convolutes some things. I tried to distinguish delay from picked played notes and tried to reason which sounds should be notated. I could have made mistakes in this step.

So yeah, not much confidence in this transcription. I had fun playing what I wrote and it doesn’t sound too wrong but I would be shocked if it turned out to be an accurate transcription. Let me know how it sounds to you :wink:

I see you wrote back while I was writing this.

If this is the case, then I have no idea how he produced these percussive sounds :open_mouth: That’s a mystery to me.

Anyway, really cool intro :+1: I you (or somebody else) knows some similar passages with double stops, I’d like to work on them :innocent:


Thanks again, I will have a play when I get home from work.

The only song I can think of with double stops is the intro to No Tomorrow by Suede. I was listening to this today so it instantly came to mind.


Thanks :slight_smile:
Just by listening casually, I have doubts whether it’s only two notes sounding at the same time (not counting the low pedal note) :thinking: I could be wrong though. Or perhaps there is some chorus effect that confuses me.

Anyway, thanks again. It reminds me of something Rush alike. I’ll try to figure it out tomorrow.

And let me know how Red Blues sounds to you when you try it out :wink:


Sounds spot on to me. The low pedal notes sound perfect. As you say, the percussive element is very much a feel thing. I doubt Landau ever played this riff with exactly the same timing twice.


I know that nobody asked for this but I received the suggestion here so I’ll share the tab here as well.

I don’t know how many times I have expressed my gratitude to you but here it comes again: thank you for the suggestion :+1: It lies right around the boundary of my aural skills which makes it perfect practice :innocent:

Yesterday I had doubts whether only double stops are being played here. Today my doubts grew bigger. It seems to me, that the part is different on left and right channel. I was able to notate what I heard on the left channel but the right one seems to have something additional and I can’t figure it out yet. I mean, I kind of know what notes should sound good in these spots (there aren’t that many choices in diatonic pleasant sounding music) but nothing seems to work. Perhaps some sound manipulation magic is used there, perhaps I’m simply too inexperienced to figure it out.

Anyway, here’s what I got:

  • First of all, it is played in Eb standart. Tabs show how it would look like on Eb standart fretboard.
  • As mentioned, there seem to be more than one instrument/part playing. So, if one chooses to play this along the real recording, the said person may feel that something is missing. You would be correct. Whatever is on right channel, it is missing.
  • Let the open D note/string ring out.
  • I found it easiest to play with fingers or hybrid picking.

If sombeody has some other song in mind with double stops, let me know. Otherwise, I’ll go hunt for them myself. Perhaps I should look into Van Halen for that :thinking:

Oh man, I feel like you have much more confidence in me than I do :sweat_smile:
Anyway, I’m happy if you find it reasonably accurate and/or playable. And of course, I appreciate kind words :innocent:



I think a good transcription exercise would be the intro to “Insignificant” by “Nevermore”
It’s written in an alternative tuning, open strings are used, so that helps narrow down what the tuning could be.
But also, to make it confusing, the pitch of the open strings is also played fretted on different strings.

In cases like the above, I find it helps to establish what the picking pattern is. As you can apply it to the chord changes in the song, to see if the picking pattern still applies.

Personally, I use a DAW for all my transcribing. I find it’s a much faster method for finding tempo, rhythms, time sigs…


I’m Landau definitely played that riff with his fingers. You can hear the notes jump out and they have a certain snap to them that you get with playing fingerstyle.


I enjoy your work and it’s getting good activity on this thread! I’m not familiar with the band or song, but after listening to it, I believe the low d note is actually a pickup note and not on the downbeat. That is what it feels like. Keep up the good work my friend!:guitar:


Thanks for the comment and encouragement :slight_smile: This thread and kind words like yours do honestly motivate me to keep on doing this stuff pretty much daily :innocent:

[Here I assume you are referring to my last transcription: Suede - No Tomorrow. If not…well then, have a laugh at my pointless post :smiley:]

Unfortunately, I’ll have to disagree. Here are three supportive bits to my case:

  1. If you consider the first open D as a first beat of a first bar and count along beats/measures, it all blends nicely into verse.

  2. The cymbal joining before the verse seems to play downbeats as well (of which first and third coincide with open D). I consider it to be on downbeats because it leads nicely and evenly to the verse.
    Even if cymbal was on upbeats, I really doubt it would occur in the rhythmical place of a pickup note, meaning one eigtht note before 1 and 3 downbeats. That would be rather strange.

  3. The motive of that intro shows up again few times in the song and it seems to have these open D notes as downbeats (if taking the few surrounding bars into account.)

I’m not super sure but I’m pretty sure I’m correct here. Perhaps some other competent person could resolve our dispute :thinking:

Regardless who is correct, don’t shy away from pointing out details that you think I got wrong. I’m sure these exist in great quantities :sweat_smile: And I’m here to learn. If I leave out unfixed mistakes, I won’t learn to fix them :wink:


Hehe, certainly not a dispute. I think we just hear it differently. I think I just hear the rhythm differently caused by where I place the d note in my head. In the end, I think it’s a bit much to banter on about an eighth note. You have other things to work on. :guitar:


Well, this statement of mine is stupid :persevere: I confused some things. That was totally my mistake.
I could sneakily edit it out but I feel it would be rather dishonest.

Just ignore that whole bit


It’s nothing to worry about. I enjoy being able to discuss how we each hear the part. Here’s a tab to what my ears hear. It’s all about making and enjoying music anyhow.:guitar:Capture


I’m glad we are not fighting :slight_smile:

First of all, let’s get this out of the way: I won’t argue about the pitches. The way you wrote them is extremely likely to be more accurate than the way I heard/wrote them (even though I transcribed only one channel). I have loooong way to go in this departament.

As for rhythm, ok, if we isolate the intro, I would say that it is debatable and perhaps you are totally correct. But what if we take the rest of the song into the account? In this case, if one follows your version, does it lead into the verse nicely or would you need to write one bar of 7/8 to connect the parts?

Also, what about the instances where this motive shows up later in the song? Do you also hear it the way written in your tab? (By the way, do you hear the snare as upbeat or downbeat?)

Incidentally, if we don’t agree about this, I can only imagine the difference of our opinions about another piece I worked on: Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top :smiley: I was really confused about where to write the notes for that riff. I didn’t even upload it yesterday (my vague plan is to transcribe and upload some small bit each day) and delayed it until today. My solution was, once again, to consider other parts. I just wrote it the way it connects to the song smoothly :wink:


Hey Medium, I’m back wth (hopefully) a more reasonable suggestion than my previous ones… what about the intro to Sails of Charon by Scorpions (or more precisely Uli John Roth)?

That seems something I could actually play (unlike the legato licks by the VinMan… I was definitely too optimistic there :sweat_smile::sweat_smile::sweat_smile: ). I think there are some major triads and inversions separated by a half step at a certain point, not sure if they have too many notes sounding together though - a reasonable approximation would do the job I’m sure.

It’s actually quite a long bit (1 min or so), so don’t worry if you are busy!

Thanks for all the work you shared so far :sunglasses::ok_hand::ok_hand:


Oh damn…it sounds a bit above my current abilities. He adds some notes there :roll_eyes: Let’s delay it for a bit, ok? The melody is ok but that rhythm part after it…please show mercy :sob:


Totally! You obviously don’t owe me/us anything, and I’m grateful for what you are doing. Sounds a bit kiss-assy but I don’t know how else to convey the message :smiley:


I’m glad we aren’t fighting either. I honestly didn’t listen to the rest of the song, just the intro for the most part. It wasn’t my cup of tea. To me, the odd timing of it coming in on what I hear as an upbeat, reminded me of Unchained by Van Halen, where it doesn’t open on a downbeat either. Here is how I would notate the complete intro since the last measure is syncopated, but still in time. I think we have exhausted this intro enough though. :joy:
Let’s just keep rocking and hope you keep this thread going with your work! :guitar:


Hi Medium,

I was listening to some Giant after you kindly transcribed that monster Dann Huff lick and I came across a double stop intro:


I got strongly discouraged about the whole “two sounds at once” deal.
I tried to figure out Too Young to Fall in Love by Motley Crue and I totally failed :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: Miserably.
Actually, I did Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top few days ago and I was able to work it out just because I saw the hand of Billy. Otherwise, I would have mistaken perfect 4th for minor 3rd. That’s how much I suck.
So, I’m going back to single-line stuff for a while.

Thanks for all the suggestions that include double stops but I am still too inexperienced for them :persevere: