In an ongoing effort to move beyond note for note covers and try to incorporate a bit of me-ness into the world of EJ, I’ve been trying to find gaps in his album that I could exploit as study in improvisation. The first attempt was for the song, Trail of Tears, and while I personally set a 30 second only limit for an exciting progression to play over, this was approached a little bit differently.
Now, as most would know, the original song does not have a solo, nor is the accompaniment very long (about 20 seconds if I’m not mistaken). In addition, the chords are not very easy to play over in my opinion as there is little movement. It all probably explains why Eric did not compose a solo over this- or was this very intended? I’m inclined to go with the latter. Naturally, in the spirit of being contrarian I set myself a limit that I should have to overplay to 1 min and 30 seconds, in order to see what the absolute threshold of boredom I could take was. It’s borderline boredom at this point, and from a melodic standpoint, not my proudest job, but as I very much realize time is of the essence I am working hard to put myself in uncomfortable playing situations.
Ever since the band failed and I’ve been disillusioned and tired of writing, it’s been just strictly me with the guitar (with the odd session here and there) and doing what I’ve always wanted to do- learning and improving all around, it’s become therapeutic in a way. I think my journey as a guitarist musician has been one of writing/performing -> downtime -> learning/studying -> rinse and repeat. I rarely practice when I’m working with others and I rarely speak to others when I’m learning/studying, and perhaps in the future I think it’d be wise to blend the two.
Anyhow, the goal of the solo was to leave out as many mannerisms and cliches as possible, but as I’ve failed miserably at that, I’ve split it up into three 30 second parts where the intro serves as the slow buildup, the middle as the conflict/engagement, and the outro as the finale/resolve. I spent most of my time working out the middle, as the outro thankfully came much quicker. Not my proudest take, but as it so happens with the worst of attempts, I think you learn from these more than you would your proudest pieces. Hopefully you all will find something to enjoy in these ideas and with that, thanks in advance for watching
Almost forgot! The gear is the 57 strat, 1st bit is a cleaned up fuzz face (hendrix sig I got today as a belated b-day gift), 2nd bit is the fuzz face full on (with a ts808 in front), and 3rd bit is my usual lead sound. Amp is a princeton reverb through a suhr RL into two notes.