Learning Eric Johnson - Camel's Night Out

You’re very welcome, and thank you for sharing the phrase :pray:t2: The cool thing about this is that once you have something that has been worked out, examples pop up in other EJ songs. I won’t bother you with it now, since you have to concentrate on Camel, but there is a couple of very interesting arpeggio patterns in both When The Sun meets the Sky and also in Venus Isle that are shrouded in mystery since EJ never plays them live. But that’s for another time. For now, enjoy Camel and I’m looking forward to more Camel EJ puzzles :grin:

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Love this tune, Venus Isle is an underrated masterpiece. Really looking forward to what people find in this monster of a solo

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Nice! I will endorse this. I’m not sold on the hammer on here though:

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To me it feels more natural to maintain a DWPS just pick all the notes in my above screen shot, using single string downward sweeps where necessary.

Also, the lick isn’t so fast that we can comfortably do some rotational stuff and do 1NPS picking here:
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But…I wonder, and we’ll never truly know without video, if he’s hybrid picking there. That makes it way easier. It allows the whole thing to be played with DWPS/USX too.

It’s really fun trying to figure this stuff out though. There are so many ambiguities and ways to play his stuff that sounds and feels right. I always end up with like 2 possible ways and for months scratch my head on which way he really used.

I’ve been thinking of starting an ‘Awesome EJ licks’ thread where we post short clips and throw around ideas of the exact fingerings and pickstrokes. Thanks @Oboy for posting this. It’s just a cool lick.

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Thank you for your insights. Please start that thread, that’s a great idea :smiley:

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Yeah once I get some initial work done, I can’t wait to do that.

On a related note, this tasty mixolydian lick reminded me of some stuff I’ve heard Troy do on here. Check these out, for some fingerings references. A couple parts, especially the half step bends in the second clip remind me of the Camel’s lick that’s the subject of this thread. Great playing as we always get from Troy :slight_smile:

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I’ve wondered about that exact same lick for years because I have the tablature books on Venus, and his other albums. My guess is most of it’s not accurate. he’s not really doing hammer one and pull offs like it says in the book and there’s no way he did that arpeggio that way. Either that or he was developing into a two-way pick slanter. :man_shrugging:

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My logic was: you rarely if ever see EJ play successive 1-note-per-string arpeggios across 3 strings in his customary downward direction, let alone suddenly doing them in an upward direction, out of nowhere.
It just doesn’t seem idiomatic to his style.

I really appreciate the input on this thread.
I think there are a few more licks in this tab which will benefit from this treatment as I get to them.

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Both good points, and this bugs me too, even though the 1NPS arp is totally playable with rotation or hybrid picking…doesn’t seem like him does it?

How about doing it like this?

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It’s really similar to what @Oboy posted here:

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Main difference is staying on the g string longer and that clearly audible slide. I tried playing it some and to me I wouldn’t call it extreme stretching when we’re this high on the neck. I like it because it’s a blend of what @nitro1976 suggested and @Oboy original solution.

This is what I love and hate about trying to figure this stuff out. It seems like multiple possibilities that are each viable. A video of him doing this (and tons of his other awesome licks, as played on the studio versions) is something I’d pay a lot of money for.

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Brace yourself because There’s tons of licks in Camels Night Out that don’t make sense technique wise as far as what he does. Let’s not forget he’s a incredible hybrid picker so with some of those awkward things he might be picking with his fingers along with the pick. I’ve suggested before to Troy that he do a part two of cascade for reasons like this. There are a lot of things that don’t add up to just the downward picking technique with EJ.

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I think I saw the thread with that request. That would be awesome. Do we know if there’s enough video evidence to figure out what he’s really doing for things like this though?

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Brace yourself because There’s tons of licks in Camels Night Out that don’t make sense technique wise as far as what he does.

Man, you’re right. Here’s another one.

It’s at 1:50 and it sounds incredible on the record. It certainly doesn’t sound like this is how he played it though… unless maybe its hybrid picking… which it sounds sort of like it could be when you slow it down.
The mystery deepens

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What about this one?? This is that monster run that comes at about the 4:20 mark on Desert Rose. It doesn’t make sense at all what’s written. He’s either hybrid picking those single notes on one string, or he’s doing legato pull off’s to swing into the upstroke or more three note for string type things? :thinking:

I think that one’s just tabbed wrong isn’t it?
The first 20 or so notes of that run sound like classic 5s in Fm Pentatonic Position 1.

Edit:
My money would be on this:

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Yeah that looks way more like what he’d do. :ok_hand: Most of those tab books have him playing a lot of legato stuff and I don’t think he’s doing that occasionally but for the most part he’s picking every note.

I was talking about his use of legato with Troy in a separate thread. His stance was that EJ almost always picks. The exceptions would the standard rules where it’s required for the string changes as per typical EJ/Yngwie framework. The other exception is just occasional slurs here and there, for flavor.

EDIT: I just realized this was also the thread that gave me the idea to start my own EJ Licks thread. Here’s a link to see the discussion about EJ and legato:

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I took your tab and ran with it. I think I got it right using EJ’s style but an open to being corrected.

Cool!

Looks like it makes sense to me. I don’t have a guitar where I am right now :scream: but Playing through in my head it’s nice.
The one thing I would say - those bits where you have three notes on one string - are there slides in there somewhere. Otherwise you have odd numbers of nps and the picking pattern falls apart.

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The Camel’s Night Out lick sounds like this to me:

The G3 Live album version is different:

He played it like that on ACL '96 too. Picking approach above is my best guess after watching this slowed down.

There’s a similar lick in F on ACL '88, with more alternate picking:

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Yes where there are 3 notes on a string I hear slides when I slow the song down in Transcribe.