Tommo's progress on the Erotomania final solo - including analysis


Yeah you picked another tough one - also on my to do list for years :wink: What helped me in this case was to decide in advance how many “oscillations/mini bends” I would include in each (vibratoed?) note, and what their rhythm would be. So the vibrato is fully planned and can be practiced consistently: I decided for two oscillations of the first note, and a single one for the second which is pretty much just a bend.

Actually I started doing the same for left hand trills: rather than hammering/pulling off randomly like a madman, which caused me a lot of fretting hand tension and loss of control, I now try to do it with a specific rhythm and a specific number of notes.

Of course this is just my way of doing things which is quite mathematical/academic, I’m sure there are players who can just do these things by intuition.

@lars, it’s interesting that we have opposite experiences with the swipes: for me a swipe is a very simple right hand movement with quite a lot of margin for error, provided that the left hand is muting well. TWPS feels a bit more like walking on thin ice! Maybe this is due to our different choices of picking mechanics?

@aliendough, I will soon share the “naked” DI track then :slight_smile: @brendan, is there any way to directly upload the .wav or mp3 file here, or should I go the youtube route as usual?


Nice playing, Tommo! You’ve really come a long way!


Huh. That’s an interesting thought, and as a guy who leans towards the analytical himself, I’ll give this a try.

Honestly, at the end of the day… I think it’s going to be that descending pull off diminished lick that does me in. The picking I’m confident with practice and a better understanding of the required orientation I’m sure I can get. Those stretches though, keeping them clean and articulate, are rough, and I don’t even have especially small hands!

Worst case - I have a website and server space to host files, so if you can get it to me somehow, I’d be happy to toss a mp3 of the DI up on my FTP for you. This is a pretty impressive performance, so the least I can do is give you a hand. :slight_smile: (Though, web space is cheap these days - a couple bucks a month and a free Wordpress site (even a paid one is pretty reasonable, if you want to get fancy) is easily worth it, IMO, if you just want to be able to host files and pictures on the net.


Hey @tommo sounds good! By default the forum allows image uploads only, but I can try enabling audio as well. I just have to specify what formats as well as max file size. Indeed as @Drew says server space is pretty cheap so I think we can support at least small-ish audio files. For very long stuff Soundcloud also works for embeds, similar to Youtube, but I think it makes sense to allow direct audio uploads of a reasonable size.

For now I’ve enabled MP3 and AAC, and quadrupled the upload limit to 16MB. I think that should allow audio files up to 5-10 minutes long at decently high quality. It should now work via the “upload” button in the composer toolbar, or dragging the file in directly (basically the same as images) and then should display a nice little player right in the post. Give it a try!


Hey, that’s awesome - that definitely will allow you to host high quality audio of sufficient length for analysis.

Is it restricted such that only logged in members can access files? Might not be a bad idea, so you don’t have people using this site to host files for elsewhere.


Good call yeah looks like there’s a setting for that, will toggle it on so only logged in users can download attached files :slight_smile:


@Brendan, you added the function I asked about in less than a day, best customer service ever :smile::smile: Thank you :metal: I’m not sure how to make the MP3 player appear though!

@aliendough, @Drew, here we go, the slightly humbling DIs! I left a low-volume backing track just to leave a bit of context, but happy to remove even that if you want to hear the fully naked thing :smile:

Double tracked version

Single take version

Listening back to it, I am actually pretty happy with the attack, except perhaps for the string skipping mega-lick, where you can clearly hear that some notes are barely hinted at because I am in a rush! I am probably taking a rest from precticing this solo for a while, but my objective in a few months will be to clean up my attack so that even the DI sounds good :slight_smile:

You can also hear the swipes quite clearly in the ascending 4s part, so this is a case where -somewhat counterintuitively - the gain helps to clean things up.

PS: I am not too bothered by this as I noticed the same in players like Vinnie Moore and even Batio: when they play the “4s” with a clean tone, you can hear the occasional “click” from the muted string. It’s no worse that the “chirp” you get from some picks when playing acoustic, though.


Nice! Ok this is weird when I tested a file upload to myself in a PM yesterday it automatically displayed as the player, but now I see it’s showing as a download link instead. I’ll see if there’s a way to get this working more consistently…

Anyway for now it looks like if you edit your post and format the raw URL on its own line like so:

Then it should display with a nice little inline player like this:

(This is just a test clip; I see it doesn’t show w/ a title so you’d prob want to add that too when sharing multiple tracks!)

EDIT: another quick test don’t mind me…

atari - warp distortion.mp3 (351.1 KB)


awesome playing I envy you so much righ now man.


In the past few days I had some fun Soundslicing the Erotomania solo. I’m not sure I nailed all the rhythms and time signatures but it should be close enough. I’ve tried to be thorough in notating all the “cheats” like the occasional sneaky pull-off or a few re-fingerings that make the job of the picking hand easier (as explained in my long opening post :slight_smile: ). If you like escaped downstrokes (UWPS in the old language), this version should feel slightly easier than JP’s.


Damn. I will be coming back to this thread. :+1:


what kind of learning curve is it to get the soundslice with tab going etc?


Definitely easier than learning the solo :joy:

No but really I think you’ll find it quite intuitive if you have used tab software before!

PS only took me a while to figure out how to use the sync points, will write more later!


I think that was fantastic! Well played.
I was reading through your notes, where you said you used your standard UWPS for the fast alt-picked passages, and I thought to myself, “That looked like downward pick slanting.”

So I watched again, and now I see it! Pretty sure I saw some switches to the downward version in there too.

I’m struggling a bit with DWPS – it’s awkward for me, and the pick feels loose. UWPS seems to come easier to me, smoother, and with less unnecessary movement.

After watching this, I feel like I need to focus on the UWPS and get that more refined.


Yes, it was very good. Congratulations.

Tommo, what is your next big solo you plan to do this with? Do you have any ideas for what it will be? I’d like to see you learn I Am A Viking.

I know Tommo is just one of the Petrucci fans here, there are a bunch of them here. This made me wonder about the possibility of a Masters Of Mechanics with Petrucci. I’m sure he’s been asked. Does anyone know what he said, regarding if he’s open to doing it at some time in the future? I think that would be one of the most anticipated Masters Of Mechanics interviews in CTC history.


Thank you both (and everyone else in this thread) for the kind words! It’s funny that I objectively think that I recorded good takes, yet when I listen to them I can only notice the small imprecisions - well I’d better relax :slight_smile:

@fergieprs indeed I am using both UWPS and DWPS in that solo, but what I was referring to is that UWPS is my fastest/most comfortable setting. I’d definitely encourage you to do more of the things that come easy - it will make you more motivated IMO. That doesn’t mean you should give up what feels more difficult, but just don’t make it your only focus because it can become very frustrating (ask me how I know :wink: ).

@Acecrusher , I am now working on and off on three Vinnie Moore songs (Daydream, Thinking Machine and In Control) - but they are really hard and Vinnie’s crazy legato is well beyond my left hand capabilities, so I am planning to write some of my own licks to replace the impossible legato parts. To be honest, I bet that even Vinnie forgot what exact notes he played in some of his 1980s wildest solos! Dunno how long it will take me to get these songs to a recordable standard as my practice time is significantly reduced these days - but one day I’ll get there!

Regarding I am a Viking, I always found Yngwie’s playing very hard to conceptualize, because he is not very “mathematical” in the way he subdivides the beats - and obviously he is also very very fast. But I’ll have a listen and see if there is any hope for me to learn it :slight_smile:


Really great playing here, it must have taken a lot of work to get it to this level. Any Petrucci lead is like the holy grail of picking for me. It feels so close yet so far for me, but this gives me a boost to show that its possible.
I look forward to more of your videos Tommo.


Out of interest, when you started working on this, did you already have the speed? (albeit with simpler, less acrobatic string skips).


Ah good question. Looking back at it, that statement seems imprecise: it is of course the combination of the speed and the athletic jumps that makes it very hard.

I was already able to hit 13/14 notes per second on simpler licks (say, on one or two strings with one-way pickslanting), but in general I always found it exhausting to pick above the 12 notes/second mark.

With the erotomania 5s lick I found that some days I was able to sustain the speed for the whole lick (albeit with imperfect timing in the string skips - see my mega post above :-D), on some other days no chance.

PS: I haven’t practiced this monster solo it since I made the video, so I assume I would totally fail at it if I tried it now :wink:


Cool, thanks for the reply. I have started to the learn the 5s bit (I have always wanted to play the beast), but my top speed speed for scalar licks have rarely gone above 16ths at @180bpm (and that is relatively simple lines). However, as you mentioned, the endurance issue is an issue - it makes it very hard to practice, a handful of reps and I’m done!!! Any ideas? I’m thinking that this might need to lower my expectations and aim for a lower bpm target until my overall speed improves through practicing each individual chunk. I have a habit of getting obsessed with a particular lick/exercise/song section and burn out!