Yeh you’re right about the trills but they are more pronounced I think in other Vai songs. It’s one of those questions I would just love to ask him, along with a load of other stuff.
I was thinking about this the other day, that we, as guitarists, try and play licks and solos by a hundred different players, and beat ourselves up about it when we can’t do it. I’m sure there are plenty of great guitarists that can do it, but can, for example, Vai, play all the Yngwie stuff and vice versa ? Probably not, well those examples are very talented and god-like, so it’s possible but I sort of doubt it.
The example you gave of Shawn playing EJ, this is sort of how I feel it should be. If you are going to cover a great song, then you should add some of your own style and flavour to it.
If I was to play a Vai song live, like For The Love Of God, I probably wouldn’t play it note for note, obviously the majority of it will be the same or similar, because the melody is so distinct, but the fast bits, I would try and make those my own.
Partly because I still can’t play them exactly like he does haha, but mostly because I have my own style of fast playing, in my case a lot of slurring and legato because I’m still not a great picker, and that then makes the song your own ‘version’.
This is all academic anyway, because like you, I don’t play in a band anymore, and probably won’t again, so the only audience is my family and the poor neighbours next door.
I’ve been thinking about writing and recording some stuff, but playing other guitarists licks and runs is always just a fun challenge I guess. It’s probably not very healthy though, as it’s really like I am constantly testing my abilities and I normally end up failing and feeling inadequate as a player. So maybe like you said it’s better to write our own stuff. I don’t know, I sort of feel like I get better by playing or attempting to play Vai or Yngwie or EJ runs.
CtC really got me playing again, after 8 years of not playing, and learning about escapes was great, because, I think I said it before on this forum, I always used escape motions, but very pronounced, and I thought it was cheating. I thought I was so bad at picking, having to do these weird little jerk motions to change strings that I was just weird and could never pick fast like my heroes. So that’s why I picked up the guitar again, after watching Troys primer videos.