Vinnie Moore - The Thinking Machine - Tommo's progress + Soundslice tabs


As many of you already know I am a huge Vinnie fan, and only thanks to the amazing work of the CTC team I could finally approach his tunes in the last four years or so. This tune is one of my favourites from the VinMan. The click is not crazy (108 bpm), the key is the easiest ever (A minor), but the patterns are absolutely infernal for both hands. I ended up using a mix of alternate picking, economy picking, hybrid picking and hammers/pulloffs depending on the lick (I’ll attach a link to the Soundslice tabs below). My ability in these techniques varies, with the result that timing is not 100% tight in some runs but still overall acceptable I think :slight_smile: EDIT: there’s also two tapped notes towards the end. My tapping is abysmal so I’m happy that I somehow pulled it off here :sweat_smile:

Here’s my best shot(s):

I’ll try to be a bit schematic to avoid a huge post like I did last time :slight_smile:

  • I divided the song in 4 parts (corresponding to the different camera angles) and did several takes for each section across two evenings (7 and 8 March). The phone camera was always on. Each session produced about 30mins of recordings.
  • I spent a long time listening, then selected & glued the best takes. I also tried to get better takes in the following days but couldn’t really find the focus anymore. Thought it was time to wrap it up and move on with my life :slight_smile:
  • Audio and video are from the same performances but recorded separately. With a bit of pain I synced them by looking at the waveforms in reaper. Next time I need some clear markers for more efficient syncing :slight_smile:
  • Even after the cherry-picking there were some rough edges - to smoothen them out I decided to use double tracking in some bits (I superimposed two takes). In these parts at least one of the two Tommos plays all the notes correctly (or with acceptable phrasing), and I also get a little chorus-like sound as a nice side effect.
  • Many thanks to @BillHoudini and @Twangsta who gave me excellent feedback on the tone. Here I used Overloud TH-U - I will post the signal chain later. I still haven’t found a fully satisfactory tone, but better can be the enemy of good and I wanted to wrap up this project (I have limited time for guitar)!
  • More feedback on the tone and how to improve it in future recordings would be highly appreciated! Note I exclusively use amp simulators (I’m a stealthy bedroom player :wink: ).

Hope you enjoy and happy to receive constructive criticism, particularly on tone and phrasing. Would be super happy to provide the DIs if anyone wants to fiddle with them!

And here are the interactive tabs where I plan to add more technical notes in the next few days:

Effective workflow for recording guitar videos: suggestions wanted!

Superb Tommo, the tone has more dynamics to it here, I like the hair on it and the other parts that are sweet sounding. Excellent playing!

Only thing I’d recommend is to try and incorporate your bridge pickup for some palm muting shenanigans. More dynamics the better, this tune can handle shock and awe like a crackwhore :smiley:


Hahaha thanks man! I definitely need to learn how to incorporate the bridge pickup into my lead playing - will try to have a bit of that in my next project :slight_smile:

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Try to play with your pickup heights for volume/gain balance, don’t be afraid to use your tone knob, if I were you I’d either wire the tele tone knob to the bridge pickup or get a dual concentric replacement to set them individually. Relatively cheap mod.

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Ironically, this is probably the song I put the most work into, and it’s my first video to receive some dislikes on YT. I know I shouldn’t care but made me a bit sad. Maybe I’m too soft for the internet :joy:

Edit: and I know it’s totally physiological to get dislikes when you get a few views, so no big deal I guess!


Obviously a great cover and a lot of work, cheers

I always look at peoples hands when they play. usually the rt hand moreso. Some people I simply can NOT look at because their hands look so freaky and uncomfortable…even if they are “great” players.

I noticed right away, from the first angle (the “owl” lol) your rt hand pretty much looks exactly like mine. same everything, same mechanics, same other fingers relaxed and loose etc. Im thinking it looks slightly different from the front on view but I may be wrong because I havent filmed mine like that lol

the thing about thumbs down or even negative comments or even haters…I always think of things I have said about great musicians. Often my first look at something is just a cold objective look. Dunno why, its just my thing. I am sure there are many others like that.

some examples:
Freddie Mercury - “didnt he lose most of his range?”

Robert Plant - “dude smoked, drank, and never warmed up. Too bad he shot his voice after a few years and had to have surgery in '74”

David Lee Roth - “great singer in the studio but he never even tried to sing live”

And im a fan of those dudes! lol.

So, even though I have yet to put out any vids etc, I have sort of tried to prepare myself to not take things too personally. I think about all the comments I have made about even my favorite bands. I also think about the comments I have seen on famous peoples vids.

As an example, some of my fave singers: Goran Edman, David Lee Roth, David Coverdale, Ray Gillen, Chris Cornell, John Sykes, Dio, Halford.

There are people who simply HATE each of those singers for whatever reason lol. Go look at a Prince or Michael Jackson vid. Haters abound.

Heck, my fave 2 rock bands, Led Zep and VanHalen, there will literally be hundreds of negative comments and nasty personal attacks on each vid.

So I guess it sort of goes with the territory.

I know that Eddie had a comment about Jimmy Page and he said that Jimmy was great in the studio but that live he played like a 2 year old with a broken hand. In a later interview he said that Page was a genius and that he was actually more like Page than he was like Clapton. So even though Eddie liked Jimmys playing etc, it didnt stop him from making offhand objective comments

Keep up the great work!


Dude, even guys like Oparin get dislikes. Your chops are world class.


I agree with the folks here @tommo, having dislikes is a good thing, your amazing chops made people jealous! :wink:

Your playing is far better than just good, I wish I can play like you one day. If you need more IRs feel free to contact me.

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I think that was amazing! There were some very difficult rhythms in there based on combining sixteenth notes and sextuplets and you nailed them. Super tight timing and very clean notes.

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I would suggest disabling comments and likes / dislikes on YouTube. It does suck seeing dislikes.

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Great playing and recording! Now we just need pickstrokes on the transcription :slight_smile:


Beautiful, Nice and clean too


Thank you all, this gotta be the most supportive guitar community ever :slight_smile:

In fact I would not have attempted this video if it weren’t for all the encouragement I received on this forum after posting my practice clips of this song! :bowing_man:


Wow that is an EXCELLENT job!!

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Great job Tommo, nice technique. I wouldn’t worry about dislikes - just re-frame them in your mind to getting happy at the site of them. It actually means, in all likelihood, that someone was so envious of your chops and got so mad they had to hurt you in the only way they could LOL.