When the Sun Meets the Sky - Solo Cover by Peter C

A few months ago I shared this CoD cover and the forum was very receptive to it (and much thanks to moderators for creating the Show and Tell forum as a result of the meta-debate), so I figured I’d share a shorter piece from EJ’s Venus Isle, with a short solo in the song “When the Sun Meets the Sky.”

This is currently a WIP considering there is basically 2 extra minutes of the song for me to improvise over, so I hope to complete this in the future, in a style of perhaps more “me” and less “EJ.”

Unlike the CoD cover, this song has no empty backing tracks, so I did my best to make the guitar stand out from the mix so apologies in advance that it doesn’t sound as clear as the CoD mix. If anyone knows how to do this sort of thing, please let me know! EJ is my hero but I’d rather not have him play when I’m trying to do my thing- since that makes me shy you know for obvious reasons :stuck_out_tongue:

In terms of technique, I’ve changed in that since now I have both the descending/ascending groups of five things down, I’m working more towards making it sound more musical and varied in a stylistic sense- in that I keep the basic down down motions intact, but I throw in a “cheat note” here and there, repeat groupings, adjust timing, play with note inflections, or even go down down down up, and not strictly make it an up and down exercise (though for how mechanical it is, the group of five technique sounds plenty musical as it is already).

In addition, always a forever thanks to Troy for his lessons- that measly few bucks I spent on all of his EJ stuff have paid back tenfold in guitar dividends. It really goes beyond EJ and has made me a much better and most importantly, musical player. Technique doesn’t mean sacrificing musicality! In addition, I’ve been able to just listen, improve my ears, and just play it off the record because of all the new insights I’ve learned which really only came from these structured methods of teaching.

Best piece of “gear” I’ve ever invested in and I know how much I’ve wasted on “instant shred guranteed!” pedals for example. The new YouTube channel is also great. 3 hours on picks alone. That’s classic Troy and no one on earth can do that.

Perhaps this is all part of the musical journey and EJ himself has likewise gone through similar- where Ah Via Musicom has all the pyrotechniques (and the songs too of course but the focus is a little different), but Venus Isle is about making that pyrotechnique sound really ethereal and musical and the focus is very different, while making it seem like a natural evolution of himself.

Regardless, please enjoy!


nice work brother, making it look easy.

I remember when that CD came out. Grunge was ruling and the corporate world was pushing hip hop as the great new messiah type thing. The idea of guitar heroes was a thing of the past. I was barely even listening to music at that point.

Your assessment of VI is on point. its way more etheraal with some heavy Jimi vibe. I thought EJs solo work on “When the Sun” blew away his older stuff. Where it repeats and everytime you are waiting for him to throw in that nice descending lick lol

Good work again, peace, JJ


I was born right in that decade so I can definitely see what you’re saying :slight_smile:

Also how WTSMTS leads to Pavilion…such epic gobs of tonality and music.

I respect people’s tastes equally but for me, it’s really no contest. Not that iTunes playback counts are ever a proxy for this sort of thing- but I have about 1000 plays for Venus Isle and about 500 for Ah Via Musicom just on iTunes. I think it’s fair to say which one I personally prefer (not that it ever has to be a comparison sort of thing! :))

In a weird way- EJ got me into Jimi when I was too “young” to get it. They both have the guitar, but it was really used as a tool to get all the musicianship out of them. I totally get it now and even enjoy EJ’s acoustic stuff- which I find he’s just as excellent at (sometimes dare I say even better!)


Great job! Eric is just more musical than all the rest virtuoso wise imo. Have you heard his instrumental version of it Called “Sun Reprise” off his live album in Europe? It’s one of the best things he’s ever done. Gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. :heart::love_you_gesture:


Awesome, thanks for sharing! Just edited so the YT video is embedded directly :smiley:

For future reference that just requires pasting the raw url as its own line e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_WQyPDkV4A

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I’ll google it thanks so much :slight_smile: You learn something new everyday

I knew you guys would help me out :slight_smile: Thanks so much- I needed it.

Sounds great.

I have also based much of my picking development on EJ. Well, EJ and Martin Miller. I just like the sound that he makes… even when he plays slow, it sounds great. Have you found any tricks to duplicate his tone?

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you mainly a dwps guy, or two way?

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I’ve never asked myself this question but I’d say for “speed” playing I’m almost always dwps whether ascending/descending, groups of 3s, groups of 5, etc

I think my musical leanings and familiarity with it lends itself to that pattern, but as I said I’m always looking for ways to augment what I already have so I’ll have to check out more lessons now- there’s no doubt I’ll find something valuable to incorporate; can’t hurt at the very least.

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Great! You gotta be one of the best EJ-style players by now :slight_smile:

I have the same problem as you with several tunes (lack of backing track). Where available I am using a cheap-ish workaround: I look for a guitar pro file that has all the instruments (and ideally is also correct :slight_smile: ), then I produce a midi file (or export it as wav/mp3) with the guitar tracks muted. These days guitar pro has decent midi instruments so you get something workable, but definitely not professional quality.

Which is fine by me as I am a very unprofessional player :joy:

But yeah, I’m also all ears if anyone has some magic EQ trick to approximately eliminate the lead guitar from a track.


Thank you tommo :slight_smile:

What I normally do is look for backing tracks on youtube first, and if they work, they work. For the next track (which is desert rose!) I found the backing track but it’s a little lackluster so I’m playing around with it to make it sound more professional and robust.

For other tracks that don’t have backing tracks, I totally annihilate the 2k on the original track so that my guitar can “stand out” in the mix (+ a small reverb mix of about 30%) seems to work okay as a starting point, but for some denser tracks I try to leave the eq alone and play around with the panning/mic/reverb so that it doesn’t sound as jumbled.

I try not to touch the EQ as much as possible because:

  1. On the guitar, it makes it sound artificial and I don’t like what it does to the attack of the notes

  2. On the track itself because it makes the song sound underwater and my guitar’s tone as part of the mix now suffers greatly.

It’s also a great excuse to use a more forward and gainy and brighter tone as a contrast to the original- which is easily achieved by just diming the amp :smile:

Great playing! EJ is my favorite musician of all time. I came across a full recording of Venus Isle demos a while back. Great stuff and is cool to compare it with the final product. Keep up the great work!

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aw thanks man that’s really great to hear. I’d love to hear it- could you please share?

Unfortunately I’m not sure about the copyright legalities and such. Wish I could. It was on YouTube very briefly and then was taken down.

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Hey @Peter_C, when you have time it would be cool to have a few more details about the fast licks around 0:41 - are they the standard “Eric Johnson descending 5s”, or are you doing something different? They sound so cool and smooth!

Thanks :slight_smile:

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i’ll tab it out for you :slight_smile:

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Peter C. Great job! I would like a copy of the tab… would you mind including pick direction? Thanks!

apologies in advance- this is done by ear so I can’t really give you the entire tab. Pick slanting would be downwards as in proper ej fashion :slight_smile:

Thanks for the quick response. No apologies needed… the video is helpful enough… and I appreciate the time you have taken. I actually have the Hal Leonard tab but I don’t think it’s correct… or at least your run is cleaner (EJ/Troy Grady-ish)… I am particularly interested in (and confused by) the first quick run in the solo (at 00:17 in your video above) that starts on the high E string at the 17th fret. If you have time could you walk me through that lick focusing on what you are doing picking wise with the right hand. Any help you can provide is appreciated! … And your playing is beautiful… you really infuse your own style into the solo.

… Also, do you know of a way to slow down YouTube videos??? Thanks!

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