Could you play this solo ?

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Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 13378
Our band does 'Smooth' by Santana and I improvise the solos, but I'd love to be able to get the second solo spot on as there's something about it, particularly the run at 3:19 onwards, that just sounds lovely.

The solo in question starts at 3:06....  Would you be able to play this, and if not, how many hours do you think it would take you ?

I can do it at half speed after a fashion, but I think my fingers just don't have the dexterity to ever get it to full speed :-(



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  • BellycasterBellycaster Frets: 2498
    I could do a good enough job of it. The "speed" of it is mainly the Tremolo picking bit as opposed to any sweep/shred etc. The other bits sound more complicated than they are, it's mainly Pentatonic with bends and sustain.

    I can't help you other than to just slow it down in the audio and really study it and see/hear how you could do an acceptable version of your own.

    If it sounds good it is good and I doubt the punters will give a shit as long as you don't play like a Les Dawson special.
    Stupidity is what will kill us all in the end.
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18451
    Played it many times in cover bands.

    The tremolo picking isn't hard- you just have to have a decent grounding in alternate picking.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2011
    Yes, it’s Tremolo picking up the G string. Start at with E on the 9th fret. Move up in semitones to the A on the 14th fret, jump to the B, bend it a semitone, and resolve to A.
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  • Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 13378
    Now my weaknesses are showing...  I’ve never heard of tremolo picking and I’m guessing that alternate picking just means ‘down, up, down, up’ etc.

     I’m self taught.  Never had a lesson in my life.  The limit of my tuition is spending days working through tab of a solo that’s too difficult and speeding it up slowly.  Any soloing “skills” I have have been acquired doing this.
    Birds are meant to fly free...  Open every cage you see.

    https://www.peta.org/about-peta/why-peta/caged-birds/
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 753
    If you're referring to the ascending chromatic line, I play it like the guy in the clip below at 45s. So it's an extreme form of tremolo picking in that it's done in octaves, as opposed to single notes. The only way I can get that amplitude of motion is by moving my whole arm like the guy in the clip.
     


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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 3195
    Not helpful to your quest but I do love this album, having always been non plussed about Santana generally

    And if there's anything good about me, I'm the only one who knows

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  • Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 13378
    @stratman3142 I'm referring to the fast bit just before the chromatic octaved run.  I can manage the rest fine but that rapid sequence of picks and bends is giving me grief.

    I know I can get it in the end with my usual method of playing it on a loop at a speed I can manage then slowly increasing the tempo until I'm at full speed, but that takes days....  Literally days of playing the same 2 or 3 bars over and over and over and.....

    I'm sure there must be a more efficient method of learning stuff than this.
    Birds are meant to fly free...  Open every cage you see.

    https://www.peta.org/about-peta/why-peta/caged-birds/
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 753
    Emp_Fab said:
    @stratman3142 I'm referring to the fast bit just before the chromatic octaved run.  I can manage the rest fine but that rapid sequence of picks and bends is giving me grief.

    I know I can get it in the end with my usual method of playing it on a loop at a speed I can manage then slowly increasing the tempo until I'm at full speed, but that takes days....  Literally days of playing the same 2 or 3 bars over and over and over and.....

    I'm sure there must be a more efficient method of learning stuff than this.

    I have to be honest. I improvise most of the solo :). I sometimes find it very tricky trying to get another player's exact phrasing so I do something in a similar vein.

    If I set my mind to attempting a close copy, it would probably take me quite a while if the phrasing doesn't come naturally to me. Then I usually get the notes and phrasing in my head at slower speed (if it doesn't come naturally) then jump to trying to play it a full speed.

    It's not a competition.
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  • vizviz Frets: 4938
    edited August 12
    Actually this is among Santana’s easiest solos, I think. His earlier stuff had more variety but this is really just a few classic turns of phrase of his. Once you have his style under your fingers this will be an absolute piece of cake. Play along to loads of Santana, in time you’ll get familiar with all his licks.
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  • VibetronicVibetronic Frets: 283
    @Emp_Fab ;it's relatively simple, but not if it's not stuff you haven't tried before. Break it down into sections and learn it like that maybe? I have a full transcription if you want it and don't have one already. The other thing is that sometimes to make something sound good, you may have to practice it for days/weeks/months, and it's just sheer hard work that'll get you there, but that's half the fun (in my opinion!).
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  • Start with the last phrase of it. Once you've nailed the last bit, add the second last bit. Then the third last, keep going until you've done the whole thing.

    When learning things like this its always easier to go from the tricky bit (that you can't play yet) to an easier bit (that you've already taught yourself) rather than the other way around.

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  • jpfampsjpfamps Frets: 1413
    Emp_Fab said:
    Now my weaknesses are showing...  I’ve never heard of tremolo picking and I’m guessing that alternate picking just means ‘down, up, down, up’ etc.

     I’m self taught.  Never had a lesson in my life.  The limit of my tuition is spending days working through tab of a solo that’s too difficult and speeding it up slowly.  Any soloing “skills” I have have been acquired doing this.
    This is actually the correct use of the term "tremolo", ie the rapid playing of a note or notes.

    All modulation of the signal should really be termed vibrato. 

    Tremolo has come to mean variation in volume; it should really be referred to as amplitude vibrato.


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  • DominicDominic Frets: 3692
    It's Easy .......just keep practising
    Learn to slant your pick backwards for speed tremolo picking and it is easy..........loads of online technique lessons for the pick slanting
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