One of the great challenges for a guitarist is playing on someone else’s original compositions.
I had the pleasure recently, of creating and performing lead solos for Dominic Nudo’s latest project “The Armageddon Process”.
His orchestral progressive metal took me to a place inside myself that I’ve not visited for close to 20 years.
This type of aggressive, emotionally-charged music demanded that I push myself in many different aspects of my playing.
First, I had to build up the necessary and much-needed physical strength.
The “Work Out” routine consisted of:
- Speed picking & sweeping patterns
- Hammer ons & pull offs
- Arpeggio positions in all possible inversions
- String skipping techniques
- Tapping patterns including tap slides
- Whammy bar approaches to fretted notes including harmonics both open & false
While practicing these skills for several days, I kept asking myself, “How can I make these solos really memorable and leave a WOW effect for the listener?”
If experience has taught me one thing, it is to listen closely to the composer’s outlook. In this case, Dominic had a storyline that clearly displayed the emotions that he wanted to be expressed.
In a nutshell, the song describes the interaction during World War II between two soldiers, one German and the other English.
With each take, I paid special attention to Dominic’s expressions and reactions, looking for cues about his overall feeling and vision of the piece, while maintaining a relaxed and focused attitude.
By looking for cues from the composer, I was able to zero in on important sections of each and every solo.
The easiest part was having total freedom to fully present all my ideas which, I deeply appreciated, and felt was a blessing.
The solo I’ve chosen to share here is called “What Lies Beyond”. When I first heard the rhythm section it was clear to me that this was to be a two-part solo, the first section slow, and the other fast.
For the slow section:
My feeling leaned toward a very strong melodic presence maintaining a constant somber sadness in a vocal-like delivery. I selected specific notes using my whammy bar for added effect. The great plus in this approach is the facility in retaining this part of the solo… “Can I sing this solo?”
For the Fast section:
One word came to mind “CHAOS”. I visualized bombs, machine gun fire, bloodshed and deafening agony which demanded full-throttle shredding and high octane power. This part would be draining to perform in one take, but I was able to satisfy Dominic with the final product.
I hope you’ll enjoy.
To read more about Joey click HERE