Cliffs of Dover / EJ Technique Help

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by fenderbender4, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,443
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I go back and forth on trying to nail Cliffs of Dover, especially the intro (Ah Via Musicom album version) and try and then kind of give up and go back to it.

    For years I've been trying to do it with strict up/down alternate picking, no legato thinking it'd be feasible and a good pick technique exercise but it seems to: A. Slow me down immensely B. The "feel" isn't there.

    Any insights and help on how to get this thing down? Does he do strict alternate picking? If not where/when do you get the economy picking and/or hammer-on's and pull-off's?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ChrisB

    ChrisB Member

    Messages:
    479
    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    This might help in general:



    and this: (worth watching it all but go to 5 mins if too impatient)

     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
  3. Guitarist64

    Guitarist64 Member

    Messages:
    116
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2019
    His " cracking the code" vids are pretty funny in that i remember living thru the 80's and being baffled by much of the guitar world.
     
  4. ChrisB

    ChrisB Member

    Messages:
    479
    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    Yeah I hear you - lol good times
     
  5. ieso

    ieso Member

    Messages:
    2,898
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    Central MA
    As a sidenote, "legato" is not hammer-ons and pull-offs ... It's not even a 'technique' so much as it concerns the full-value duration of notes
     
    JohnSykes, desire machine and derekd like this.
  6. muzishun

    muzishun Member

    Messages:
    5,652
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    Also, a tremolo or "trem", as it's known, is actually a VIBRATO! :bonk
     
    ieso likes this.
  7. ieso

    ieso Member

    Messages:
    2,898
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    Central MA
    We like to keep 'em guessing ! :D
     
    derekd and muzishun like this.
  8. NitroLiq

    NitroLiq Member

    Messages:
    1,333
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
  9. monty

    monty Member

    Messages:
    19,604
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    parts unknown
    I found the book "play like Eric Johnson" helpful.
     
  10. Wishing Wells

    Wishing Wells Member

    Messages:
    87
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    As evidenced by the Cracking the Code/Troy Grady stuff, EJ has a system. Downward pickslanting so that the upstrokes escape the strings ready for the next downstroke on adjacent strings. Mix that in with economy picking when necessary and it starts to make a lot of sense.
     
    JohnSykes likes this.
  11. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,443
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Yeah, the fact that he is more economy picking than not is starting to make sense. For some reason (maybe an old lesson video) I believed him to be a solely alternate picking guitar player and no hammer-on's/pull-offs.

    Beginning to think I'm wrong in this regard?
     
  12. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

    Messages:
    20,977
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Malibu
    And the vibrato on a Fender is a tremolo...
     
    muzishun likes this.
  13. ieso

    ieso Member

    Messages:
    2,898
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    Central MA
    He uses hammer-ons and pull-offs
     
  14. ieso

    ieso Member

    Messages:
    2,898
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    Central MA
    EJ uses a wide variety of picking styles including circle picking, bounce picking, hybrid, economy, etc. He probably uses "slanting" when he wants to play in slow motion. ;)
     
    Wishing Wells likes this.
  15. NitroLiq

    NitroLiq Member

    Messages:
    1,333
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    With regards to EJ and economy picking, I remember having a big "A ha!" moment after watching Frank Gambale's old "Monster Licks" REH video back in the late 80s and realizing how it could be applied to EJ's pentatonics....mini-sweeps as it were, like Ian Thornley is fond of. Wasn't called economy picking AFAIK back then but I remember thinking, "How could I just realize this now?"
     
    ieso likes this.
  16. ieso

    ieso Member

    Messages:
    2,898
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    Central MA
    A lifetime of those moments :D
     
  17. Wishing Wells

    Wishing Wells Member

    Messages:
    87
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    Only on the topic of his high speed stuff, he seems to stay pretty true to the downward pickslanting system. I think he used to mostly pick everything in the early days and started using more legato in his live performances as time went on at least from what I've seen.

    I think that first video with several EJ style licks is a really good representation of his style back in the day.
     
  18. buddaman71

    buddaman71 Student of Life Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,547
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    OKC, OK
  19. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

    Messages:
    20,977
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Malibu
    So...fwiw...
    Whatever one wants to call it be it pick slanting or whatever it comes down to an obvious thing... How to get from string to string efficiently.
    If you tilt your forearm to the right (downward pick slanting) obviously you get air on upstrokes and it facilitates serious on crossing to the higher string.
    Now if you going to a power string the obvious choices are rotating your forearm the other way (for alternate or sweep to lower string) or don't and then either sweep from the lowest note to the higher string or use a hammer on from nowhere on the lower string.
     
  20. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,060
    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    mpls
    In Troy Grady's work, Eric Johnson and Yngwie Malmsteen are the canonical examples of downward pick slanters. They change strings only on upstrokes (or downward sweeps). This means that they're almost always playing patterns with even numbers of notes on a string, and adjusting fingering/positions to accommodate that restriction. And Eric Johnson plays mostly pentatonics, so it's often just two notes per string. Once you get the pick direction thing, it's easy to replicate the patterns they play. It's what Troy (and psychologists) call "chunking", where seemingly long, flowing lines are really just chains of small, discrete patterns. Learn their patterns, which is tied to their pick direction, and you learn their sound.

    There are also upward pick slanters (like John McLaughlin), who have the same even-numbers limitation, but switch strings on downstrokes rather than upstrokes. And there are two-way pick slanters, who change their slant direction on the fly in order to switch strings on either upstrokes or downstrokes. And there are crosspickers (especially in bluegrass), who move the pick in a curved arc so it's free from the plane of strings at both the beginning and the end of each stroke. He's doing some really fascinating work studying pick motion, very scientific.

    But as for Eric Johnson... if you want to play his songs and patterns, you pretty much have to get into his downward pick slanting, or it's going to be physically hard to do.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice