Whispering a Prayer

The name says it all! Discuss Steve's studios, your studios and gear set-ups, amps and effects here. This is not for discussing guitars (Steve's or otherwise).
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BadHorsie777
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Whispering a Prayer

#1 Post by BadHorsie777 » Tue May 02, 2006 4:24 pm

Hey guys

what is the best way to play the volume swell solo on "Whispering a Prayer"?

I have an old Kramer Sustainer, so i can play the actuall song bits, but i dont have a volume pedal and im not that good at fast swells

Any hints/practice tips?

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#2 Post by j.arledge » Tue May 02, 2006 5:55 pm

the volume pedal is almost a must to play it . there isn't much of a way around it .

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#3 Post by al » Tue May 02, 2006 8:51 pm

theres an auto swell Setting on the podxt i use it a lot, it gives a lovely warmness to the sound very whispering a prayer like

volume pedal tho

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#4 Post by Logic » Tue May 02, 2006 9:59 pm

And a Whammy pedal and a Sustainer and a boat load of talent and a buncha finess and a lot of emotion and a whammy bar that stays in tune good. and a.. you get the point. :wink:

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#5 Post by Stephen Brown » Thu May 04, 2006 8:52 am

Anyone know the delay setting's for the intro & what the whammy is set to?

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#6 Post by Rob A » Mon May 08, 2006 6:37 am

Is a whammy used? The octave up bits sound like harmonics generated by the Sustainer.

I could easily be wrong here. On the Astoria DVD, i don't think you see him using it for WaP.
a boat load of talent and a buncha finess and a lot of emotion and a whammy bar that stays in tune good. and a.. you get the point


Yeah that sounds about right... I think the beauty in it is the way it does actually whisper. This would be the volume swells. Also, Steve says that he turns the guitar volume down to 1.5, so the sounds is hardly distorted. Also, the sustainer is used to help you phrase wiht the whammy bar, again helping it to really 'whisper'.

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#7 Post by yggdrasil » Mon May 08, 2006 2:02 pm

i'm pretty sure there's no volume pedal used (but i could be wrong...) steve sets the volume quite low ( about 1 and a half) and with practice you can create swells without the aid of a pedal. Yep, flick the switch on your sustainer for those harmonics. :wink:

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#8 Post by Logic » Mon May 08, 2006 4:03 pm

You know, a lot of the swell comes from the sustainer. Mr. Vai fingers a note and instead of picking the note he lets the sustainer bring it in. Yet another kewl use for a sustainer.

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#9 Post by al » Tue May 09, 2006 1:41 am

yeah tis a quite delicate and soft song melody that builds up , thats the beauty of it

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#10 Post by Rob A » Wed May 10, 2006 6:41 am

Sorry! My bad. :oops:

I don't think he uses the volume pedal. Just turns up the vol on guitar for more drivey bits. (is there such a word, drivey?)

Could someone please verify: Am I correct in saying that he plays the melody a semitone flat, and pulls up with the bar to the actual notes, creating that 'wheu'.
Also, where does that flute tone come from???? Is it just the sustainer? I've heard it on P&W and Live at the Astoria.

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#11 Post by al » Wed May 10, 2006 6:59 am

driven

and yea he plays some notes slighlty flat and raises to the correct pitch with the bar

vice versa

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#12 Post by Logic » Wed May 10, 2006 8:08 am

That's not quite true on the semitone flat then pull to tone.
What's being done is he holds the bar down flat before hitting the note then lets go of the bar, either all at once or slowly, and wella! the note.
I do it all the time it is one of the kewler whammy tricks. and easy too. Remember, push the bar down before hitting the note. Hit the not and let the bar go back to normal position.
Forgive me if thats what you meant.
Oh, I did that once while using a buddy's guitar and he had just told me not to pull up on the bar, I thought he was gonna kick my rear end until I showed him I wasn't pulling up at all, just lowering first then returning later.

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#13 Post by Rob A » Wed May 10, 2006 9:13 am


That's not quite true on the semitone flat then pull to tone.
What's being done is he holds the bar down flat before hitting the note then lets go of the bar, either all at once or slowly, and wella! the note.
I do it all the time it is one of the kewler whammy tricks. and easy too. Remember, push the bar down before hitting the note. Hit the not and let the bar go back to normal position.
Forgive me if thats what you meant.
Oh, I did that once while using a buddy's guitar and he had just told me not to pull up on the bar, I thought he was gonna kick my rear end until I showed him I wasn't pulling up at all, just lowering first then returning later.
Ok,s o that's how he does it. It looked like he was pulling up! So it's like a scoop, but not so extreme?

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#14 Post by Logic » Wed May 10, 2006 10:17 am

Well I have seen Mr. Vai hold the bar down hit the note then pull the bar beyond center. So, He goes from flat to the note then he keeps going to some sharp note 2 steps up. Then bend the string from there!! makes for a wicked sounding bend. It gives you a three or four step bending sound. It you tried that from center you'd break something!

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#15 Post by davester1234 » Wed May 10, 2006 10:30 am

jems can go up 3-4 steps easily from the centre position. Might even be a perfect fifth.....

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