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Passion And Warfare (Naked)

Tracklisting:

01. Liberty (Naked)
02. Erotic Nightmares (Naked)
03. The Animal (Naked)
04. Answers (Naked)
05. The Riddle (Naked)
06. For The Love Of God (Naked)
07. The Audience Is Listening (Naked)
08. I Would Love To (Naked)
09. Blue Powder (Naked)
10. Sisters (Naked)
11. Greasy Kid's Stuff (Naked)

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Naked Tracks
Passion and Warfare

Record Rap

Passion and Warfare was my first serious solo record. It was a reflection of the music that was trapped in my head, during the years that I was going through rock star heaven with those big metal bands of the ‘80s. I knew those days would be fleeting and what I’d get out of them would be limited. But there was always that little voice singing these songs in my ear through the whole “multi platinum, MTV, sold-out arena tour, monster rock, indulgent party after the show” days of the roaring ‘80s. They sure were fun days and I don’t regret doing them, but If I didn’t make this record… I would have wilted.

When it came time to make Passion and Warfare, I closed the door of the studio and would not let anyone in (except my trusty French assistant Pascal Fillet.) I had no idea if this music would be appealing to anyone, but I was compelled to do it. As far as I could tell, I was probably giving up financial security, fame, credibility, time, etc… all for art. I guess the Gods of good karma were on my side. The record went gold in one week.

 

Song Rap

As heavy, as simple, or as complex as the performance of music can get, care should be taken that it is always performed as a piece of music. There are various processes that we go through when learning the skills to play an instrument. There’s the practice of technique, the study of music theory, the spontaneous improvisation we may have with others, or just sitting and playing something. It’s a process.

In learning a complete piece of music and performing it without any mistakes, the first stage is familiarizing ourselves with the piece, then getting it under our fingers, and then really getting it under our fingers, and then getting it so under our fingers that we know it by heart.

Once we are at the stage of almost knowing something by heart, I have found that it’s not uncommon to forget everything in a flash and wonder, ”Where the heck did my brain go?” That’s when you can’t give up. You just gotta keep pushing and eventually it all comes back (usually pretty quickly). At that point it’s usually there for good.

That’s the time when we must start to focus on making whatever we are performing sound like an actual piece of music. This is all in our head and is a direct reflection of how we perceive what we are playing compared to how we can imagine it sounding at it’s best. Try to hear it in your head better than the way you’re playing it and eventually it will come out that way.

At this point your confidence will increase and your emotional investment in the piece can be cultivated and elevated.

These naked tracks can assist in your technical, emotional ascent up the ladder of performance bliss.

I suggest that all musicians have at least one such piece of music under their command at all times, and revisit it now and then to keep it fresh while working on another. The more you do this, the easier it gets. That’s when the fun really starts––when you become the music you play.

 

1. Liberty (Naked)

Form: The form of this naked track is the same as the original recording. The main track without the melody is represented here.

What was I thinking?: This song was originally written as a national anthem of sorts. It’s bold and uplifting. There is little improvisation, but towards the end is a good place to let fly with the fireworks.

What could you be thinking?: As with any of these naked tracks, I would encourage you to listen to it carefully before you try to play over it and give your imagination an opportunity to come up with its own melody. Of course, you can play the original written melody along with the track, too.

If you are playing the main melody along with this track, it can be quite a glorious experience. During the last verse, when the harmony guitars surround and blend with your own strings as you play the main melody, it’s lift off time.

One thing to focus on when playing this melody is your intonation. Take care not to vibrate notes out of tune. Take notice of how hard you press on the note, for that can make the note go sharp, or even flat (thus making you sound out of tune). When those harmony guitars kick in, you really need to make sure your intonation is spot on. You would be surprised how hard that can be to do in the high register of the guitar. Getting those high notes in tune is like carrying a bottle of milk on your head… while doing a jig.

 

 

2. Erotic Nightmares (Naked)

Form: The form of this naked track is the same as the original recording.

What was I thinking?: This was the first track that was recorded for this record. It started out as a demo for the David Lee Roth Band. It’s more of a guitar effects melody tapestry, than anything conventional. The sounds are all over the place, but there is melody under all the production. The object was to create a stream of melodic ideas that incorporated a lot of dimensional change in the tonality of the instrument (within small chunks of space). You really have to have your dancing shoes on to get around the pedal board at lightning speed on this one.

What could you be thinking?: This is a good opportunity to see how you can change up from one sound to another, in the period of a few bars, by using your arsenal of stomp boxes or whatever. If you don’t have stomp boxes to slam through, try changing the playing technique or approach in each section. Or you can combine both these concepts to create passages that focus more on tonal changes than anything else.

 

 

3. The Animal (Naked)

Form: The basic form of the track is the same as the recorded version, but the solo section is extended (and rightfully so). It should never end and if you put a loop on it… it never has to.

The cue to get out of it is when you hear the reverend shout, “Let’em go!!!” Then the track jumps into the weighty E chord change. From there on out, it’s hammer time.

Key(s): The gist of the song is in D Pentatonic Blues. The solo section basically spells out a D Dorian flavor: D, E, F, G, A B, C, D (same as C major).

FX: For the guitar sound there was a Whammy Pedal used that was set to a 5th down. The fingering of the main rhythm feels like the key of A minor, but with the harmonizer set a 5th lower it changes the tonality to D minor. If you try to play it without the harmonizer, you may want to learn the lower melody line to keep the tonality. However, using a harmonizer on this melody makes your testosterone level increase by 48 lipids.

What was I thinking?: This was the last track recorded for Passion and Warfare (at the last minute) and it went down the quickest… probably 2 days total. The main harmonizer riff came to me in a thought rather than an experiment. I immediately heard the whole track come together in my head.

What could you be thinking?: The thing that’s nice about this solo section is that it offers up an opportunity to be somewhat jazzy, in a rocky way. Try to find tasty notes and phrases that are outside of what you might normally do, when you just use your bluesy rock bag of tricks. As far as playing the melody, it’s about attitude. How hard and violent can you vibrate those notes, while staying in control and not bending them out of tune? It’s a fine line and on this one, you should explore your sexiest finger work (in the privacy of your own room).

 

 

4. Answers (Naked)

Form: There are basically 5 sections to the form of this song besides the intro. The A section (E Major), B section (F Lydian), C section (E Lydian), D section (C-Mixolydian), and E section (over E-major again).

For the intro, the rhythm guitars are left in the mix as a guide. But when the drums kick in and the whole form is played through for the first time, the rhythms drop out so those interested in playing rhythm along with the track can do so.

The second time the form repeats is when the main melody comes in. On the album version of the song (after the melody plays through) it goes to the layered 8th note melody section that comprises the last 5 verses, which are affectionately known as the “Gi-na-lo-lo-brid-ge-da” section because that’s what it sounds like the melody is saying. But on this naked track, instead of going to that section, I’ve inserted an extended guitar solo vamp. This solo section basically vamps over the A’ section (E Major). The rhythm section builds up its instrumentation, then the cue to get out of the solo and break into the “Gi-na-lo-lo-brid-ge-da” melody section is when you hear the melody guide guitar come in.

What was I thinking?: This track was written when I was in high school. I was experimenting with a new rhythmic technique, that allowed me to create various accented groupings of fast rhythmic strums. This was very useful when rhythmically playing in fast, odd time signatures. The melody was first hinted at by Sue Mathis. Sue is a wonderful gal I met at Berklee. In the early ‘80s, while she was living in Los Angeles, she was in my band called, “The Classified.”

What could you be thinking?: I suggest creating a vamp over the solo section to jam over for hours. In order to find a new level of uniqueness in your own playing, try the following techniques. Pick a few parameters that you impose on yourself, such as only using two strings to improvise with… or limiting your notes to only 3 or ?... or make every other note you play a bent note, etc… . The list is endless.

Set a destination period of at least 30 minutes to work solely within these specified parameters. You may find yourself getting very bored, but that’s the time to stick to it and keep exploring. You should inevitably find yourself reaching to do things (within the limitations you’ve set) that you have never done before. When you find a thread of something new, grab hold of it and start pulling. The solo section vamp on this song is good for this technique.

 

 

5. The Riddle (Naked)

Form: The form of this naked track is the same as it appears on the “Passion and Warfare” record.

Key(s): The basic track is built around an ostinato figure with an “E” in the bass. The harmonic tonality of each section is primarily spelled out by the various accompanying instruments.

What was I thinking?: Just take a basic groove in “E” and embroider a roving melodic depiction on top of it.

What could you be thinking?: See what kind of colors you have in your palette. By that I mean, actually think of a color and try to represent what it sounds like to you on the instrument. Got that? It’s a good opportunity to let your ears do the walking.

 

 

6. For the Love of God (Naked)

Form: The form of this naked track is the same as it appears on the “Passion And Warfare” CD.

Key(s): E minor

What was I thinking?: Just searching for melodic, spiritual redemption and liberation.

What could you be thinking?: See “What was I thinking?” section.

 

 

7. The Audience Is Listening (Naked)

Form: Aren’t they always naked though? Anyway, this one has the same form as the record version, too. Sorry that the mix has the school teacher so loud. It just means you will have to play louder.

Key(s): Mostly E again

What was I thinking?: I had this great high school English teacher, Ms. Fagen. I was thinking of those early days for much of it. That’s actually her on the recording.

What could you be thinking?: Playing a fast boogie can be deceiving. In order to really lock with the groove, you have to enter a different mindset than normal 4/4. Getting everything to have that swing and make it sound natural is a study (unless you’re Billy Gibbons). Try to focus on locking into the up-temp, frenetic boogie mentality. It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that… never mind.

 

 

8. I Would Love To (Naked)

Form: The form of this naked track is the same as the original recording.

Key(s): B (for the most part)

Instrument/FX: 7 String Ibanez Universe.

What was I thinking?: I thought the record needed something relatively accessible and simple. Pretty straight ahead, kind of an up rock song. This kind of thing was popular in the ‘80s and if there is any song on the record that had any genre allure, this would be it.

What could you be thinking?: The melody is sort of a call and response. See how much of the chords, melody, and call and response you can muster up in one performance. For the solo, create something different that’s yours. Don’t be shy.

 

 

9. Blue Powder (Naked)

Form: I left the intro melody notes on, so you can grab the intro.

Key(s): This is another one where the tonalities and FX change quite a bit through the piece. Not quite blues, not quite fusion, sort of Venusian home-grown.

What was I thinking?: It was 1983 and I had just received my first amplifier stack. It was a Carvin X100B amp and it had a head and two 4x12 cabinets. I was over the moon about this towering skyscraper of sound demolition. Carvin agreed to give me this amp in return for a demo song where I used the amp. I immediately created, “Blue Powder.”

What could you be thinking?: There’s no real melody to sink your teeth into as much as there are harmonic testimonials. Once you get the changing tonalities under your ears, this one is quite pleasant to play. It’s all in the touch here. An exercise in dynamics. Dynamics are usually ignored by many players, but it’s the tongue that delivers the poetry in a piece of music like this. Think dynamics.

 

 

10. Sisters (Naked)

Form: The form of this naked track is the same as the original recording.

Key(s): G Major (Mixolydian)

What was I thinking?: I have always been a fan of the way the guitar can create melody lines, chord changes, and bass motion all at the same time. Although this technique is mostly used in playing jazz, here it’s scaled down and simplified to create a sweet sentiment.

What could you be thinking?: This track is another study in dynamics. It’s about getting the notes to speak with the tone from the tips of your fingers, as well as, using dynamics to snap the strings hard and then play them as delicately as possible. Perhaps you would like to create your own melody part, something totally different than the original. I’m looking forward to hearing it.

 

 

11. Greasy Kids Stuff (Naked)

Form: The form of this naked track is the same as the original recording.

What was I thinking?: The idea was to create a high energy, odd time, tremendously melodic (in an inside outside kind of way) piece of punk rock. Originally written for the Plasmatics in 1979… go figure.

What could you be thinking?: Try being as violent as possible on the unison note double-stop chorus parts and then still be able to execute the odd middle melody section flawlessly (if you have the stomach for it). It’s a tongue twister for sure.

 

 
   
     

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