Nili Brosh’s ‘A Matter of Perception’ Guitar Contest – Alexandra Zerner’s Entry – Behind the Scenes

Generally I stopped participating in guitar competitions, because most of them turned into a shredding show-off, which is not my cup of tea, but this contest grabbed my attention just because Nili Brosh announced it as a melody writing contest, which is something, that I would gladly participate in. It’s done by the courtesy of PremierGuitar as a PG Giveaways. The other major reason is that this contest actually helps Jason Becker by generating donations to his fund and this is a great motivation to me to do something about it.

Nili Brosh is a great player and musician in general, and she does very interesting music, so it was a pleasure for me to compose something over her track. It was a quite challenging task to perform, because of the two distinct parts, bringing very different flavours for the listener, combined with nice chord progressions, so it was really ‘A Matter of Perception’ for me to work on.

As a matter of fact, I wrote the second part first – when I heard the track, this à la Marty Friedman melodic line popped up in my mind immediately, so it should be a shame not to record it. It is a bit harmonically demanding, so I needed to adjust few notes and phrases in order to fit the chord progression good enough. Then came the first section, which sounded to me a bit middle-east asian, so I decided to use an arabic octatonic to build my melodic lines there. I was afraid, that both sections won’t go along together very good, but nevertheless I gave them a chance. I hope you’ll like the result.

Enjoy, subscribe and share! 🙂

Perpetual Burn (Jason Becker) – Cover by Alexandra Zerner – Behind the Scenes

As you may remember, last year I uploaded a video on my official facebook page of me practicing Jason Becker’s “Perpetual Burn”. This piece is one of the greatest guitar challenges and a milestone for every melodic shred guitarist since 1988, when the “Perpetual Burn” album was released. So, this video of mine was shot for personal intends in order to check where I am in the process of learning and polishing the piece. Due to my practice to upload such videos to my facebook page, I decided to upload and this one and five minutes later, Jason Becker himself posted it on his page, which left me with my jaw dropped… Honestly, I didn’t expect such thing, at least because this so-called cover that I did, wasn’t the full track – it stopped somewhere around 2/3 of the length, also it was captured by the built-in microphone of my laptop and the sound quality was pretty bad. Nevertheless, I gained a serious amount of views and popularity, which was, according to my own beliefs, an undeserved fame, especially when later the same year Jason Becker mentioned my cover in the October edition of Guitar Player Magazine along with Jeff Loomis (whom I would like to thank a lot for the great backing track of “Perpetual Burn”). I felt both proud and bit ashamed, because it’s a great thing for someone to be aknowledged by their idols, but at the same time I still didn’t think I should get such credits for just a practice video with a poor quality. This, though, motivated me to sit down on my butt and practice “Perpetual Burn” until I get it right – it was a long and difficult road to walk on, because I learnt this piece by ear, which is a serious challenge, considering the speed of certain phrases, also every month I was discovering, that I play something wrong and I needed to fix my mistakes. Finally, I reached some point, where I think I played the piece at an acceptably high level, so I decided to shoot a decent video of it and put in on YouTube. This, of course, led to issues that every musican is pretty familiar with – the sudden drop of the playing abilities when recording, which combined with my “recording apnea”, causing constant hiccups, forced me to play this piece about 30 times in a row to get it right on the video. As a result, my hands got very tired and a bit aching at the end, but I think the result is somewhat good, so enjoy and feel free to share:

Jason Becker, Perpetual Burn and my first appearance on GuitarPlayer Magazine

Recently I was told by a guy at the Jackson Guitars Forum, that he read about me in the October edition of Guitar Player Magazine and I thought it was some joke… until I found, that actually I was mentioned there for real, and what was even more surprising and breathtaking was, that I was mentioned by Jason Becker (!) about my cover (actually a practicing video, that I uploaded to my facebook page) of his great track “Perpetual Burn”, and my name appeared right after Jeff Loomis (!)… I must admit, that I really stopped breathing for few seconds, because my jaw was somewhere on the floor.

I’ve never dreamed of such aknowledgement so early in my musical career… Thank you very much, Mr. Becker! 🙂

Well, here’s the article:

WeeklyckZ #8

This week I am presenting you some sort of “tribute” lick – a two chord arpeggio run, inspired by Jason Becker.

Enjoy, subscribe and share! 🙂

“Perpetual Burn” and one big nice surprise

This masterpiece by Maestro Jason Becker is something, that was inspiring me for so long, but I was always afraid even to think about playing it, until last year, when I finally made up my mind and came to the point to start actually learning it. And yesterday, during my practice, I shot a video of me playing some parts of “Perpetual Burn” just for my own feedback purposes, but later I decided to upload it on my official facebook page. 5 minutes later I was sitting shocked and extremely nicely surprised…

Jason Becker himself had just shared my video on his page and while I was still trying to figure out what is happening, I could only sit and watch the number of views, likes, comments and so forth growing like an avalanche… so far, exactly 24 hours after I posted it, it has over 58,000 views – something I’ve never imagined that could happen to any of my videos… This act of kindness from Mr. Becker is something, that still keeps me breathless, and of course – full of gratitude, needed to express.

Thank you, Mr. Jason Becker, from the bottom of my heart!