It’s been a long time since I’ve done my last cover and it was about time to change this absence and what better way to do that except doing Altitudes by Jason Becker?
Back in 1994, my first electric guitar teacher enlightened me about Jason Becker and I was mesmerised by his works. Altitudes instantly became my favourite track of his, also became an apotheosis example of something that I would probably never be able to play, so I started learning Air instead – it seemed more approachable but when I reached the fast sections, I gave up. Many years later, after I did my cover of Perpetual Burn, I decided that it’s time to give Altitudes another try so I slowed it down and started listening closely, passage by passage, learning every phrase note by note, using all of my knowledge about how Jason plays, what sorts of fingerings and shapes he uses.
I kept watching all the covers of Altitudes that I could find on YouTube and there were some very good ones like the one by Gus Drax and Richie Allen – they boosted my inspiration even further. During the process of practising, I had to do corrections many times because I kept hearing phrases that I’ve learnt wrong. Plus, I realised that Altitudes is actually harder to play than Perpetual Burn despite the fact that it may look quite the opposite at first. This is the reason I spent significantly more time practising (2.5 years) compared to Perpetual Burn (2 years).
As you might know, in 2016 I won Nili Brosh’s A Matter of Perception Melody Contest and this is how I became an EMG Pickups Artist but I also got a wonderful addition to the prize – a white Ibanez signed by all the members of the jury – Nili Brosh, Jason Becker, Greg Howe, and Marco Sfogli. For a long time, I didn’t dare to play on this guitar since it was sacred to me but later I realised that it’s a pity to leave it collecting dust on the stand so I gave it to a luthier to fix and protect all the autographs and decided to use this guitar in my cover of Altitudes, as I plan to use it for covers of tracks by the other members of the jury.
Less than two months ago, the guys from Line 6 were so kind to give me a Helix LT during the Female Guitarist Round Table Discussion together with the awesome Jennifer Batten, Gretchen Menn, Nili Brosh, Nikki Stringfield, and Yvette Young, hosted by Chad Boston. I must admit that the Helix is a wonderful piece of gear so I decided to use it in my covers since it offers a wide variety of sounds and tweaking options, it’s super versatile and easy to use.
So, that’s the background story of my cover of Altitudes. If you have any questions, feel free to comment and I will do my best to answer you.
Enjoy and share!!! 🙂