Interviews 8-string, album, Alexandra Zerner, Campaign, female guitar player, female guitarist, female shredder, Interview, Magazine, metal mag, opus 1880, pledge music, prog, progressive, rock 0
Behind the Scenes, Covers, News 8-string, Alexandra Zerner, Altitudes, arpeggio, cover, emg, fanned fret, female guitar player, female guitarist, guitar, guitarist, Helix, Ibanez, Jason Becker, Kahler, lead guitar, Line 6, multi-scale, scale, shred, shredder, Solo, Univox, virtuoso 13
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!!! 🙂
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My third solo album is already happening!
It’s called ‘Opus 1880’ and it’s a double CD conceptual album – a dramatic sci-fi love story, expressed in more than 100 minutes of colourful progressive rock, based on the guitar style you’re already familiar with from my previous albums ‘9 Stories’ (2014) and ‘Aspects’ (2015), garnished with some classic old prog, acoustic ballads, modern metal riffs, and wide rande of interesting instruments. This time the album will also have tracks with vocals and few awesome guest appearances.
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Free Stuff 8-string, 808x, Alexandra Zerner, arpeggio, Aspects, bias fx, emg, fanned frets, female guitarist, free, guitar, Kahler, lesson, lick, scalloped frets, sextilis, shred, tab 0
In the first “episode” of my free licks & tabs I want to show you a snippet from my track Sextilis, which, in essence, is a repeating arpeggio pattern in 7/4, based on chord progression in B- (aka Bm). Below you can see a video, where I play this part and on the bottow you will find the tabs for the part. Enjoy and share!
A video posted by Alexandra Zerner (@alexandrazernerrocks) on
Guitar Pro file is available after donating an amount of your choosing, by using the button below and then writing the name of the lick tab you need in the text field, which opens, when you click the blue link “Add special instructions to the seller“.
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Another cool contest popped up and I had a serious dilemma if I should enter or not, because usually such competitions are an arena of an enormous amount of show off, which is actually disgusting. Then a brilliant idea hit me – I will do an anti-shred 4-note solo! Well, after the spicing, it actually came up to be 7-notes solo (and an additional short “blue” note in the transition arpeggio-like phrase before the theme repeat), but I still kept it simple and melodic. So, here’s the video (vote for me here) and below you can find some additional details, if you’re interested.
In this recording I decided to give a try to my brand new Bias FX from Positive Grid, which is a great plugin to have – I really appreciate it, being a session musician. The guitar is Jackson JS32-8Q, equipped with Kahler 2218 tremolo, and goes directly into my Scarlett 18i8 from Focusrite, without any other devices on the path. Due to the fact, that many people asked me about the preset, that I used, I decided to upload it here, so you can enjoy it and mention me around 🙂
For downloading the preset – click on the picture.
Behind the Scenes, Contests 2218, 8-string, A matter of Perception, Alexandra Zerner, boss, competition, contest, engl, female guitar player, female guitarist, female shredder, gt-8, guitar, Jackson, Jason Becker, Kahler, Marty Friedman, Nili Brosh, octatonic, scale, Seymour Duncan 0
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! 🙂