Monday, September 22, 2014

Rock You Like a Hurricane Solo w/Tabs

Of all the legendary metal guitarists from the 80's, I'd say Matthias Jabs of the Scorpions gets the least credit. Let's be serious, this guy was a monstrous player who always wrote tasteful, memorable solos that became as integral to the song as the vocal itself. Not many players are able to accomplish a thing like that. He deserves, in my opinion, WAY more credit and mention. Which is why I am covering him here.

This solo is a real nice example of a player who is using the parent key scale (Emin - Dorian) but with a clear awareness of the chords going by underneath. At key moments of the solo, he nails the chord tones, which rely ramps up the drama of the solo. 

The very beginning is pure chord tone stuff. Strong notes all the way. Then he gets into the flashy stuff beginning with a very modern (of that time) Eddie Van Halen inspired tap slide on an Emin pentatonic scale. Followed by a fast alternate picking (sextuplets - or 2 groups of 3 notes per beat) moving up the scale. He comes smoothly out of this into a pretty classic blues pentatonic riff (adding the flat 5 in the riff and during the double stops). The fast building line is a beauty - killer stuff! Using the E Dorian scale as its base, he ascends very musically to the very top of the neck. This is a GREAT metal build to cop! I remember when I first heard this solo when the song came out. The fluidity of this line floored me.

BTW, I executed this solo on my Strat so that you can see it can be done on a standard 22 fret instrument. It's real tough playing way up there, but you can do it. My favourite part is the wrap he ends the solo with, a momentary Emin pentatonic riff (again with the added b5 blues note). Then a chromatic ascent to the final chord tone D (which can be thickened with the major 3rd above if you like). 

Getting the sound
This is really pretty basic signal chain. Strat > distortion pedal (I used a Wampler Pinnacle) > Some reverb > amp. This is a pretty classic humbucker into Marshall type tone. It's all in the hands. What really makes this work is Matthias' vibrato. He really sticks these notes and plays with 100% conviction.

The files
Here is the TAB sheet for your downloading pleasure.

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