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Watch the Erotic Nightmares online guitar lesson by Steve Vai from Alien Guitar Secrets: Passion & Warfare

In this video segment, Steve shares background and key insights related to Erotic Nightmares. In the following text, Steve talks about the Naked Track for Erotic Nightmares and how you might approach working with it.

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.

About Naked Tracks

Through the years, whenever I would mix my records I would usually do a mix of specific songs without the lead guitar. This allowed me to play along with the track or make loops to jam to, and because I figured perhaps someday maybe others would like to do the same. Voila! We have arrived at someday.

Playing to these naked tracks, or creating loops of various sections to endlessly meander over, is a phenomenal way to discover unique musical ideas from within yourself.

For the most part, the tracks in this series are presented in their original form with the lead guitar removed. In some cases, I looped some solo sections to give you an opportunity to stretch out.

I suggest you import these files into a sequencer program of sorts, such as ProTools, GarageBand, etc. and create loops of various parts of the songs to jam over. On many tracks, a hit or count-off was added to the intro to indicate where the song starts. On some tracks, a small portion of the original melody guitar may have been tacked onto the intro as a guide.

One way to play along with these tracks is to learn the original guitar parts that are on the album versions of the songs (for full transcriptions and notation, pick up the Passion & Warfare Songbook published by Hal Leonard), but I would encourage you to take a more active role in using these tracks as a bed to lay your own creative interpretation over.

There are really no rules. So sit back, flip on a naked track and dress it up with your own artistic musical apparel.