Watch the The Audience Is Listening online guitar lesson by Steve Vai from Alien Guitar Secrets: Passion & Warfare
In this video segment, Steve shares background and key insights related to The Audience Is Listening. In the following text, Steve talks about the Naked Track for The Audience Is Listening and how you might approach working with it.
Form: Aren't they always naked though? Anyway, this one has the same form as the record version, too. Sorry that the mix has the school teacher so loud. It just means you will have to play louder.
Key(s): Mostly E
What was I thinking?: I had this great high school English teacher, Ms. Fagen. I was thinking of those early days for much of it. That's actually her on the recording.
What could you be thinking?: Playing a fast boogie can be deceiving. In order to really lock with the groove, you have to enter a different mindset than normal 4/4. Getting everything to have that swing and make it sound natural is a study (unless you're Billy Gibbons). Try to focus on locking into the up-temp, frenetic boogie mentality. It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that...never mind.
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.