Watch the Liberty (Live) online guitar lesson by Steve Vai from Alien Guitar Secrets: Passion & Warfare
Here’s a bonus live performance video of Liberty. In the following text, Steve talks about the Naked Track for Liberty and how you might approach working with it.
Form: The form of this naked track is the same as the original recording. The main track without the melody is represented here.
What was I thinking?: This song was originally written as a national anthem of sorts. It's bold and uplifting. There is little improvisation, but towards the end is a good place to let fly with the fireworks.
What could you be thinking?: As with any of these naked tracks, I would encourage you to listen to it carefully before you try to play over it and give your imagination an opportunity to come up with its own melody. Of course, you can play the original written melody along with the track, too.
If you are playing the main melody along with this track, it can be quite a glorious experience. During the last verse, when the harmony guitars surround and blend with your own strings as you play the main melody, it's lift off time.
One thing to focus on when playing this melody is your intonation. Take care not to vibrate notes out of tune. Take notice of how hard you press on the note, for that can make the note go sharp, or even flat (thus making you sound out of tune). When those harmony guitars kick in, you really need to make sure your intonation is spot on. You would be surprised how hard that can be to do in the high register of the guitar. Getting those high notes in tune is like carrying a bottle of milk on your head...while doing a jig.
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.