Satch Boogie lesson
This is our first video lesson which dates from about 4 years ago when we were just a french community, now it’s translated and I’m sure it will be usefull for you!
The cover plays an important role because the video lesson is based on it. Some parts of « Satch Boogie » are faithful to the original and other ones are changed a little bit or improvised.
It also gives an idea of what it looks like when you’ve worked enough! After that, you can can play this song exaclty how you want it to be, it’s the most important issue…
Video lesson & explanations
Watch the lesson and keep an eye on the tablature to see the fingerings. The tablature is made from the CD version, not from my interpretation.
The original partition from the songbook is not entierly accurate, take a look to the corrected Guitar Pro tablature I’ve made for you.
At the end of the video when we focus on the right hand, remember to notice the way I attack the strings with my pick, up or down, because it’s essential. The song sounds really different depending if you play the notes up or down, or if you change anything else to the phrasing.
There is a balance between the pick attacks and the hammer-on & pull-off that make this song sound well or not, keep that in mind.
They are some licks Joe Satriani plays a lot, but he never plays the same « Satch Boogie », you can notice that when you compare two live versions.
There is a part of improvisation in this song, for example at 0’58” or 1’14” where you can play anything that you want, of course in dorian/blues scales.
I’ve played some personal licks in the video, try to play them, then try to create your owns licks!
I’ve simplified the initial rhythm that was written on the songbook tablature (on the left).
The best advice I can give you to play correctly the tapping part is to practice on the simplified rhythm (on the right), and then add the real rhythm, keeping in mind that the index you use for tapping (T) is playing the following rhythm.
Be careful to notice that at 6’15” the tapping extension I play is not the extension Joe usually plays. Try to figure out what sounds good and compose your personal extensions, you are not required to play exactly what’s written on the tab.
You have to practice very slowly and carefully this bridge tapping part, making every single note sound beautiful. Then, focus on the rhythm, the groove, and my advice is to listen the drums when you play this part and the groove shall settle by itself!
What is the “Pitch Axis” ?
The Pitch Axis is a technic used to write chord progressions. It consists in keeping a bass note, like a bourdon, and play on the top some chords that have harmonic ties. This theory was introduced to Satch by Bill Wescott his high school music teacher, and even if it’s about chord progressions, it’s totally out of the Functional Harmony (Tonal) and belongs to Modal Harmony.
The transcriptions that you shall find on the Internet and more especially on some “encyclopaedic websites” are incomplete or wrong, some chords weren’t even mentionned, or were named inappropriately. The way I named the chord in this chord progression is not an absolute science but at least it is logical, and if you don’t understand something about the way I named those chords I can explain you that, just ask me.
Those few details about Pitch Axis are only intended to experienced guitar players, but it’s a very important point I wanted to talk you about because it’s very characteristic of how Satch approaches the music.
As I noticed ah the end of the video lesson, the most important part you have to care about is the groove, the big secret to understand that is : listen to Joe! Enjoy the tab, you can ask me your questions if you have some and I can’t wait to see your work posted in the comments!