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Post new topic The famous "Walk Of Life" solo
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Author Topic:  The famous "Walk Of Life" solo
Alex Cattaneo


From:
Quebec, Canada
Post  Posted 28 May 2020 10:55 am    
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Hey guys! I have been spending lots of quality time with my steel this month, and I thought it might be a good time to document a few things, like this humble crack at Paul's Walk Of Life solo, which is one of my favorites.

https://youtu.be/F1LDUUC8jts

This is from the "On The Night" live Dire Straits album, which is mandatory listening from beginning to end. The solo is a bit different than the "One Night In London" version, which can be found on Youtube.

It's actually very cool to study both and see how Paul keeps the core of the solo but changes a few things, probably to keep it fresh and interesting for himself.

Hope you enjoy it, and if you do, please subscribe to my Youtube channel, as I'll have more coming soon.


Last edited by Alex Cattaneo on 28 May 2020 1:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post  Posted 28 May 2020 11:16 am    
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Well done; good technique!
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Carl Williams


From:
Oklahoma
Post  Posted 28 May 2020 11:49 am    
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Fine picking Alex...Thanks for posting...Carl
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Larry Dering

 

From:
Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 28 May 2020 4:20 pm    
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Alex, bravo. Excellent playing.
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Joe Krumel

 

From:
Hermitage, Tn.
Post  Posted 29 May 2020 11:50 am    
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Alex,that was some clean pickin'. That must have taken some serious woodshed hours. very inspiring. thanks for posting and your hard work!
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Jim Palenscar

 

From:
Oceanside, Calif, USA
Post  Posted 30 May 2020 6:28 am    
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Great job!
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Alex Cattaneo


From:
Quebec, Canada
Post  Posted 30 May 2020 8:13 am    
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Thanks everyone for the kind words. It Inspires to keep working at it.

Joe, regarding the amount of time it took to clean this up, I can say, exactly, 10 hours, from May 7th to May 20th, the day I recorded this video.

(Keep in mind I already knew the solo, I just couldn't play it cleanly at this speed.)

I know this because at the top of the month, I challenged myself to practice 8 hours a day. It's something I used to do when I was a student and in most of my 20s, way before I even considered taking up pedal steel.

So, during the month of May, I've been practicing 40+ hours every week. Also, I write in a notebook everything I practice: songs, exercises, tempo, etc. I never practice something for more than an hour. I just do the work, and then move to something else. I want things to feel fresh and not get bogged down. I vary my routine every day, in terms of what I practice, so i always 4-5 different songs I'm working on. Also, and I think this is very important, during those 10 hours working on this particular solo, I RARELY played it at this speed. In fact, I spend a lot of time playing at ridiculously slow tempos. I pay attention to every pick stroke, every bar movement, and make sure the phrasing and execution is impeccable. I have to give credit to Travis Toy, whose teachings helped my technique immensely. I practice slow, and crank up the tempo gradually. As soon as there something not flowing properly, I slow it right back down and work out the problem. If you can't play it 10 times in a row perfectly, then it's too fast.

For example, the double stops ascending run towards the beginning was giving me some trouble. I just couldn't play it fast, and my right arm was tensing up every time. So I figured out that if I used my thumb and index for the whole lick, instead of switching to index and middle halfway through, allowed to play it much faster without any tension. That's the feeling I was looking for. Playing fast is all about being relaxed and letting the music play itself, if that makes any sense. It has to become second nature so there is nothing hindering the flow of the music.

Paul's post on practicing with a metronome from a few days ago is absolutely spot on. It's exactly my mindset when working on stuff like this. I work on technique, tone and phrasing. Speed is just a byproduct of those things.

Another thing to consider is that, even if I was working on this solo only a few hours week, the fact that I'm sitting at my steel 8 hours a day helps EVERY ASPECT of my playing.
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Rick Barnhart


From:
Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 31 May 2020 11:51 am    
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Excellent job! Bravo Alex
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Travis Toy


From:
Nashville, TN, USA
Post  Posted 31 May 2020 6:46 pm    
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Alex Cattaneo wrote:
I have to give credit to Travis Toy, whose teachings helped my technique immensely.


I appreciate it Alex, and I’m glad that I can be a part of your journey on the instrument.

-t

www.travistoytutorials.com
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