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  1. #1
    Good Enough Kevin Dodds's Avatar
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    09.15.17 @ 08:03 AM
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    Default "Unchained" Live in Oakland 1981: Guitar solo study and tablature

    Ever since I was a kid, one the aspects of the "Unchained" video that blew me away was that Ed played a completely different solo than on the recording. I recently decided to go back and dissect that solo that is now extremely familiar to fans.

    The video features the original concert footage, me playing the solo, Ed's solo with tablature, and then Ed's solo again at half-speed with tablature.



    Here's the tab I came up with.





    Enjoy. I figure there's some interest out there about this performance since they released a version of the guitar featured only in this video. I made my own a while back, still extremely happy with it.

    KBD3

  2. #2
    On Fire Bluto's Avatar
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    Awesome! Thank you so much!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Eruption AFU's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 05:51 AM
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    I've spent years merging the album solo and the Oakland solo live. Never really learning either completely. Always just winged it. With occasional good results. Felt like I was being like Ed. By the seat of my pants. Then it got too unpredictable. Too many mistakes. So I copied the 1998 live solo. He's played that one pretty much since. Except I'd do a tremolo butterfly picking thing up the high e from like the 12th or 15th fret on up at the end. I prefer the Oakland version and thank you for helping me nail it in the future!

  4. #4
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 06:26 AM
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    Like you guys I've altered the studio version a bit too when doing it because you don't have that rhythm guitar behind you, so it's a little sparse the album way on one guitar live. Thanks for tabbing that Kevin.
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  5. #5
    Eruption garbeaj's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 08:55 PM
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    Looks good...I wouldn't change a thing. I figured this one out a long time ago too. I always thought that Ed may have gotten lost and came up with this off the top of his head. I haven't heard a bootleg where he plays it anywhere near this version...have you?

  6. #6
    Good Enough Kevin Dodds's Avatar
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    09.15.17 @ 08:03 AM
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    It always struck me as very much "by the seat of his pants" -- I doubt he knew he would play it like that. The one weird run is definitely odd, but the rest is basic Ed. Remember he went into the first verse early after the intro, so he may have just been playing to save his life up there.

    KBD3

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 12:23 PM
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    Nice work!

    I think it's hilarious that Ed, one random night on tour, just BS'd a solo and it came out so epic.

    It makes the whole Beat It solo story where it was done in two takes make sense.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

  8. #8
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 06:26 AM
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    Default "Unchained" Live in Oakland 1981: Guitar solo study and tablature

    That 81 version of Unchained is just its own animal. Way different than most other versions I've heard over the years. And the mistake in the beginning just leads me to believe Ed was really winging it that night.
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  9. #9
    Eruption donkost's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 12:31 AM
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    We have all made mistakes playing in front of people. Sometimes they are caught and other times we think we are the only ones who knew about them. Some of the best tricks are to not make any sudden pissed off head or facial movements, don't quickly stare back at your amp, etc. haha I always love the "my amp did it" approach. My own mistakes have only been made in front of perhaps 250 people max on multiple occasions. That Oakland video is so cool that for years I didn't even notice he wasn't using a flanger in it like the studio recording. And what's interesting is that this guy made what we believe is probably a mistake and 33 years later we are studying it, learning it, and embracing it.

  10. #10
    Eruption garbeaj's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 08:55 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Dodds View Post
    It always struck me as very much "by the seat of his pants" -- I doubt he knew he would play it like that. The one weird run is definitely odd, but the rest is basic Ed. Remember he went into the first verse early after the intro, so he may have just been playing to save his life up there.

    KBD3
    Yep, that's my take on it too...pretty funny that one of the few professionally filmed performances of the band at it's musical peak contains this oddball solo!

  11. #11
    Good Enough Kevin Dodds's Avatar
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    Because dissecting this performance is a lot of fun, here are some video stills, kind of funny stuff.

    First off, this Ed looking down in front of him the moment he hits the verse riff -- so he's just going along like normal.



    Then when he realizes he's screwed up, Michael Anthony at the height of professionalism did not bat an eye! He did NOT look in Ed's direction to call ANY attention to it at all. He knew just to hammer away and that Dave wasn't going to start the lyrics early. However, Eddie looks over at Mike in the very last frame of the stage left shot in that desperate "What the fuck?" glance and feeling we all know too well! He must've thought for a millisecond that everyone else was late and he was on time.



    He has totally screwed up and he's got that "I'm just looking across the stage because I can't believe I screwed that up while we're filming" look on his face!



    Finally, he looks down and nails the F and C, and appears to even have a look of relief but you know he was thrown off.



    Nevertheless, he plowed through a great performance including his vocals, and also he had to climb up those steps and stand next to Alex for extra spotlight action on the guitar solo -- for all we know he may have been semi-panicked at the time. But he powered through with a smile on his face.



    I also love Frank's mystery appearance at about 2:24!



    KBD3

  12. #12
    On Fire Bluto's Avatar
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    Ed did such a great job handling that mistake. He just played it like everything was completely normal. I didn't even notice it until I saw someone point it out here on the Links. What a fantastic player.

  13. #13
    Forum Frontman Double Down's Avatar
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    The beauty of that mistake was that it fit perfectly. As mistakes go I think it was a pretty easy one to recover from. In his head he knew where he should be and the band was playing correctly so he just jumped off for a couple bars then jumped back on.
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  14. #14
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    The mistake actually sounds cool anyway.
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  15. #15
    Forum Frontman Double Down's Avatar
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    Default "Unchained" Live in Oakland 1981: Guitar solo study and tablature

    I know. I used to think it was on purpose just to mix it up then I thought it was Dave who missed the vocals and Ed bailed him out by going back to that point.
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