The Hotel C6 Solo transcription for C6 tuned lap steel guitar has arrived, and the detailed lesson is presented below for the first time ever.
This lesson follows up on last week's Hotel C6 arpeggio study, which laid out the Coda section from the solo.
If it seems like we're going backwards...well, we are. The reason is that the Coda section was actually the only part that was laid down in Tab on that frigid winter's day 3 years ago when this project was undertaken.
Since interest for this material is at an all-time high--as evidenced by the feedback and emails I've received--we're going to be learning the first 8 bars of the Hotel C6 solo right now on Steel-Guitar-Mojo.com.
We are once again using the C6 High tuning for this entire piece. This particular tuning is displayed above for 6 string guitars, however, it is also commonly found on 8-string lap steel, and happens to be one of my favorite tunings.
The 8-string variety of the C6 High simply adds a C to the 7th string and an A to the 8th string.
I've broken the solo up into various sections on purpose: as with any long piece of music, you'll do yourself a huge favor by learning and digesting the information in small, easily grasped parts rather than trying to play through the entire thing all at once.
Learn each of these parts one at a time, then string them all together slowly for the quickest absorption into your fingers!
That's enough for the background info! Away we go....
The Hotel C6 solo begins with a little box pattern up at the 9th and 11th frets. I know it isn't marked on the music, but you want to slide into the first note, just like you hear it done on the Hotel C6 solo video.
Your bar will then move up to the 10th fret of the second string, sliding into the note as marked on the music.
The next little phrase, in the second measure, features a skipped string pattern on the 7 fret that jumps the interval of a perfect 5th. This pattern is indicative of the types of jumps and odd shapes that the phrases make throughout this solo.
Many of the patterns in the Hotel C6 solo are different from the intervals of 3rds and 6ths that I usually see when playing.
The continuation of the 2nd measure is in this part. This phrase uses an open string, then has one of those skipped string jumps, outlining the interval of a perfect 5th again.
The third measure is where we really start to see some of those so called "outside" notes, but it's what really makes this solo happen
Notice that we're starting out on the 1st fret of the fourth string for the A# in the beginning of the third measure. Then you'll be sliding into the A# again but this from the fifth string.
Stretch these notes out as long as possible, and connect them all together smoothly. Listen to the Hotel C6 solo video performance to hear the way I execute these notes.
In Part III we're running through mostly 16th notes, and the pace is picking up. Just notice that the "and" of the second beat is the only 8th note, so you'll be holding out a little longer on that one.
And actually the two phrases in measure 4 are almost identical, but you'll see that I've broken up the execution of the notes to bring some contrast to this section.
You'll be accessing the A note with open strings in the first half of this measure, and then using the second fret 4th and 5th strings to toggle between these two notes.
I've done this to create a broken feeling for the first half, and smooth connected phrasing for the second half, so when playing the adjacent strings for the B-A-B-A part, let everything ring out.
Part IV starts with the continuation of the fifth measure and includes another one of those "skipped string" jumps, but this time we're going between the third and fifth strings, so we have the interval of perfect 4th being outlined.
Continuing on into meausure 8, we finish out with some nice "boxy" major pentatonic scale patterns that fit ever so nicely on the C6 tuning, which is really one of the things you should take away from the Hotel C6 solo lesson.
This is one of my favorite sections. It starts out with a phrase that's outlining the D major chord that's being played by the band at this point.
The pattern is one that I find a lot in Hawaiian music with all it's major tonalities, but works just as well in all styles of music and in all keys. It also makes for a great blues solo pattern.
Moving on we have a group of notes that cascades down the 7th fret conveniently through the D major pentatonic before finally resting on the tonic D.
We now move into an E minor harmony in this particular measure and all the notes are outlining that tonality, using every 6-string guitar player's favorite key and scale : ) !
Take care to recognize those triplet-16th notes on the third beat, they expand the phrase and break up the regular four-note 16ths for some variety. Just note that I personally did not play these triplets in the video performance. (Hey, I did the transcription, so I guess I'm allowed to take a bit of artistic license with it, right?)
Finally we have a repetitive pattern that's outlining the F#7 tonality of this measure. It will provide some interesting picking challenges because the notes are coming so quickly. I personaly pick this section using Index and Middle fingers of the right hand.
Intersting to note that although this phrase is being played over the F#7, the notes themselves are taken from the D major pentatonic scale.
The introduction of the D note--the second to last note of the measure--represents an Augmented 5th of F#7, and builds in some great sounding tension into the solo, even if it's just for a brief second.
This is the final measure of this part of the lesson, but also the final chord of the 8-measure long Hotel California progression.
We'll be further exploring the Hotel C6 solo in future issues, but meantime I'll give you some time to digest this information.
Basically this solo should answer the question of whether you can do rock solos in the C6. If you're not convinced yet, wait till you play the rest of the piece!
I'll reference the video performance of this solo one more time so you can learn it from the score above and back it up with your ear.
Just remember that the performance may not be 100% faithful to this transcription, I basically transcribed the solo and recorded the video in the same day.
These articles, however, will represent the best way to play the notes that make up the Hotel C6 solo, and hopefully provide you with many learning opportunities, and a fun way to play your C6 steel.
Enjoy everyone, I'll see you again soon!
So as usual, drop me a line to let me know your thoughts, comments or requests, and I'll gladly respond.