Ibanez Flying Fingers 2017: My Guitar Solo Contest Entry Video

I just submitted my video for the Ibanez Flying Fingers 2017. I had heard of this before but never looked into it until now.

For starters, I’m not a huge fan of contests. I’m not competitive by nature. If someone wants to say they’re better or whatever, I’m ok with that. You do your thing, I’ll do mind.

However, my close friend Tom sent me the email asking me have I entered this yet (knowing good and well how I feel about these things). None the less, I decided to do it. And once I made that decision, I actually became pretty excited!

***If you haven’t seen my video, scroll down; it’s towards the end of this post! 

Ibanez Flying Fingers 2017

The Ibanez Flying Fingers 2017 contest is basically making up your own guitar solo to a backing track that they provide. Now let me stop for a moment and give kudos to whoever wrote and recorded this track. It’s heavy, it’s metal, and it’s just plain outstanding!

The rules were to download the backing track and create a YouTube video of yourself playing along with that track. Another important rule is you have to be playing an Ibanez guitar (an obvious rule).

This was right up my alley as I have an Ibanez RG1570 model. It has the stock V7 and V8 pickups. In fact, remember that dude Tom I mentioned? Well, I bought it off him about 7-8 years ago (we’re keeping this axe in the family). So I was all set, downloaded the track and started listening.

My Pre-Solo Tuning Drama

Funny thing is I had just broken the light E string on my RG1570 a few weeks ago. I had not yet got around to restringing it. When I did, I goofed and made a complete newbie mistake (yes, it’s still possible after 27+ years of playing guitar…I passionately hate changing strings!).

I took all of the old strings off and did not pay attention to the floating tremolo. So when I finally got the new strings on, I couldn’t get it in tune. I swear, my next guitar will NOT have a floating bridge or any type of Floyd-style setup.

I had gotten my Ibanez to down-tune to D, which was kind of cool because that’s heavier. Of course this would put me playing on frets I’m not used to as the Ibanez Flying Fingers backing track is in the key of B (it was clearly recorded with a 7 string).

I let the strings set for a day, and I came back and got my RG1570 to tune in the key of E flat. I was still playing on some frets I wasn’t used to, but I just played along with the backing track over and over.

*On a side-note, I actually grew up playing in church, which were old Gospel songs in piano-friendly keys like B flat, A flat, E flat, etc. Mix that with playing rock and metal songs, I had learned the fretboard quite well back then. However, I’ve only been writing my own music for there past 9 or so years so I’m used to playing in a few specific keys these days. Yes I know, that was one long excuse!

Guitar Solo for Ibanez Flying Fingers 2017

Playing in a different key and tuning turned out of be a blessing in disguise. It added another dimension and feel to my soloing. Different frets give you different sounds and tones, as slight as they may be. Some techniques were more challenging while some new licks were coming out. It was a cool experience.

I want to breakdown the guitar solo I played for Ibanez Flying Fingers 2017. I didn’t want to go into this trying to fill up every millisecond with as many notes as possible. I was guilty of that in my younger years of playing guitar. And I didn’t want the solos to be a repetition of sweep arpeggios (I think I only pulled off two arpeggios, which both were similar).

My goal for this solo was to have a nice mix of technical stuff and feeling. I wanted some melodic lines, and I aimed for notes that would sing to you.

I get a ton of inspiration from Joe Satriani (endorsed by Ibanez!). I recall reading his book Strange, Beautiful Music. He talks about his initial vision to replace the vocals with the guitar (not just casually solo through the song like you’re in a guitar store). And he achieved that and then some. He makes his guitar sing to the point where you don’t need or want vocals in there.

Of course I wasn’t out to play like Satch (and would never compare myself to him), but I was going after that concept. And I felt like I did a good job at that. I just hope the judges think the same!

Jason’s Ibanez Flying Fingers 2017 Video

Alright, here’s the video of my guitar solo for Ibanez Flying Fingers 2017.

More About My RG1570 Guitar

Since we’re on the subject of Ibanez, I want to talk more about the guitar I used for the Ibanez Flying Fingers 2017 solo. My Ibanez RG1570.

As I said earlier, my friend Tom sent this down to me (after he cashed my check of course!) about 8 years ago. I had not been playing consistently for a while back then, but the fire was burning inside. I wanted to build a small home studio and start writing and recording metal music. I only had an acoustic at that time; oddly enough it was an Ibanez.

I was on a mission. So I started buying gear and that RG1570 was one of the first pieces of equipment for the studio. I was playing that guitar every single day, writing new metal riffs. I’m a big fan of the wide fretboard and the neck is super thin, which makes it easy to play.

I wasn’t 100% happy with the pickups at first. I have the stock V7 and V8. I know some will switch these out for something like the Air Norton or Tone Zone. But over the years I’ve changed my view on these pickups and I don’t think I’ll ever change them. While they’re not as hot as something like EMGs, these pickups have a heavy, beefy sound to them. And the clean tones they produce are phenomenal. In fact, I used the RG1570 for my 2nd studio album Heavy Metal Workout.

…the Future

Though I’ll keep the RG1570 in the family, I would love to own a 7 string Ibanez RG series guitar. My music style music is melodic metal, and sometimes I venture into a death metal style with some of my rhythms. So a 7 string would suite me quite nicely.

As far as guitar contests and the like, I had a blast recording this for Ibanez. I think I may seek out some more of these types of events!

Keep it Metal,

Jason

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