Guitar Resources


Mean Streets (By VAN HALEN)
 
This is an attempt at transcribing Mean Streets off Van Halen's Fair Warning.
I've gotten the gyst of it (I think), but the intro isn't exactly correct. 
Call this a cry for help.  If you know of a better way to do it, please e-mail
me! (brian_t@ix.netcom.com)   Here goes....

The fade-in riff is a percussive guitar version of a 'paradiddle' (that's what
my drummer says, anyway).  This is pretty close to what he is doing. All
notes are tapped harmonics, produced by momentarily ramming your finger onto
the string right at the fret and releasing.  The 12th fret harmonics are
produced by tapping with your pick hand (I'm told Eddie does it with his thumb).


5------------12-----------12----12---------------
6--12--5--7-----5--12--5------5-----5--12-5-7----
    t  i  r  t  i  t   i  t   i  t  i  t  i r

Try to get this as smooth and rhythmic as possible.  It's important to slap the 
string pretty hard to get the harmonics

Then comes the flurry of harmonics and tapped arpeggios.  These are far from
correct, but they give a general idea of what is going on.  Notes in parentheses  
are hammered harmonics. nn/nn designates a fretted note that is made harmonic  
by hammering over the second postion.  5/12 says to fret at the fifth, and
tap-hammer over the 12th fret.
                             1-------------------|2----------|
   t p  h  h    p h   t  h    t    t    t    t   |   t    t  |
4-------------------------------------------------------5/12---
5-------------10-0-5-5/12-7------------------------5/12--------
6--12-0--5--7----------------(12)-(12)-(12)-(12)---------------


Any improvements would be greatly appreciated.

The final riff is correct:

1---------------------------------------------------------------
2-------------7/19-----------------5/17-------------------------
3-------7/19-------7/19----------------6/18---------------------
4-7/19------------------7/19---------------7/19-7/19------------
5----------------------------5/17--------------------7/19-------
6---------------------------------------------------------------

D     C   D   C   D   C   D   C D C  B
/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /  / (wham bar, feedback)

The song! Artificial harmomics, squeals produced by trailing the pick with
the edge of your thumb, are notated by !.
               1,3-------|2---------------|4------------------|
1------------------------|----------------|-------------------|
2------------------------|----------------|-----5-------------|
3------------------------|----------------|---5---5----7----3-|
4---------------2--------|----------------|-5--------7----3---|
5-3-0--0---3-0--0--------|----------------|-------------------|
6--------3---------0-3!--|-5-5-4-4-3-3-2-0|-------------------|
   p        p             {muted          }{ harmonics        }

Section 4 is replaced the second time around with a pick slide down strings 6 
& 5; the rhythm is provided by toggling the guitar pickup on and off.  This
can be pretty tricky to do, as you have to come right back out of it into a
C on the 3rd fret to go into the verse.

The verse copies the intro, you can figure that out by listening to the 
tape.

Chorus:
                                                  1------------------------
1--------------------------------------------------------------------------
2------------------------------------7----------------------10----12--14---
3------------------------------------7----------------------10----12--14---
4------2---2--------------------2----7-----------------2----10----12--14---
5-3-0--0-0-0----3-0----5!--3-0--0-0-0---3-0---5!--3-0--0-0-0---------------  
6-------------------3-----------------------3------------------------------
   p             p          p            p         p

-------------|2--------------------------------------
1------------|---------------------------------------
2----------14|-2------------7---7--------------------
3----------14|-2------------7---7--------------------
4----------14|-2------------7---7--------------------
5-3-0-0-0-0--|-0---0-0-0-0--------------------------2
6------------|----------------------5-5-4-4-3-3-2-2-0
   p                               {muted         }


Eddie adds a lot of little harmonics, pick scrapes, etc. To give the song more
spontaneity.  The best way to pick these up is liten to the tape, they tend  
to defy notation  ( Fender mediums do tend to make the best scraping sounds
however!)

Eddie's solo is very freeform.  I'll notate a few of the more signature licks.
When you're trying to play a Van Halen solo, its usually best to nail those
and glue them together with licks of your own in the same mode. 2^--- means
bend up two steps, hold, then release.
    
 {   2X     }                         { 2X     }
1-----------------------------------------------   
2-----------------------------------------------
3-14--14--x------------------14--14-x--11-12-x-x
4-14--14--x---12--10---------14--14-x--12----x-x
5-14--14--x----------12--10--14--14-x-----------
6-----------------------------------------------
  { with wah pedal                             }


   2^--------------- 1^ 0       p                                   p h
1---------------------------------------------5--8-7-5--------------------
2----------------------------5---7--5-------6--------- A-Minor Riff  8-7-8
3--7!-7!-7!-7!-7!-7!-----------7------7---7----------- 5th pos       -----
4-----------------------------------------------------               -----
5-------------------------------------------------------------------------
6-------------------------------------------------------------------------

       p  p     p  s     p  s                            1^ p   1^
1-15-19-17-15-17-15-14-15-14-12----------------------------------------
2-------------------------------                        -15----12 15---
3------------------------------- wang bar notes & trills---------------
4-------------------------------    12th pos A minor    ---------------
5-------------------------------                        ---------------
6-----------------------------------------------------------------------

    p      p           p            p
1-----------------------------------------15
2---------------------------13----13--15--15 <- bend up 1 step
3--------------12----12--14----14-----------
4-------12--14----14------------------------ 
5-12-15-------------------------------------
6-------------------------------------------


There's plenty of goof ups in here, but when I play Van Halen covers I try
to for replicating the feel of the solo.  You're never going to sound exactly
like Eddie, and his style is do freeform that it'll sound better if you're
shooting from the hip anyway.

The song ends out with the guitar fading from C to D, and a slow solo played,
once again, in A minor.

Good luck!

Brian Smith
brian_t@ix.netcom.com
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