Paint A Vulgar Picture

"About '86, I got really into the Les Paul and rediscovered Peter Green. I tried to play less chordally, a little more solo-notey. But the solo on 'Paint A Vulgar Picture' was done on a Strat. I was really pleased that the first solo as such on a Smiths record was one you could sing."

"The change was the key to that song, the relationship between the riff in one, and then the same riff against the new key. There's a section in D, then F# is the step and it's into B. A is the step back into D. My favourite key changes are sad, and that one is."

- Johnny Marr

Here are the scans from the Strangeways PVG book(thanks to MorrisseyScans for these tabs):

Here's Daniel Earwicker, making it all look easy as usual:


Daniel Earwicker said...

Can anyone spot my mistake in the Les Paul solo part?

There's a beautiful symmetry to it if played correctly, and I messed it up.

Thom said...

Hard to spot any difference at all!! After a painstaking side by side comparison, I would have to guess either the note beginning the phrase at 0:58 that is double/triple picked, the hammer on around 1:00, and the ending note at 1:01 that is hit twice.

In the original it seems to be just a single picked note beginning the phrase, and doesn't seem to be hammered-on afterwards. Also it seems to end on one sustained note, just hit once.

Is any of this what you were talking about?

Before i posted this I think I spotted what you're talking about! At 0:39 you play two notes that Marr doesn't play. His solo has a longer pause there, setting up the tension before the next run. In the recording it's at 2:50, he holds the note about a full second.

I left my previous guesses for your amusement.

Daniel Earwicker said...

Yep, your edit is what I was talking about. The solo seems to go through various stages that mirror each other in an incredibly subtle way that I just love.

At 0:39 it should just hold that one note, so that it matches rhythmically with the one note held at 0:44.

Then in the second half, the corresponding points are at 0:56 and 1:01, but they're actually the opposite way round melodically. 1:01 is like an enhancement of 0:39, just as 0:56 is to 0:44.

The problem is, I end the 0:39 one in the way that the 1:01 part is meant to end (and does in my attempt).

I'm probably overthinking it...