Heart’s Nancy Wilson teaches you how to play the notoriously difficult opener to “Crazy On You”
You can slip, pull, and pound like a beast, but be warned. You’re unlikely to be able to keep up with Heart’s Nancy Wilson, as she demonstrates how to play the intro to 1975’s “Crazy On You,” one of the greatest and most iconic opening guitar solos. trickiest in rock history.
“I really wanted people to know from the start what I could do,” Wilson revealed in a 1999 interview with Acoustic guitar:
It was the same as sitting in the Bandwagon music store and playing (Paul Simon) Anji. It was like, “Look at me, I know stuff.”
As hard rock musicians in the 70s and 80s, Wilson and her partner/sister, lead singer and songwriter, Ann found themselves constantly having to prove themselves.
As Ann recently explained to The Guardian:
At the time, especially in the 70s, there was no filter on how women were sexualized – hyper-sexualized – to sell their images. Now, at least, it seems women are in control of their own filters. At the time, they didn’t. It was just like, “Hey, here’s a hot chick. We know how we can sell it.
Let’s all observe Women’s History Month by emphasizing that every bonehead who’s ever dismissed these trailblazing women as a “girl band” is paying close attention to Nancy’s complex “hybrid picking.”
“Crazy On You” finds her picking out a beat on the A string while using her bare fingers to pull notes off the B and G strings.
And by her own admission, she tends to never play it the same way twice. (“which makes it really easy, right? »)
While we’re at it, how about celebrating Heart’s 50th anniversary by introducing the next generation to “Crazy On You”?
Times have changed significantly, but the emotions that inspired the song will hit close to home for many young people, according to Ann’s description on the rock teacher’s YouTube channel:
I wrote the words about the state of the world and the stressful effect it had on me. At the time, we thought the world was really screwed up, right? Because the Vietnam War was on and we chose to do this, but staying out of our own country…we were homesick. Crime was increasing, gasoline was expensive, gasoline shortages, all those horrible things. We had no idea what was going to happen in the next few years, so it seemed like at that point, you know, the world was ending. It’s close to the apocalypse. It’s very, very stressful when you’re in your twenties and you don’t see a bright future.
If you’re committed to learning Nancy Wilson’s guitar intro to “Crazy On You,” we recommend Shutup & Play’s video tutorial and tabs.
via laughing squid
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– Ayun Halliday is the chief primatologist of East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Little Potato Manifesto. Am here @AyunHalliday.