Released in 1975 off their "Toys In The Attic" album, "Sweet Emotion" began a string of pop hits and large-scale mainstream success for the band that would continue for the remainder of the 1970s.
The only part of the song I won't be covering in this lesson is Joe Perry's talk box intro. I don't have a talk box... sorry.
From there the song really kicks in with a driving verse rhythm that keeps developing into an instrumental section that contains one of the coolest classic rock riffs ever written. It is pretty incredible that something like that riff was recorded way back in 1975 and that it still rocks so much today.
That same instrumental riff is harmonized by Joe Perry from the second time it is played in the song and onward. The harmony interval used here is the 5th so pay close attention to the part of the video lesson where I demonstrate it if you have another guitar player you will be playing this song with.
The chorus of the songs brings everything down to a very subdued point. That is a very unique method of composing a song since usually the chorus is the part of the song with the biggest climax. Instead, Aerosmith relies on the cool vocal harmonies to carry the chorus section and it worked out fantastic.
I will close the first video lesson with a look at the riff being played underneath the guitar solo.
In the second video lesson I will demonstrate a note-for-note breakdown of Joe Perry's guitar solo that closes out the song. Be sure to listen to the original album version to hear this solo since the single version edits it out.
This solo is quite the challenge and is classic Joe Perry through and through. Lots of double-stops, fast blues licks and singable melodies abound. Much of the solo is obviously improvised so it can be a bit cumbersome trying to get it nailed note-for-note. For those sections I will demonstrate the way to approach it like Joe Perry does so you can do your own thing there if you want. 🙂
I hope you guys enjoy learning this Aerosmith classic. It was truly their first breakthrough hit and remains well loved to this day!
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