Eddie playing horrifically out of tune - (Sunday, October 21, 2007)

Van Halen's "Jump", being played live at the latest tour. Wait for the guitar to kick in:

I have weighed into the discussion on what went wrong at warmowski.wordpress.com.
Here's my post:

Interesting discussion!

One thing that no-one has thought of yet is that in order to play along (in time) to a backing track, the drummer must have in-ear monitors. There's no other way - he needs to hear a click track to stay in time. If the drummer wasn't using in-ear monitors, then at least it proves that they had a live keyboardist.

However the opposite isn't true - if he had in ear monitors then it doesn't prove that they used a backing track.

One theory was that he was handed the "wrong guitar for the song" - I think that this is unlikely because there's absolutely no reason at all why you would want to have a guitar (and presumably bass) that is 1/2 a pitch out. If you're going to do that you have a guitar that's de-tuned to E flat or maybe even D.

So our possibilities are:

1 - The keyboard backing track was being played at the wrong speed (48 khz, DAT speed). I think that this is extremely unlikely for 2 reasons - A) it's the same speed at other concerts (still doesn't prove anything if this was the first concert of the tour) and B) they would have figured this out in rehearsal.

2 - The live keyboardists keyboard was accidently de-tuned up a couple of cents due to a spike or an accidental button press (Mike Kesterson's theory). Extremely unlikely considering it's the same speed at other concerts, and also the option to de-tune your keyboard by a few cents is normally pretty hidden away. Plus the keyboardist could (SHOULD HAVE) fixed it up on the fly. Unlikely.

3 - Eddie was handed the "wrong guitar" for the song. As a I mentioned before, also unlikely.

4 - Other potential options - maybe he was playing through a digitech whammy pedal (I don't think he uses a pitch shifter though) and it was accidently slightly moved. Possible but also unlikely.

5 - Maybe Eddie was actually miming and his guitar track was out of tune - also unlikely considering his solo :)

6 - Eddies guitar just went out of tune (possibly all 6 strings together). Given Eddie's love of tremolo abuse and the possibility of dropping or banging the neck, I reckon this is the most likely option. It's the simpliest, it fits and it works!

BTW, I love Van Halen and especially love Eddie and Dave. Rock on.


Antonios (Saturday, November 03, 2007 08:27)

Now that's gold!

That's up there with Kirk Hammett not being able to play what seemed to be the rather simple riff that Hetfield was showing him on Some Kind of Monster.

lach (Sunday, November 04, 2007 00:16)

Yeah, that was definitely the most memorable scene in Some Kind Of Monster.. I just couldn't believe that he couldn't play the riff. It was literally jaw dropping!