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By Rhys Lett

Always With Me, Always with You – VCE Music Performance Solo Guitar

Joe Satriani was one of the premier guitarists to emerge during the 1980s. He was also the teacher of many of the era’s top players as well such as Steve Vai and Kirk Hammett. The album “Surfing With The Alien” popularised instrumental rock guitar music. The “hit” song from this album was “Always With Me, Always With You”.

Always With Me, Always With You appears in the single note category of the VCE Music Solo Performance guitar exam. You need to perform at least one song from this group of songs in the exam.

For assistance with VCE Music contact the Eastern Suburbs School of Music via the contact form on the right of this page or by calling Rhys on 0421 705 150.

always with me

Joe Satriani in the 80s had hair!

Always With Me, Always With You – Equipment

I recommend using a guitar with humbuckers. Unlike many Satriani songs a whammy bar is not required on this song. A guitar with a fixed bridge or tremolo unit would be appropriate.

A favourite pedal of Satriani’s is the Boss Distortion DS-1. This is the most basic distortion pedal produced by Boss. A wah pedal is also used on the Solo 2 section of Always With Me. If available to you a compressor pedal will also help smoothing out your dynamics.

Always With Me, Always With You – Structure

Intro – the chord opening to this instrumental piece is what the theme and solos are played over. This is in the key of B major.

Theme 1 – the melody of the song is played over the chords learned for the intro. You need to understand how to play the B major scale all over the neck to have success learning this piece.

Theme 2 – Joe continues to explore the major scale melody though this section. Listen closely to all articulations through the song.

Solo 1 – this changes to the key of B minor.

Theme 3 – this is played an octave higher than theme 1 section. Once again, knowing the B major fretboard map will help you learn this quickly.

Tapping – this is performed all on the 2nd string of the guitar. Learn the note positions of the major scale on this string. Apply the tone and semitone formula of the major scale. Write out the left hand notes like a phone number. This will help you memorize this section.

Solo 2 – Satriani really cuts loose now in his aggressive solo.

Theme 5 – a return to the original octave as heard in theme 1. Listen for the dynamics in this section. Changing pickup from the previously aggressive solo section is recommended.

Outro – some fast licks here require legato technique. A compressor pedal may help you in this section.

Always With Me, Always With You – Techniques

This song is filled with difficult guitar tricks and techniques:

  • B major scale and its modes to learn the fretboard positions.
  • B natural minor scale on 6th and 5th strings.
  • legato technique for the fast solo phrases.
  • right hand tapping.