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Storm Stenvold >> Jeff Beck style >>
Lesson Subject: Jeff Beck Style
What you learn: Part I
Storm: Storm Stenvold

Lesson Sample

Looping Jam Track

Storm: Welcome everybody to the lessons series on Jeff Beck's style. He is one of my favorites. Great touch and feel and instantly recognizable. Go ahead and load up the looping jam track. Tonight were in the key of E.

Ralph: Will you be covering some of his material from blow by blow?

Storm: 'Blow by Blow' and 'Wired' are two must own albums. Sure, we'll touch on riffs and ideas from those records. Jeff Beck came to the attention of the guitar world after replacing Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds. Big shoes to fill. After that he formed the Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart on vocals and Rolling-Stone-to-be Ron Wood on bass! The next incarnation of the Jeff Beck Group featured an all instrumental line-up. This is the period of Blow by Blow,  Wired and Beck-ola. Then 'Flash' which did feature a great cover of 'People Get Ready' the Curtis Mayfield tune with Rod Stewart singing. Jeff Beck has being busy of late. A new album out. 'Guitar Shop' is another great one. Let's get to the licks. The jam track is a loop of an E11 Chord, primarily. Here a couple of voicings.

Storm: Anything you would use for a blues in E will work. An 11 chord is simply an extension of a dominant 7th chord, used often for blues. Everyone has probably played the first voicing. Now you know what to call it. The thumb on the 6th string for the second voicing is optional. There is a slight move away, to a 'E13' chord to add interest. Here a related voicings.

Storm: The first of each pair is the 11 chord. The next is its sibling 13 chord. The first pair is very easy to play. Try both. The song is in a 12/8 time. A triplet underlies the rhythm pattern. Use down and upstrokes continuously. Most of the chord hits are down strokes with muting coming from the left hand. Here is a video of the part slowed down.

Rhythm Guitar Part

Storm: The 11 chord could be looked as a simple D major triad over an E bass note. Popular in fusion. 'Blow by Blow' features a lot of similar jams. The first couple of riffs in the lesson sample will serve as our 'head'. In instrumental tunes, like those on many of Beck's most famous albums, the listener still needs a defined tune or melody. This is called the 'head'. Tonight's example comes out of the E mixolydian mode. Also called the dominant scale it's a great choice over dominant chords. Here come a couple of patterns if you are unfamiliar.

doc: How are they different, other than starting on different frets?

Storm: Same notes. Different area of the neck. Try the second pattern 'over' your standard pentatonic scale. Here is our first lick, part of the 'head'.

Lick 1

Storm: This lick comes out of the first pattern. Notice how it fits the chord used in the rhythm guitar. Here is the second lick. Notice how it develops further the idea introduced in the first.

Lick 2

Storm: This development is important in a melody. Especially in instrumentals. This creates a recognizable part for the listener to connect to the tune. The next lick uses again the E mixolydian mode. This time in 12th position.

Lick 3

Storm: It a half-step bend to return to a note that was fretted before, a half-step above. This has a very keyboard-like sound. Beck would use to answer and spur on his keyboard players in his fusion projects.

Ralph: Jan Hammer

Storm: Fusion, by the way, is a mix of Rock, Jazz, and anything else you can through in there. Usually rock rhythms with a jazz sense of improvisation. Jan Hammer and Max Middleton were two of Jeff Beck's keyboard/synthesizer players.

doc: Which guitar players do you think are most influenced by Jeff Beck?

Storm: I think he paved the way for a lot of the instrumentalists playing rock today. Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai.

Lick 4

Storm: This next lick uses a bend and release of a whole step. Moving this idea around where it fits in the mode.

How are you fingering lick 3.

Storm: I'm fretting with the 3rd, bending with the 2nd. Then 1st finger at the 12th fret. Experiment with bending by pushing and by pulling. Notice in the next video the notes on the 4th and 5th strings I bend by pulling 'down'.

Lick 5

Storm: Similar idea here in lick 6. This time a whole step bend to a fretted note on the same string. Experiment with bend direction.

Lick 6

Storm: The next lick introduces the whammy bar. Beck uses this a lot. For vibrato and effects. The last three notes are sounded by dipping and releasing the bar as you hammer-on.

Lick 7

Storm: This last lick for tonight introduces an important idea as we go further into Jeff Beck's style. These days Beck uses only his fingers no picks! He gets a lot of different types of string attacks from using his fingers.

doc: I thought he always did.

Storm: Most of the licks we'll play can be played with a pick. I did for most of tonight's example. But this last one is best played with the fingers. Or a pick and finger combination. He always had great tone. I think he would use his fingers at times. But around 'Flash' he gave up the picks altogether.

Storm: And that will do it tonight. More 'Beckology' next week. New jam track and licks. Have a great week of practice. I hope you can make it next time. Tell you're friends.

Doug: thanks

Ralph: great lesson thanks

ginger: thanks

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