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British Art Rock I|
|What you learn:
Yes (Steve Howe) Style|
|Teacher: Michael Johnson|
Michael: This interactive lesson covers
the first in the series of British Art Rock. In this lesson you'll
learn some of the secrets of Steve Howe and Yes. In Art
Rock/Progressive Rock the guitar is used as an instrument for layering much like
a violin or horn in an Orchestra. You layer various musical lines and
rhythm patterns over the drums, bass, keys.... This is an excellent
lesson for guitarists who want to expand past basic blues and rock
patterns. Steve Howe has an awesome talent for "morphing" musical styles
together, he can take classical, jazz, rock, country.... and combine them
together to create a very unique sound. First
check out the lesson sample of the licks you will learn:
Michael: Let's get
started, here's a jam track we'll play over, we'll use the key of G for these
For starters we'll use the G Minor
List to the pattern of the bass, drums
and keys on the jam track, they each have a unique
melody/pattern. Here's the tab for one pattern you can
play over the drums, bass and keys.
Part 1 - Lick
AScriabin: Their 2nd album was like a song-for-song clone of the first
album. It's called wake of Poseidon if you don't
Notice the pattern of intervals,
as they descend the neck, you resolve using the main G Pentatonic
AScriabin: I figured they were diatonic to some
You can alter the rhythm as
well, they are, but you'll notice how you can
jump back to the old standard pentatonic, here's rhythm pattern
Part 1 - Lick 2
Remember you are trying to fill the spaces or counter the other melodies with
the bass, drums and keys. The drums keep a steady beat, the bass with a drive
walking type pattern and the keys playing an arpeggio pattern.
AScriabin: Good point MJ! Howe has to be heard over the
thumping bass lines and Wakeman fills.
The staccato guitar lines help to fill
the spaces, notice the guitar tone is sharp as well,
to stand out. Let's try another pattern that uses
more of the pentatonic/blues.
Part 1 - Lick
Try all 3 rhythm pattern over the jam
track, that way you can alter the patterns to sound more
OK, let's try a few lead
licks. Steve Howe uses open notes to pull off
while using the scale patterns, we start off with the G Min Pentatonic
scale,.... and using a chromatic line while holding one
Part 2 - Lick
Ralph: Like a
Yes, exactly! I was going to talk about the pedal tone,
notice using the 4th finger on the 2nd string 8th fret which is G, the root note
of the scale, it fills up the sound and gives the lick
a country type sound. The pull offs sound great while using
the G Min Pentatonic scale, the notes are relative to the G
like the double stops on the second part of the phrase.
Michael: Here's the patterns.
AScriabin: Does he play that on his ES-335? The jumbo
I've seen him with a ES-175 and even a Fender Tele at times, now you can
continue moving up the middle 2 strings using the pull-off and open notes. Steve Howe is great at
Part 2 - Lick 2
See how the pattern works out. You resolve the lick by jumping back into the G
Pentatonic pattern. Steve H also work out lines that would
play unison with the bass line using staccato type licks.
Part 3 - Lick
Looping Jam Track 2
This lick uses the the minor pentatonic scale pattern,
notice the descending 5 intervals starting the G5, F# Aug5,
etc. The bass and guitar play a counter line
the first part of the lick to the keys and then joins in unison in the 2nd part
of the phrase
Ralph: Is this style your thing Michael?
I grew up playing progressive rock, heavy metal, art rock, jazz-rock, acoustic
bands, horn bands, funk... I was
playing in all kinds of projects, sometimes as many as 4 bands at a time. I was
immersed in music, we played and wrote in many
styles, but this sure brings back a lot of fond memories 8-)
love it, your the
Michael: I love going over this style
8-) See you next lesson!
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