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Michael Johnson >> British Art Rock >>
Lesson Subject: British Art Rock I
What you learn: Genesis (Steve Hackett) Style
Teacher: Michael Johnson

Michael: This interactive lesson covers the style of Genesis. Genesis featured a very theatrical stage show and sound, especially in the early days. The band consisted of players like Peter Gabriel (vocals), Phil Collins (drums, vocals), Tony Banks (keyboards), and with Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett on guitar. Unlike the other British Art Rock bands we've studied so far in this series (Yes, Tull,...), Genesis features more of a jazz rock/fusion type sound with plenty of counter melodies, layers and multiple phrase of music within one song. Notice how the guitar is used in the lesson sample:

Lesson Sample

Michael: As we have discussed in other art rock lessons the guitar is used to play melodies, counter melodies and used to layer the sound over the bass, drums, keys, etc. Let's start with Part 1, here's the main riff using an octave sequence:

Part 1 - Lick 1

Looping Jam Track 1

Here's the basic fingering for the octaves.

Octave Fingering

Michael: You actually follow the the G Minor scale pattern and jump between the octave patterns.

Michael: OK, now the first phrase plays the octave parts and then the guitar jumps in with a counter melody over the main riff.

Part 1 - Lick 2

Looping Jam Track 2

See how the 2 parts fit together? Here's the jam track you can play over, now most of these licks actually are not very hard to play, it's just in the way Genesis would layer instruments.

Andre: Is this all in G minor?

Michael: Yes, OK, now let's try another phrase, in this next phrase you play a simple lead line over the chord progression.

Part 2 - Lick 1

Looping Jam Track 3

Michael: The rhythm is actually based over the C# Lydian scale, the Lydian gives the phrase a very unique sound.

Andre: Teach is g minor and c Dorian the same thing? it alright when I play c Dorian over this...I think that's what it is anyway.

Michael: C Dorian is based on Bb major, Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, A, so the G Aeolian and C Dorian are relative.

Andre: Oh, ok thanx...wish I understood modes better.. I'm really bad at them, what other modes are relative to G Aeolian teach?

Michael: Bb Ionian, C Dorian, D Phrygian, Eb Lydian, F Mixolydian, G Aeolian (Minor) A

Andre: Bb major scale is that Ionian?

Michael: Yes, all the scale I sent are relative, OK, now you can break down phrases into different variations.

Part 2 - Lick 1

Looping Jam Track 4

Michael: Here's the picking pattern for the lick.

Part 3 - Lick 1 - picking

Michael: It's a basic double/alternate picking pattern. Now the next phrase we jump to an ascending pattern using Lydian scales/sequences that modulate higher each time.

Part 4 - Lick 1

Michael: The Lydian sequences are played using you 1st, 2nd and 4th fingers, see how the patterns shift. Here's the jam track.

Looping Jam Track 5

Michael: Here's are the Lydian patterns.

Looping Jam Track 6 (All Parts)

Ralph: I thought you had Steve Hackett on the line.

Michael: He he, Steve Hackett really creates some cool melodies

Ralph: A lot of counterpoint.

Michael: There sure are, it's interesting how Genesis launched the careers of Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins. John Mayhew was the original drummer and then Phil Collins took over, both drummers were great at jazz/rock fusion.

Ralph: Darryl Sturmer also made an impact on guitar during live tours.

Michael: I saw Phil Collins play with Brand X, who were a total fusion band,  it seems like Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks were the rock of the band, hanging in there with all the musician changes

Ralph: Brand X was serious fusion!

Michael: Brand X was amazing, with John Goodsall on guitar and Percy Jones on bass.

Ralph: you all need to check Brand X, I still have some albums

Michael: Well time to go, next week will be King Crimson style featuring Robert Fripp style of guitar.

Ralph: Very good Teach!

Michael: see you next week!!!

Glenn: good lesson

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