NEIL YOUNG

Learn those dirty riffs and runs

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Neil Young has been called the God­fa­ther Of Grunge, and counts Pearl Jam, Noel Gal­lagher and Dave Matthews among his many fans.

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Key: A Tempo: 120bpm CD: TRACKS29-30

Will im prove your

Gen­eral tim­ing Lead and rhythm play­ing The­ory knowl­edge

Neil Young is one of those artists that seem to en­joy suc­cess, both com­mer­cially and crit­i­cally, among mu­sic fans and his fel­low rock stars. He has been called the God­fa­ther Of Grunge, counts Pearl Jam, Noel Gal­lagher and Dave Matthews among his fans, has been nom­i­nated for an Os­car and has been granted the Or­der Of Canada, the coun­try’s sec­ond-high­est civil­ian or­der. As well as all of this, he was ranked num­ber 34 in Rolling Stone mag­a­zine’s 100 Great­est Artists awards in 2000. Of course, he has also recorded some of the most recog­nis­able and widely cov­ered songs of the past 50 years. Oa­sis have recorded his Hey, Hey, My, My (Into The Black), and Bon Jovi of­ten play the an­them Rockin’ In The Free World in con­cert.

Neil Young was born in Toronto, Canada in 1945 and be­gan his mu­si­cal jour­ney by play­ing in a Shad­ows cov­ers band, be­fore mov­ing to Amer­ica in 1966 and form­ing Buffalo Spring­field with Stephen Stills, who he later joined as the fourth mem­ber of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in 1969.

Neil Young has ex­per­i­mented with var­i­ous styles of mu­sic over his ca­reer, which in­cludes 35 al­bums, but gen­er­ally it can be split into two halves – the folk-meets-rock acous­tic side of things, and the ag­gres­sive hard rock of his time with his band Crazy Horse. The rock­ier side of pro­ceed­ings has led to hits such as the afore­men­tioned Rockin’ In The Free World, Cin­na­mon Girl and Wreck­ing Ball. Young is known for his in­ter­est­ing melodic solo­ing style as well as for writ­ing hard-hit­ting riffs and chord pro­gres­sions. Take a lis­ten to any of his rock al­bums, and it’s easy to hear why bands such as Pearl Jam list him as such an in­flu­ence on their own work.

Young con­tin­ues to record and tour th­ese days (in­clud­ing a re­cent TV ap­pear­ance in Amer­ica with Jack White), and has com­pleted work on the sec­ond vol­ume of his mem­oirs sched­uled for re­lease later this year.

The track this month takes on the rock side of Neil Young’s writ­ing and play­ing, so there’s no acous­tic gui­tar. How­ever, you could eas­ily re­work th­ese kinds of chord-based riffs and pro­gres­sions as acous­tic songs. Much of the track is in the key of A ma­jor (A B C# D E F# G#) and the three main chords D, E and A are all taken from that key. How­ever, there are also a lot of non-di­a­tonic notes such as the C nat­u­ral in the main riff and the G nat­u­ral in the G power chords. The solo is pri­mar­ily us­ing E Mi­nor Pen­ta­tonic (E G A B D) and the E Nat­u­ral Mi­nor scale (E F# G A B C D), even though it’s played over the D, E and A chords, so there are some nice, ag­gres­sive blues-rock clashes in the har­mony.

Neil Young play­ing his bat­tered and mod­i­fied Les Paul

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