Martin Cooper checks out the in­flu­en­tial gui­tar styles of Steve Mar­riott and Clem Clempson from the early-70s rock su­per­group Hum­ble Pie.

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Martin Cooper eats Hum­ble Pie with Steve Mar­riott and Clem Clempson!

in­flu­enced other well-known artists in­clud­ing Kiss, Aero­smith, Stereo­phon­ics and Mr Big, who cov­ered 30 Days In The Hole on their epony­mous de­but al­bum.

Hum­ble Pie were ini­tially signed to An­drew Loog Old­ham’s Im­me­di­ate Records and scored a Top 5 hit sin­gle with Nat­u­ral Born Bugie, and Rolling Stone mag­a­zine de­scribed their de­but al­bum in 1970 as one of the first Heavy Metal. As the 70s pro­gressed they also found fame in Amer­ica. Framp­ton was sub­se­quently re­placed by ex-Colos­seum gui­tarist Clem Clempson, and their sound con­tin­ued to move to­wards a harder rock style, hav­ing pre­vi­ously dab­bled with more acous­tic of­fer­ings be­fore his de­par­ture. They dis­banded in 1975, only to re­unite in 1979 with changes to the line-up, but this later in­car­na­tion lacked the suc­cess of the early 70s line-up of Mar­riott (gui­tar and vo­cals), Clempson (gui­tar), Greg Ri­d­ley (bass) and Jerry Shirley (drums).

Sadly Mar­riott bat­tled with drink and drugs, and died in a house fire in his 16th cen­tury Es­sex home in 1991.

It’s also worth re­mem­ber­ing what a great singer Mar­i­ott was - he did vo­cal ses­sions in­clud­ing TV com­mer­cials and is rated as hav­ing one of the finest voices of his era.

The in­car­na­tion of the band that we’re look­ing at here is the Mar­riott/Clempson hard rock style, and you can hear how this riff-based mu­sic has in­flu­enced a num­ber of fa­mous artists over the past four decades. Mar­riott’s play­ing is founded in the blues and there are also el­e­ments of Hen­drix-style Pen­ta­tonic phras­ing in his play­ing, as well as the in­flu­ence of other soul based mu­si­cians and bands. Clempson is a lit­tle more ‘rock’ in style and there are Mi­nor scale phrases and arpeg­gios in his play­ing, along with those tried and trusted Pen­ta­ton­ics.

Our track starts in the key of D(D E F# G A B C#) although there are a num­ber of non-di­a­tonic notes and chords such as the Cadd9 and C5. When we get to the solo sec­tion

Hum­ble Pie have in­flu­enced artists such as Kiss, Aero­smith, Stereo­phon­ics and Mr Big.

the key moves up a tone (two frets on the gui­tar) to E (E F# G# A B C# D#), although again there are non-di­a­tonic notes in­cluded such as D, G and C.

The first eight bars of the solo is in Steve Mar­riott’s style, and based largely on the E Mi­nor Pen­ta­tonic scale (EG A B D), while the last eight bars is more Mi­nor scale and ar­peg­gio based, in the Clem Clempson style.

Check out the Play­ing Tips, no­ta­tion and Get The Tone box for more in­for­ma­tion.

Steve Mar­riott: with cus­tomised LP Cus­tom!

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