This month Martin Cooper adopts his best Mancunian swagger to check out the era-defining sound of Oasis and main man Noel Gallagher.
Martin Cooper is mad for it, as he examines the lead and rhythm style of Noel Gallagher.
For rock fans, Oasis need very little in the way of introduction. They were, of course, built upon the explosive energy and sibling relationship of the Gallagher brothers: Noel who was the lead guitarist and principal songwriter, and vocalist Liam. They were joined by a somewhat changeable line-up, but early mainstays included Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs on rhythm guitar, bassist Paul ‘Guigsy’ McGuigan and drummer Tony Carroll, later replaced by Alan White. Other members included guitarist Gem Archer, bassist Andy Bell and drummer Zak Starkey.
The Gallagher brothers are the epitome of a rags to riches rock and roll success story. After growing up in working-class Manchester the pair shot to fame and fortune after being signed to Alan McGhee’s Creation Records in 1993. They had actually formed from a different band, Rain, and had featured neither of the Gallaghers. Liam was the first to join followed by Noel, and the band changed its name to Oasis, inspired by the name of a venue on the Inspiral Carpets tour, on which Noel was a roadie. Oasis relied on a recipe of simple chords and root note bass lines, with memorable vocal hooks and melodic guitar solos. This focus on catchy, anthemic songs meant their debut album, Definitely Maybe became the fastest-selling debut album in history. Massive shows and enormous success followed, and on the tour for the follow-up album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory they played two shows at Knebworth which saw 125,000 fans attend each night.
However they couldn’t maintain the momentum or indeed the harmony between the fractious Gallagher brothers and the next few albums didn’t match the previous two for
ThIs mONTh’s TRACK Is A TYpICAL BRIT-ROCKER wITh sImpLE ChORDs AND A sINGABLE sOLO sales or general appeal. Nonetheless, there are some gems to be found on any of their albums, right up to the final release Dig Out Your Soul.
This month’s track is a typical Oasis-style Brit rocker with simple, direct chords and a typically singable Noel-style Pentatonic solo. We’re in the key of E Minor (E-F#-G-A-BC-D) but the second section and the solo move up to the relative Major (G) which contains the exact same notes and chords but provides a more strident anduplifting sound. As is typical for Noel, the solo is built on G Major Pentatonic (G-A-B-D-E) with plenty of country-rock style bends. Check out Get The Tone and Playing Tips for more details.
Noel Gallagher with fabulous Gibson ES-355