Nev introduces the new issue.
OUR TWO MAIN features this month take us slightly out of the norm. One is a fairly niche technique-cum-theory piece, while the other looks at the guitarists who contributed to a rather high-brow band.
We’ve spoken before - Jason certainly has in GT and I did in my Guitarist Blues Headlines column - about restricting oneself, either to an area of the neck, a single scale or even a lone string. It forces you to think in a very focused way, without being distracted by all the possibilities available on the entire neck, or with the whole of music at your disposal. To wit: three-note chords and arpeggios.
John Wheatcroft created this lesson and while on the one hand it’s restrictive, on the other it will take you to places you’ve probably never thought about going. It will certainly expand your creativity and get you thinking in ways that have never occurred before. So do make sure you read it!
Steely Dan, while they did have an early hit or two, could never be described as a band of the mainstream; they were just too darned clever and musical for that. And once their leaders Donald Fagen and Walter Becker had quit touring, became the next big ‘studio’ band after The Beatles. And just as the British group had drafted in French horn and cornet players, or used George Martin’s piano skills, so The Dan looked to the great sessioneers of the day - including a fabulous roster of guitarists who were often called to compete with one another for a particular solo. As a result the creativity levels soared and some of the best music ever, was made. Jon Bishop runs through the interesting chords and licks found in this great band’s music, and details the melodic and harmonic approach of these amazing players. So dig in, enjoy the rest of the issue, and I’ll see you next time.