Steve Morse Part 2
(23 May 02)
Steve Morse Part 2- "The Technician"
Hi and welcome to the second part of my little "Steve Morse- Trilogy". After I told you a bit about his biography and discography in the first issue, it is time to let the music do the talking. In this part we will look at some of Steve´s amazing guitar licks, with a focus on virtuoso-stuff, speed-licks...
I would like to mention that in Steve´s music is only one aspect, and is not used to cover a lack of compositional quality, but it meant to support the songs and melodies: Consider it one facet of a multi-faceted musician.
Why am I showing you these licks ?
Well, first of all they are very interesting ( once we´ll get to the arpeggio-licks you will see what I mean ), and maybe you´ll be inspired to come up with some new stuff on your own.
Also, I gotta admit that practising some of Steve´s licks and riffs helped me tremendously to develop my alternate picking-technique. I certainly did the good old "metronome and chromatic scales"-routine back then, but to add a more musical and interesting side to my practising, I transcribed and practised many of Steve´s licks, and even to this day I use them when I do my practising routine.
General things about Steve´s technique
Steve has a flawless alternate-picking technique, he actually picks every note even at very high speeds, and he is preferring strict alternate picking as opposed to variations such as economy- or sweep-picking. Of course he has a great legato-technique too, but it isn´t featured in his style as much as the picking-stuff. He does use hammer on´s and pull off´s to add little trills and slurs to his lines. And the solo in "The Oz" ( from the Steve Morse-band album "Coast To Coast" ) perfectly proves that his legato technique easily comparable to that of players like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani.
When working on strict alternate-picked licks, make sure you pay attention to:
- the accuracy and precision... no staccato-parts, each note is picked only once unless otherwise indicated
- your timing. Work with a metronome, start out slowly and gradually increase the speed. Always remember that even your coolest picking lick isn´t worth anything if your timing is off !
- your practising setup: it´s recommendable to practise with a dry sound, no effects such as delay etc. You really wanna hear what exactly comes out of the guitar. Steve often practises on an electric guitar that is not plugged in so hears nothing else but what exactly he is doing with his fingers...