Steely Dan

“Under Investigation” — Guitar Player Magazine

I found a cool column courtesy of Guitar Player Magazine (online). Here’s a link to three different solos from three different players/songs (Denny Dias, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and the recently-departed Walter Becker) associated with early Steely Dan. There is a collection of other eclectic ‘investigations’, all written by Jesse Gress, including: The Monkees, Harvey Mandel, Miles Davis, Jerry Reed, Jeff Beck, and former ace guitarist from Chicago (the band), Terry Kath. All of these lessons are pretty detailed and come with standard fret-board diagrams to make for easy learning. It’s a pretty cool series just to read too!

Guitar Player has a pretty huge library of free online instructional stuff…probably more than most people would ever get through. The sheer volume of guitar instruction online today is pretty mind-boggling, but hopefully this treasure trove of info will pay big dividends for the future of the instrument and the musical abilities of those who play it.

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Walter Becker

…passed away. I wasn’t Steely Dan’s biggest fan, but Becker and his long-time partner, Donald Fagen, were very popular and influential innovators who definitely expanded the boundaries of rock and FM radio. AJA was a hit and hip album with “the kids” when I was in high school, believe it or not. Over the years they had a bunch of stuff that featured Becker on bass or guitar. Here is one of his best known guitar jams.