Stephen stills approach & techniques

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will.oconnor17

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Joined: 04/23/20

Posts: 3

G'day everyone, I'm a big fan of Steve Stills' guitar work especially in CSN/Y where he's doing just about all the lead guitar work across the first two albums, with a little help from Neil on a couple of tracks off Deja Vu. His lead playing style seems really unique, highlighted by tracks such as 'Carry On,' 'Wooden Ships,' 'Woodstock,' etc. Was just wondering if anyone had any tips on how you'd approach a chord progression like Stills would e.g. what particular scales/modes, etc.

Regards,

Will

#1

G'day everyone, I'm a big fan of Steve Stills' guitar work especially in CSN/Y where he's doing just about all the lead guitar work across the first two albums, with a little help from Neil on a couple of tracks off Deja Vu. His lead playing style seems really unique, highlighted by tracks such as 'Carry On,' 'Wooden Ships,' 'Woodstock,' etc. Was just wondering if anyone had any tips on how you'd approach a chord progression like Stills would e.g. what particular scales/modes, etc.

Regards,

Will

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 6509

Originally Posted by: will.oconnor17

Was just wondering if anyone had any tips on how you'd approach a chord progression like Stills would e.g. what particular scales/modes, etc.

Stills used mostly a mixture of minor & major pentatonic licks from the blues rock vocabulary. So minor pentatonic with a flat 5th & major pentatonic with a flat 3rd. He'd occasionally add in chromatic notes inside the pentatonic boxes as passing tones.

I'm not sure what your skill level is. If you can already play single note lead lines, then you might enjoy learning some basic vocabulary licks like these that Anders teaches in the Rock course.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=21256&s_id=1702

Once you get some of that type of thing down you can use it to figure out Stills's licks & imitate his style. Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#2

Originally Posted by: will.oconnor17

Was just wondering if anyone had any tips on how you'd approach a chord progression like Stills would e.g. what particular scales/modes, etc.

Stills used mostly a mixture of minor & major pentatonic licks from the blues rock vocabulary. So minor pentatonic with a flat 5th & major pentatonic with a flat 3rd. He'd occasionally add in chromatic notes inside the pentatonic boxes as passing tones.

I'm not sure what your skill level is. If you can already play single note lead lines, then you might enjoy learning some basic vocabulary licks like these that Anders teaches in the Rock course.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=21256&s_id=1702

Once you get some of that type of thing down you can use it to figure out Stills's licks & imitate his style. Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

JeffS65

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Joined: 10/07/08

Posts: 1406

Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel
Originally Posted by: will.oconnor17

Was just wondering if anyone had any tips on how you'd approach a chord progression like Stills would e.g. what particular scales/modes, etc.

Stills used mostly a mixture of minor & major pentatonic licks from the blues rock vocabulary. So minor pentatonic with a flat 5th & major pentatonic with a flat 3rd. He'd occasionally add in chromatic notes inside the pentatonic boxes as passing tones.

I'm not sure what your skill level is. If you can already play single note lead lines, then you might enjoy learning some basic vocabulary licks like these that Anders teaches in the Rock course.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=21256&s_id=1702

Once you get some of that type of thing down you can use it to figure out Stills's licks & imitate his style. Hope that helps!

Stills is underrated as a player, I think. I mean, nothing he plays is terribly complex but the Stills mojo is Stephen Stills. He knows how to take what seems like fairly standard blues stuff and makes it his own and with a good sense of melody.

#3

Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel
Originally Posted by: will.oconnor17

Was just wondering if anyone had any tips on how you'd approach a chord progression like Stills would e.g. what particular scales/modes, etc.

Stills used mostly a mixture of minor & major pentatonic licks from the blues rock vocabulary. So minor pentatonic with a flat 5th & major pentatonic with a flat 3rd. He'd occasionally add in chromatic notes inside the pentatonic boxes as passing tones.

I'm not sure what your skill level is. If you can already play single note lead lines, then you might enjoy learning some basic vocabulary licks like these that Anders teaches in the Rock course.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=21256&s_id=1702

Once you get some of that type of thing down you can use it to figure out Stills's licks & imitate his style. Hope that helps!

Stills is underrated as a player, I think. I mean, nothing he plays is terribly complex but the Stills mojo is Stephen Stills. He knows how to take what seems like fairly standard blues stuff and makes it his own and with a good sense of melody.

manXcat

♪It's getting better all the time♫

Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 1113

Originally Posted by: JeffS65
Stills is underrated as a player, I think. I mean, nothing he plays is terribly complex but the Stills mojo is Stephen Stills.

This.


From 1966, written by Stills this is pure gold. Still (any perceived pun truly unintentional) being played today by another generation, and making a great job of it in this cover.

♪A little better all the time♫

#4

Originally Posted by: JeffS65
Stills is underrated as a player, I think. I mean, nothing he plays is terribly complex but the Stills mojo is Stephen Stills.

This.


From 1966, written by Stills this is pure gold. Still (any perceived pun truly unintentional) being played today by another generation, and making a great job of it in this cover.

♪A little better all the time♫

marty farcal

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Joined: 11/26/09

Posts: 12

I agree Stills has it going on. A Tree Top Flyer song lesson would be majestic!

#5

I agree Stills has it going on. A Tree Top Flyer song lesson would be majestic!