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Has Steve Hackett ever done "a power chord"?

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desistindo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote desistindo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Has Steve Hackett ever done "a power chord"?
    Posted: May 20 2011 at 16:09
Its a funny story. It begun with a joke: a friend of mine sad that "Steve Hackett is an excellent guitar player, but not a  rock guitarist. For instance: he never done a power chord in all of his career", he joked. I told him: "Thats absurd, of course he loves arpeggios and smooth guitars, but it is obvious he had to do power chords sometime even being a lead guitarist and not a rhythmic guitarrist ". Well, i havent listen to all of his discography since then, but im really not remembering anny track he did a power chord! Do you? 
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cstack3 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2011 at 16:23
Hah!  He does, but it isn't a major part of his guitar vocabulary.  With all the other sonic disruption going on from lush keys & very powerful bass/bass pedals, he uses the guitar more like a violin/cello.   This is a nice segment that really spotlights his very powerful approach, including bottleneck slide and volume pedal.....notice how he uses single-notes on the low E string, 2:10 to the end.  

Many guitarists would at least add the fifth to this root, if not root/fifth/octave, thus making it a "power chord," but Hackett plays these single notes very powerfully (upstrokes!) and, with the distortion, the overtones make the notes sound very full.  




Edited by cstack3 - May 20 2011 at 16:23
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desistindo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote desistindo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2011 at 16:33
Indeed! It is amazing his variations, never drop some obvious note.

Great gig, by the way.
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Harry Hood View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Harry Hood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2011 at 21:45
Your friend has some bizarre logic. "He has never recorded a power chord, therefore he does not know how to play them, therefore, he is an inferior rock musician". A rather strange conclusion to come to. The absence of power chords is a musical decision more than anything else, and he utilizes many techniques that many "power chords" players would have trouble mastering.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stonebeard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2011 at 23:01
"Dancing With the Moonlit Knight"

"Knights of the Green Shield stamp and shout."

Tell me the following riffing isn't a power chord.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mushroom Sword Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2011 at 23:22
Originally posted by stonebeard

"Dancing With the Moonlit Knight"

"Knights of the Green Shield stamp and shout."

Tell me the following riffing isn't a power chord.


I completely agree, in fact, it is a power chord. And I always heard this very fast low B almost being "shredded" in the background, I thought this was him, but apparently it's not. I still don't know what that instrument is during that section.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote yanch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2011 at 06:08
Originally posted by Mushroom Sword

[QUOTE=stonebeard]"Dancing With the Moonlit Knight"

"Knights of the Green Shield stamp and shout."

Tell me the following riffing isn't a power chord.


It is indeed! To follow up on the earlier comment by Harry Hood-it doesn't really matter if Hackett does or doesn't use power chords. He is such a gifted and unique player and one who has influenced tons of other guitarists and written some phenomenal music-that's all that matters.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote American Khatru Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2011 at 06:32
Originally posted by Mushroom Sword

Originally posted by stonebeard

"Dancing With the Moonlit Knight"

"Knights of the Green Shield stamp and shout."

Tell me the following riffing isn't a power chord.


I completely agree, in fact, it is a power chord. And I always heard this very fast low B almost being "shredded" in the background, I thought this was him, but apparently it's not. I still don't know what that instrument is during that section.

Mushroom Sword - If I'm getting you right... 
Someone else should chime in with a supporting or detracting opinion, but I recently came to the conclusion that the "shredding" going on there is Mike Rutherford going all-out on a baritone guitar.Headbanger There could be a twelve-string overdub with it too.  (Hell, maybe went nuts - a twelve string baritone?!?)

After the line "Knights of the Green Shield stamp and shout" they're in F-sharp minor.  When Hackett comes in with that sort of, I don't know, wild-west hammer-on thing briefly, they move to A major (actually A7).  A quick 1.5 bars in C then settle back into A major.  Just there, where the soloing guitar drops out (2'43" by my mp3's reckoning), I think we're hearing a baritone guitar. 

For those unfamiliar these guitars, depending on string tension used, are typically tuned with lowest string at an A or a B - I'd say in this case an A - with the rest of the strings tuned accordingly at the same intervals as a regular guitar (so, A-D-G-C-E-A).  I have an electric one of these and it's hard to play with such speed and energy; an acoustic must be ten times harder, but I wouldn't put it past Rutherford who was a workhorse if there ever was one.

Why must my spell-checker continually underline the word "prog"?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2011 at 18:57
Originally posted by stonebeard

"Dancing With the Moonlit Knight"

"Knights of the Green Shield stamp and shout."

Tell me the following riffing isn't a power chord.

It seems to be Rutherford playing bar chords on his electric 12-string:


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2011 at 19:16
anyone ever heard the band Hackett was in before Genesis, Quiet World, album The Road from 1970 ?   I haven't, but he may have been more rock-chord oriented back then (the album features him on both a & e guitars)

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Post Options Post Options   Quote American Khatru Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2011 at 21:30
Originally posted by cstack3

Originally posted by stonebeard

"Dancing With the Moonlit Knight"

"Knights of the Green Shield stamp and shout."

Tell me the following riffing isn't a power chord.

It seems to be Rutherford playing bar chords on his electric 12-string:



In that video that's certainly Rutherford playing bar chords/power chords on the 12-string neck.

But I was searching Rutherford and Baritone Guitar together, and found this under the wikipedia entry:

"Mike Rutherford had a custom double neck back in 1974 consisting of a rickenbacker 12 string guitar and a baritone guitar made by micro-frets. He used the baritone guitar as a bass most of the time, playing occasionnaly higher octave parts in songs such as back in n.y.c.. Another double neck model (12 string/baritone guitar) was made for him for the next album and tour, trick of the tail, in 1976, by the master luthier Dick Knight."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baritone_guitar

If this is true, and it follows that he didn't have a Bari before 1974, then that cannot have been one on the album Selling England.

Ok, done with being off topic (sorry!).

Why must my spell-checker continually underline the word "prog"?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote twosteves Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2011 at 21:40
There were some power chords on GTR----Jeckel and Hyde--for example
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2011 at 00:20
Originally posted by twosteves

There were some power chords on GTR----Jeckel and Hyde--for example

Yeah, and I think he played some on "Voyage of the Acolyte".  I saw him live during that era, he was doing all sorts of things to his guitar!  

He can and does use "power chords," but they are not a huge part of his sound, which is not surprising since he floats his leads in and around the lush keyboards and driving bass lines.  

Now, if you want power chords, seek out Robert Fripp!!  "Larks Tongues In Aspic Part Two" defined the power chord!!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote clarke2001 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 25 2011 at 23:17
I fail to see why 'power chords' are necessary for someone to be labeled as a rock guitarist.

I mean, Mark Knopfler is certainly a rock musician (and he did much more than 'Money For Nothing').
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Post Options Post Options   Quote yanch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2011 at 14:40
As many have said, me included, it doesn't matter if he has or not, but I did find what I consider to be another example of a power chord from the esteemed Mr. Hackett. Near the end of Fountain of Salmacis, just before the main keyboard riff returns for the last time, there is a crescendo and Hackett clearly strums a full distorted chord there!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote American Khatru Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2011 at 14:59
^ I think you're right.  I for one love that the OP put this up because it really shows something unusual, putting aside any silly ideas of rock-guitar propriety (not propagated by OP; maybe by his friend - unimportant).  I mean, the first finger barred across the neck, the other fingers arranged and all strings struck together for the power chord - such a staple in rock guitar work - it looks like you have to go far to find just a handful of examples.  Heck, in the video of "Moonlit Knight" above, at 3'40", watch him do those chords during his solo (m3-2-4-1-repeat).  Sure they're not truly power chords, but even these he takes at a fast arpeggio, first up then down, and it's a thing that a lot of other guitarists probably would have just hit the strings all together.  He really is special in subtle ways, on top of kicking butt when he wants to.

Why must my spell-checker continually underline the word "prog"?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2011 at 15:44
Originally posted by American Khatru

^ I think you're right.  I for one love that the OP put this up because it really shows something unusual, putting aside any silly ideas of rock-guitar propriety (not propagated by OP; maybe by his friend - unimportant).  I mean, the first finger barred across the neck, the other fingers arranged and all strings struck together for the power chord - such a staple in rock guitar work - it looks like you have to go far to find just a handful of examples.  Heck, in the video of "Moonlit Knight" above, at 3'40", watch him do those chords during his solo (m3-2-4-1-repeat).  Sure they're not truly power chords, but even these he takes at a fast arpeggio, first up then down, and it's a thing that a lot of other guitarists probably would have just hit the strings all together.  He really is special in subtle ways, on top of kicking butt when he wants to.

Great comments!  Hackett's guitar-playing fits into the context of the group....."power chords" are played on the Hammond organ or Mellotron by Tony Banks, or occasionally, as barre chords by Rutherford on 12 string, etc.    

Hackett approaches the guitar very much like a cello/viola, using single notes or combinations of notes.  He never seeks to overwhelm, unlike more bombastic chordal players like Bob Fripp!  

I always found his approach to be very sophisticated and never really missed the power-chord aspect.  Their music doesn't really need it.   However, if you ask him nicely, I'm sure he'll play some power chords for you!  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote desistindo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2011 at 16:04
Originally posted by cstack3

Originally posted by American Khatru

^ I think you're right.  I for one love that the OP put this up because it really shows something unusual, putting aside any silly ideas of rock-guitar propriety (not propagated by OP; maybe by his friend - unimportant).  I mean, the first finger barred across the neck, the other fingers arranged and all strings struck together for the power chord - such a staple in rock guitar work - it looks like you have to go far to find just a handful of examples.  Heck, in the video of "Moonlit Knight" above, at 3'40", watch him do those chords during his solo (m3-2-4-1-repeat).  Sure they're not truly power chords, but even these he takes at a fast arpeggio, first up then down, and it's a thing that a lot of other guitarists probably would have just hit the strings all together.  He really is special in subtle ways, on top of kicking butt when he wants to.

Great comments!  Hackett's guitar-playing fits into the context of the group....."power chords" are played on the Hammond organ or Mellotron by Tony Banks, or occasionally, as barre chords by Rutherford on 12 string, etc.    

Hackett approaches the guitar very much like a cello/viola, using single notes or combinations of notes.  He never seeks to overwhelm, unlike more bombastic chordal players like Bob Fripp!  

I always found his approach to be very sophisticated and never really missed the power-chord aspect.  Their music doesn't really need it.   However, if you ask him nicely, I'm sure he'll play some power chords for you!  


You can be sure i will ask him a personal version of Smoke on The Water Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ladislas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2011 at 17:00
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Post Options Post Options   Quote American Khatru Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2011 at 06:07
Originally posted by cstack3

Originally posted by American Khatru

^ I think you're right.  I for one love that the OP put this up because it really shows something unusual, putting aside any silly ideas of rock-guitar propriety (not propagated by OP; maybe by his friend - unimportant).  I mean, the first finger barred across the neck, the other fingers arranged and all strings struck together for the power chord - such a staple in rock guitar work - it looks like you have to go far to find just a handful of examples.  Heck, in the video of "Moonlit Knight" above, at 3'40", watch him do those chords during his solo (m3-2-4-1-repeat).  Sure they're not truly power chords, but even these he takes at a fast arpeggio, first up then down, and it's a thing that a lot of other guitarists probably would have just hit the strings all together.  He really is special in subtle ways, on top of kicking butt when he wants to.

Great comments!  Hackett's guitar-playing fits into the context of the group....."power chords" are played on the Hammond organ or Mellotron by Tony Banks, or occasionally, as barre chords by Rutherford on 12 string, etc.    

Hackett approaches the guitar very much like a cello/viola, using single notes or combinations of notes.  He never seeks to overwhelm, unlike more bombastic chordal players like Bob Fripp!  

I always found his approach to be very sophisticated and never really missed the power-chord aspect.  Their music doesn't really need it.   However, if you ask him nicely, I'm sure he'll play some power chords for you!  
Great comments y'self cstack3!  You're 100% on with "context".  The responsibilities were so well shared in that band; I still discover things in these records, records that I've known longer than I've known most people.  With you on his classical instrument approach as well.  "Sophisticated" for sure - and I think this, among other things, gives their music such longevity.

Why must my spell-checker continually underline the word "prog"?

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