Advanced Fingerpicking Solos Volume 2

Advanced Fingerpicking Solos Volume 2

What's included

  • All tab
  • Chords
  • Chart
  • Guitar pro files


Full Lifetime Access to this package

Volume 2 in our Advanced Fingerpicking Solos series is full of classic melodies from the world of progressive rock. The arrangements include pieces from Steve Howe (Yes), Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and The Alan Parsons Project.

These tunes will keep you captivated for months, or even years more likely.


  • Lesson 1: The Great Gate At Kiev

    Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures At An Exhibition entered my teenage world with Emerson, Lake & Palmer's live recording from their early days. I remember buying a copy of the original piano score which has followed me around for years. I recently thought I would work on a solo arrangement of a bit of it. The finale was particularly appropriate for the guitar (well, at least some of it) and here is the result.

    There are a couple different sections, starting with the main theme, which is very accessible to the guitar. It then moves into a slightly spacey series of chords before blasting into a cascading section which includes the main theme in the bass, underneath what are really scale exercises. This part is particularly challenging, and can be omitted, as explained in the lesson.


  • Lesson 2: Jerusalem - Solo Guitar Arrangement

    Jerusalem was written in the early 1900s by Hubert Parry, who set the poem 'And Did Those Feet In Ancient Time', by William Blake to a beautiful melody. The song has been an anthem of sorts in the U.K. for over 100 years. It was used in the London Olympics, and was the opening track on Emerson, Lake & Palmer's 1973 album, Brain Salad Surgery.

    James Taylor did a short arrangement of it in his bio 'Break Shot', available as an Audible book. That is where this lesson came from and it includes much of James' stylings and sound. It is challenging and the lesson goes into precise details of thinking of every notes' role in the play.


  • Lesson 3: Trilogy Solo Guitar Arrangement - ELP, Greg Lake

    I recently posted a lesson on the way Greg Lake accompanies himself now in their classic ballad Trilogy. As it evolved I messed around with the melody and got a few requests to do a solo guitar arrangement.

    The song is very free form, as far as the rhythm is concerned, and this lends itself well to playing very freely and with quite a bit of improvisation. It is really just a matter of playing the melody and embellishing it with chord tones in the breaks between notes.

    This approach makes the lesson a bit non-specific as far as exactly what to do. It is more suggestions of things to consider and think about. I do not really address the right hand technique much, you just need to “feel” it.

  • Lesson 4: Clap

    Steve Howe joined Yes in 1970 and significantly changed their direction into the developing progressive rock genre. The transformation was completed in 1971 with the addition of Rick Wakeman and their 4th album Fragile. Steve's contributions to their 3rd album, The Yes Album included his solo instrumental Clap.

    The piece was written quickly around the time of the birth of Steve's son Dylan and pays homage to ragtime guitar, Chet Atkins, and even a quote from Mason Williams' Classical Gas.

    After playing and messing with this piece for about 20 years, I have finally been able to come up with an approach to teaching it to advanced fingerpicking students. Steve plays Clap with a flat pick using the hybrid technique of adding the middle and ring fingers to play many of the notes. I approach this with a thumb pick and 3 fingers, which also lets me strum parts using the fingers. I think this will be more accessible to most students.

    A turning point in my getting a picture of the piece was finding what was almost a treatise on it by Conall Gallagher, published around 2000. His breakdown compared at least 3 separate audio and 5 video recordings, looking at every measure and every little difference. This fabulous doc (all of 39 pages) is included in the attachments for anyone who would really like to do a deep dive into Clap.

  • Lesson 5: Mood For A Day - Guitar Lesson

    Mood For A Day is a retro/neo/quasi-classical piece by Steve Howe which first appeared on Yes's landmark album Fragile. It includes many techniques that are very challenging- flamenco strumming, rapid scales and variations, trill-like hammer-ons and pull-offs, and even a trace of romantic expression from the late nineteenth century. It is a veritable smorgasbord of guitar delights, all of which make it a virtuosic endeavor for any guitar player. This lesson is presented in our old drip-feed manner to help simplify and isolate parts, many of which require pyrotechnic chops to be effective.

  • Lesson 6: Eye In The Sky Solo Arrangement - Guitar Lesson

    A few years ago we put up a lesson on Eye In The Sky by The Alan Parsons Project which was a version designed to incorporate the accompaniment parts for the vocals. This lesson is for solo guitar, bringing in the melody lines, as well as some harmony and even background vocals.

    It starts with the opening bass line, adds the keyboard fill, then runs through a few verses and choruses with slight variations each time, and ends with a little improve before fading out. It will prove to be quite challenging but should be a lot of fun to tackle, even if you want to work on some of the parts.