Neil Young's lead guitar playing...

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by coot, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. coot

    coot Forum Resident Thread Starter

    There's somewhat of a small sample size but he can rock..His leads on "Like a hurricane" and "Powderfinger" although unorthodox are awesome:righton:

    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  2. TheDailyBuzzherd

    TheDailyBuzzherd Forum Resident

    Northeast USA
    ... peaked in 1967 with Buffalo Springfield.
  3. jfire

    jfire Forum Resident

    He does a helluva lot with essentially one note on "Down By the River."
  4. savemenow

    savemenow Forum Resident

    SE Pa
    His playing is very inspired!
  5. Suncola

    Suncola Forum Resident

    NW Indiana U.S.A.
    "Cinnamon Girl", too!
    FillmoreGuy, Buddybud, ARK and 10 others like this.
  6. ghoulsurgery

    ghoulsurgery House Ghost

    New Jersey
    I love watching him play and wrench those notes out of his guitar. His live tone is unreal. I could watch him play for hours.
  7. Zack

    Zack Forum Resident

    Easton, MD
    Somewhat small sample? :confused: The guy's been bringing it for 50 years.
    Ray29, Cervelo, Buddybud and 10 others like this.
  8. Smokin Chains

    Smokin Chains Forum Resident

    Nashua, NH

    "The Whizzer" is in full effect here.
  9. Bill007

    Bill007 Forum Resident

    Boynton Beach, Fla
    I love his guitar in Cortez The Killer plus it’s just one of his greatest songs and the extra length to it really makes it all so special.
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  10. Dylancat

    Dylancat Forum Resident

    Cincinnati, OH
    Fairly common knowledge...
    Smith, gonz and tkl7 like this.
  11. drumandguitar

    drumandguitar Forum Resident

    Birkenhead UK
    Just go and listen to Cortez the Killer as an example. It doesn't get more real. Give me that over a Yngwie Malmsteen widdly solo any day.
    dzjc, Cervelo, Hamhead and 17 others like this.
  12. john lennonist

    john lennonist There ONCE was a NOTE, PURE and EASY...

    And one note on "Cinnamon Girl" -- only Neil could pull something like that off and make it sound so cool :righton:

    Pa sent me money now
    I'm gonna make it somehow
    I need another chance
    You see your baby loves to dance
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  13. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Listener

    New Mexico USA
    I love his lead guitar playing — it zeroes right in on the part of my brain's pleasure center where I get moved emotionally by lyrical beauty — but I'm also mildly obsessed with the fact that George Harrison thought he was a terrible guitar player.
  14. PhilBorder

    PhilBorder Forum Resident

    Sheboygan, WI
    I used to think he was awesome. Upside: there's no denying the explosive creativity of something like the solo in Cinnamon Girl. But CG is a great song soDownside: I think most of his better solos are attached to be better songs. His playing doesn't elevate lesser material. (See the American Dream album, for instance). The more I study guitar the more intentionally primative he seems.

    Upside: That's not a bad thing: anyone can practice scales and built up speed, and use pedals to sound impressive. He clearly intends to communicate in some emotionally primal manner, and its refreshing to hear that.

    Downside: when he runs out of ideas, his lack of technical ability doesn't carry him very far.

    Upside: he's capable of surprise. I only recently learned he played the solo that opens CSN&Y's 'Woodstock'. Always thought that was Stills. Downside: Haven't heard much like that from Neil. IMO, he needs a catalyst or a foil or a kick in the ass or a Briggs-like producer to help him hone his better instincts. And too bad Crazy Horse tour with Nils (who is approximately 10,000 times better than Poncho) is canceled. Check out Mark Howard's new 'Listen Up' book for what it's like to be in the studio with the Neeler.
  15. goodboyfred

    goodboyfred Forum Resident

    Nobody plays Neil Young guitar better than Neil Young.
  16. coot

    coot Forum Resident Thread Starter

    beat it troll...even you wont' take down this benign topic:waiting:
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  17. Smokin Chains

    Smokin Chains Forum Resident

    Nashua, NH
    Duane Allman didn't like his playing either.

    "I don’t like that cat’s stuff, especially his guitar playing. He should stick to rhythm work. Maybe it’s the guitar playing that makes me not like the songs. Seems like he just uses the guitar as a vehicle for his songs. It’s just a craft. For me it’s an art."

    mooseman, Zack, Keith todaro and 3 others like this.
  18. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Rock 'n Roll !!!

    Maryland, U.S.A.
    His lead playing is almost as recognizable as his singing.
  19. lucan_g

    lucan_g Forum Resident

    Be careful going down this road. I was an English major in college until I realized it was sucking my love of reading -- everything I picked up I started to critically analyze and mark up. Took the magic entirely.

    When the critical analysis of technique starts to limit the emotional magic of the playing itself -- there is a problem. This is a balance that must be sustained. (And yes -- I know we all analyze the hell out of everything on this board -- I'm well aware of my hypocrisy -- especially as a Dead fan.)

    This isn't really directed at you, just an unsolicited, unwelcome, general observation.:laugh:
  20. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    . . . Sounds like he is tripping his face off - passionate, expressive, primitive and sloppy

    He is one of a kind and very moving at times
    Zack, ARK, Smith and 6 others like this.
  21. RedRoseSpeedway

    RedRoseSpeedway Music Lover

    The definition of RAW energy. Love how he jumps around when doing his solos.
    The Quiet One, ARK, coot and 2 others like this.
  22. lucan_g

    lucan_g Forum Resident

    The Joe Cocker of guitar playing.:winkgrin:
  23. Maurice

    Maurice Forum Resident

    North Yarmouth, ME
    That is his art, at least it seems like it to me anyway. In a song like Cortez the Killer, a song that's explicitly all about anguish, by using melody and also his great guitar tone and skronky noise-driven feedback, Young crafts a guitar solo that emotionally matches that anguish.
    Cervelo, Dusty Sommers, ARK and 10 others like this.
  24. RedRoseSpeedway

    RedRoseSpeedway Music Lover

    He does crap on even the most harmless of threads...
    coot likes this.
  25. Paul Gase

    Paul Gase Everything is cheaper than it looks.

    I love Neil Young and have always been a fan of his lead work. As a musician I’m very influenced by his style (which is both good and bad).

    Not everything he plays lead on is a home run; it indeed helps when the song is a great one (hello, Powderfinger). It is rare that his playing elevates a poor song (though his playing on the unreleased Gonna Rock Forever is an exception to this rule. Hella dumb song; great playing).

    I think the sweet spot for a memorable NY jam is anywhere from 5-8 minutes. I guess that is why I’m such a fan of studio versions of Cortez, Hurricane, Powderfinger, Over and Over and Country Home. Long enough to take you to a different place; short enough to leave you wanting a bit more.

    When I hear other Neil fans crow “he played a 22 minute version of Love and Only Love!!!!!” I don’t get very excited as it’s rare I’ve heard Neil sustain the zone for that long.

    Aside: he’s got some cool, taut short solos too that are cool: Barstool Blues, Lookout Joe, Mr Soul (BS and Trans,) Stupid Girl, Bite the Bullet)...he doesn’t get too much credit for the short solos, but they can be pretty awesome.

    And how about Sedan Delivery? Pretty brilliant.
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