Guitar leads

Reelin in the Years
Lead Guitar Solo and Tabs
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reelin' in the years, Elliot Randall, Steely Dan, lead guitar riff

Anthony Alfano
January 2005

Beginning with the May 2003 edition, newsletters are now archived
online at:


1. ROCK & ROLL 101 Elliot Randall
2. LEARN-A-LICK - Reelin' in the Years - Lead Guitar Solo

Hello, happy holidays and welcome to my first free newsletter for: GUITAR-LEADS.COM.
I hope you will find it a helpful tool in your journey to becoming a well rounded lead guitarist. I am planning on making this a quarterly newsletter with all kinds of great guitar leads info and offers.

1. ROCK & ROLL LEADS “101"

An important part of learning how to play great guitar leads is to know about those musicians who played an important role in influencing Rock & Roll guitar in the first place. As a part of this on-going newsletter, I will draw upon many examples, with the intent of showing and explaining different styles, rhythms, tones and other characteristics of playing lead solos. I want you to be able to not only learn how to mechanically play the guitar leads, but eventually be able to feel what you play. This will come later for most of you, but in time, you will come to realize that “feeling” what you’re playing is THE REASON why you are playing the guitar in the first place. It can and will carry your soul to different worlds.

The first Rock & Roll Guitar lead soloist is ELLIOTT RANDALL. Elliott, a marvelous studio guitarist, rose to fame with his guitar work on the 1970's Steely Dan’s hit “REELIN’ IN THE YEARS.” This is a very challenging song with wonderful fills and a melodic solo with arpeggiated triads, multi-bends, written in a chordal-style approach (vs. a block/box blues lead approach).

As the story goes, this solo was so groundbreaking in the world of Rock & Roll Pop music, that when Eric Clapton first heard it, he was so “blown away” by it that he wanted to meet the man responsible for writing and playing this solo. That’s just how innovative it is. You will find out that no matter how good you are, it’s a difficult exercise to play all of the licks in this song at regular speed. It is not for beginners and intermediary guitar players should play for content and not for speed. (Speaking of that, if you haven’t checked out and downloaded my leads course, it’s time to do so at No matter what type of music you like... Jazz, Blues, Rock... you will find all of those styles in this great solo course.


Here’s the part where we will have some practical fun. In this section, I will show you an important Rock Lead or Lick. For this 1st one, why not draw from our ROCK & ROLL 101 monthly subject: Mr. Elliott Randall? Let’s take a look at the opening guitar riff. Here goes!

This opening salvo is not an easy one to accomplish. It incorporates pull-offs, slides and Hammer-ons and I can say with certainty, that if you play this opening riff correctly, you will accomplish much. Oh, by the way, if this all seems Greek to you, I enthusiastically invite you to go to my web site: and look at all this course has to offer, with so many free, bonus items, it will teach you how to read this lead tablature and so much more. Good Luck and enjoy!


In this section, I will let you in on some of the great experiences I’ve had as a guitar player.
(Remember, you can make your own memories too, so make sure you check out my web sites.)

The year was 1993. The place was South Hampton, Long Island, New York. The event was a Private Fund Raiser. The guest of Honor was actor, Mr. Paul Newman and legendary musician Mr. Chuck Berry. My band, Phil Dirt & The Dozers, was to follow-up Chuck’s performance with an oldies show. There was a problem however. It was 15 minutes to show time and Chuck was nowhere to be found. His agent was nervous and asked us if we could open the show if Chuck didn’t show up on time. This was not a problem for us, but “where was Chuck?”

Finally, at three minutes till the hour of performance, a limo pulls up to the venue and out pops a wiry, hard-working musician along with his guitar and a brief case. The guitar case held Chuck’s beautiful, Cherry, Gibson 335 Stereo guitar. The briefcase was for his payment for services to be rendered and paid (as always) in cash dollars. He walked over to us and we were introduced to him. He gave my drummer a hug, as it was his 40th birthday. Chuck then cracked a joke, walked to the stage, plugged-in and what happened next, I will never forget as long as I live.

He counted off his first song for the band and began the introduction to “Johnny B. Goode.” After the first 6 notes, he stopped the music abruptly. Everyone stared and wondered what had just happened. Then, right there on stage, he began tuning his guitar. (Without a tuner, I might add.)
To any musician, this is considered hysterical and even perhaps, blasphemous. To a party guest: puzzling! But this was and is Mr. Chuck Berry. All you have to do is rent the movie “HAIL, HAIL, ROCK & ROLL” and this story will all make sense. The man is a legend. Chuck got back to the business of playing rock and roll music and did a great show. What a gift for me to be able to see and listen to this icon and inventor of Rock & Roll guitar.

I will be telling you these stories because I want you to know that I started off playing the guitar at 12 years old by teaching myself and after many years and many bands, I finally found the right opportunity and am living out a dream as a full-time musician! You can too! You can create your own dreams. My two courses will take all the guesswork out of learning to play rhythm and lead guitar like the pros. If you have not checked out my web sites and you are serious about wanting to learn to play some of the greatest leads in Rock history, now is the time. I’ll teach you leads by Clapton, Santana, The Eagles, The Allman Brothers and even show you how to start your own band. Most importantly, I will cut-out all the mumbo jumbo out of learning to play guitar leads so that you can be playing them as quickly as possible. GOOD LUCK & KEEP ON ROCKIN’.

4. Thought For The Day - Happiness

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise man grows it under his feet. - James Oppenheim

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