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The classical side of Mr. Morse

Steve Morse with his MusicMan Y2D, London, Ontario, Feb 11, 2011; photo © Nick Soveiko cc-by-nc-sa

For the guitar players out there, Premier Guitar has a tutorial focusing on “a very refined technical and compositional approach steeped in classical studies” of Steve Morse.

The classical influence of Morse’s playing is where I want to focus. Below, I’ve touched on a few examples in the style of some of Morse’s more well-known songs, both with the Dregs and his namesake trio. Each of the examples showcases his clever composing style and innovative classical approach which will help expand your arsenal of guitar tricks.

This is marked as intermediate in both skills and theory, so if you think that matches your abilities, dig in.

7 Comments to “The classical side of Mr. Morse”:

  1. 1
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    For the guitar (banjo) players out there including Blackers and way over the collective banjo horizon, learn, learn, and learn some more.

    He remains within the Michelangelo stratosphere….

    Ted :>

  2. 2
    MacGregor says:

    The very essence of Steve Morse, his early to mid career. It is usually the same with many artists. This era of The Dixie Dregs & The Introduction album & High Tension Wires & the SMB up until the early 90’s is miles ahead of anyone really. Majestic & incredibly melodic for instrumental music. Cheers.

  3. 3
    MacGregor says:

    And continuing on, while I honesty think Morse & his playing in both Kansas & DP is wonderful at times, his real strength is in his own compositions & his own bands. I was always glad he ended up finally getting more mainstream recognition joining Purple as he thoroughly deserves it. Back in the day hardly anyone had heard of him here in Australia, & so many were banging on about Satriani, Vai, Stevie Ray etc. Myself & my younger brother who originally introduced me to these two ‘new’ guitarists back in 1982/3 were into Steve Morse & Eric Johnson (a few years later). Of course I kept praising those two. Superb guitarists & composers. Cheers.

  4. 4
    Buttockss says:

    I do enjoy the song Humble Man though!

  5. 5
    VD says:


    Fully agree. You can bet that every Morse detractor out there has never heard a Dregs tune, let alone an album. Truly amazing stuff.

    For anyone looking to get into Morse’s music outside of Purple, I recommend the very aptly titled “Introduction” album, which is right up there with the preceding Dregs material.

  6. 6
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    VD @5,

    All stunning works of art. Saw The Introduction tour at The Bottom Line in NYC. Fabulous 400 seat room which staged countless gigs by most all artists. Check out Wikipedia for great well informed details on the place. The Steve Morse Live in New York DVD was filmed there. Was at that gig, wouldn’t have missed it. And so many of us patrons were horrified when it was announced they were closing.

    Roger has said in one of his interviews that he bought The Introduction when it was released. And The Dregs records and on and on.


  7. 7
    Ivica says:

    Picture and tone value..of more than a thousand words
    Great play Steve




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