Peter Green passed away in his sleep on Saturday, July 25. The guitarist and co-founder of the legendary band Fleetwood Mac was 73 years old. He will be missed by the music industry. His colleagues, friends and bandmates show their respect online.
Guitarist Peter Frampton calls him “one of the most tasteful guitar players”; Johnny Marr of the Smiths says Green is “a unique artist”; and Yusuf Islam thinks the Fleetwood Mac guitarist is “ineffable.” The praise for Peter Green continues when you dive into the social part of the internet. One thing is certain: Green has left his mark upon the music industry. Here are four songs — from a long list — that demonstrate why. Try to play along.
‘A Fool No more’
One of Green’s gems is the song “A Fool No More.” This track is rooted in a basic blues chord progression. The song is built upon a slow pace beat on which Green takes his time to show us his delicate guitar skills. In the verses he describes how his love cheated on him and concludes: “I’ve been your fool for so long, oh baby, I won’t be that fool no more.”
The track is written in the key of Em and follows the standard blues progression with as its main characters: the Am chord, the Bm chord and, of course, the Em chord. Because this song is slow and groovy, a beginning guitarist can try to play along without being scared of breaking any fingers. Intermediate and pro players could try to figure out the solo by following the chord progression.
Peter Green’s “Albatross” is one of the most popular Fleetwood Mac tracks. The guitar plays a very important role in the composition. Especially the interplay between the different guitars and the bass. If you close your eyes, you could almost hear the sea and the albatross gliding on the wind.
The song is written in E and has five chords in total. The E chord, the F#m chord and the A chord are used most frequently. A great song for beginners, intermediate and pro guitar players. If you’re a beginner, just try to play along with the basic chords. Intermediates and pro players can look for a challenge in the solo part.
‘Before the Beginning’
“Before the Beginning” is a three-chord track and ideal for beginners. If you know how to play the Em chord, Bm chord and C chord, you’re good to go. The song repeats these three chords over and over again. Peter Green’s smooth guitar licks add color to the composition, and make you think there’s way more to it, but three chords is all it takes.
There’s one thing before you get started. Tune your guitar half a step down to Eb tuning — also known as the Jimi Hendrix tuning. This way you’ll be able to mimic the original sound of the recording. Because you’re tuning down your guitar, you’ll also have to transpose the chord progression half a step up in the Chordify player to see the correct chord figures. Of course, you can also just transpose the chord progression and not tune down your guitar.
‘Black Magic Woman’
The best-known version of Peter Green’s “Black Magic Woman” is probably the Carlos Santana cover. The original from 1968 is way less flashy and slick but nonetheless full of warmth and ambiance. Written in the key of Dm, the chord progression isn’t that difficult.
Seven chords — of which two are barre chords — is all it takes. You do have to listen carefully to Green’s strumming: That makes all the difference. Try it out and feel the genius of one of the world’s best guitar players. May he rest in peace. Happy jamming!