For the weekly #askYES feature over 5 weeks, the current touring members of YES choose tracks they find inspiring and hope will be an inspiration for people learning their chosen instruments.

Here are Steve Howe’s Guitar Inspirations, with notes from Steve below.

You can also listen to this playlist on Spotify or watch and listen on YouTube.




Wes Montgomery – Four On Six (1965)
from The Incredible Jazz Guitar
Saw him when I was 16! Truly an original, so inventive, smiled a lot!




Chet Atkins – Liza (The Clouds’ll All Roll Away)
from Finger Style Guitar
My absolute all time favourite, what a stylist, a country picking versatile genius!




Tal Farlow – Chuckles
from Tal
Speed isn’t anything without great ideas, Tal had them & he flew around wonderfully.




Les Paul & Mary Ford – How High The Moon
from The Very Best Of Les Paul & Mary Ford
Innovator & extraordinary performer, hits and guitars named after him!




Django Reinhardt – Nuages
from 1953 electric guitar recording sessions.
Known for his acoustic sound, his final sessions were on electric guitar, which I love.




Charlie Christian with Benny Goodman – Solo Flight
from Classic Roots Jazz
Everyone after him is considered ‘post CC’, which is evidence of this player’s total originality – the first single line electric guitarist !!!




Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant – China Boy
from Swingin’ On The Strings
These two! Amazing duo, hear them first on early Tennessee Ernie Ford 78 rpm, electric insanity! Steel versus Guitar!




Santo & Johnny – Sleep Walk
from The Best of Santo & Johnny
Beauty and lyricism together, the sound of the Fender steel, stunning still!




Big Bill Broonzy – St Louis Blues
from The 1955 London Sessions
When it comes to blues, I love acoustic blues in the shape of BBB. His voice is also amazing.




Sabicas & Escudero – Fantasia Andaluza
from The Fantastic Guitars of Sabicas & Escudero
Absolutely wonderful flamenco duo, work as one sound, and stretching across the music that is more Spanish than an orange!



Hi Folks!
To do this, I had to leave out 20 of the greatest guitarists ever: Segovia, J. Bream, S. Morse, K. Burrell, F. Sala, M. Travis, J. Douglas, T. Rice, H. Garland, M. Taylor, J. Williams, F. Zappa, J. Hall, J. McLaughlin, P. de Lucia…. and more!
I hope you enjoy them all.
Best wishes,
Steve