Yes’ Steve Howe Shares How He Cope With The Challenges Of Guitar Playing At 75
Yes guitarist Steve Howe spoke to Louder Sound and revealed how he could still play like his younger times as a 75-year-old guitar player, along with the details about his techniques. Also, the musician explained this by giving songs from a very well-known Yes album as examples.
Howe was one of the lucky people who found the purpose of their life and greatest passion at a very young age, music. The famous musician started to learn and play guitar when he was 12 without any private lessons from an instructor. Then, he and his schoolmates decided to perform in some local clubs, which can be considered the beginning of his journey in the industry, and Howe realized that he wanted to pursue a professional musical career.
Before joining Yes in 1970 following Peter Banks’ departure, Howe was a member of different bands such as The Syndicats, Tomorrow, Bodast, The Nice, and many more. However, great success and fame came thanks to his contribution to the band’s changing their creative direction with his extraordinary talent as a guitarist. Yes released twenty-two studio albums until now, and Howe compared his playing one of them at 75.
In his interview, Howe stated that he’s always working on keeping up the speed through practice and his fingers’ agility not to lose his ability to play because of getting old. The guitarist highlighted that ‘To Be Over,’ a track from ‘Relayer,’ which was the band’s seventh studio album released on November 28, 1974, was easier to catch up to, and ‘Sound Chaser’ was a fast and challenging song. Still, he managed to handle it with these techniques.
Howe said in his interview that:
“Keeping my playing up to speed is just something; fortunately, I’ve been able to do, and it hasn’t been a pressure. I’ve touched base with ‘To Be Over’ in the past because I wanted to keep that song alive in my spirit. However, looking at ‘Sound Chaser’ has been a challenge. Some of it falls off my fingers easily: some of the very fast stuff that Chris Squire and I played together and also the riff going on behind the main song.
I’ve never really lost it because I was part of the writing but rehearsing it’s like awakening the history I have with the song. I never was a hard-nosed practice person in that sense but always jammed and improvised with myself. So that’s kept my fingers agile, and of course, the tours have certainly I’ve kept my fingers agile!“
You can listen to the songs below.