In August of 1969, on the occasion of his first son’s birth, guitarist Steve Howe composed his first piece, a solo guitar instrumental. When he presented it to his band mates in the progressive rock group Yes, singer Jon Anderson suggested a title: “Clap.”
Howe recorded the piece live at the Theatre in London, and Anderson, introducing the performance, misidentified it as “The Clap.” So what would prove to be one of the most popular instrumentals in the rock canon would also have an erroneous title when it appeared on Yes’ third record, 1971’s The Yes Album….
The text above is excerpted from Adam Perlmutter’s analysis of Steve Howe’s “Clap,” which originally appeared in Acoustic Guitar’s May 2018 issue. For the full text of the article, performance notes, and music notation and tab, head to the Acoustic Guitar Store and pick up a copy.