Fundamental Affirmation

Music of Yes for Solo Bass Guitar

by Peter Saint-Andre

Last Updated: 2020-02-16

Ever since I started listening to the progressive rock band Yes in my early teens, I've been inspired by the nobility, grandeur, and deeply positive spirituality of their music.

In 1999 I began to absorb and ponder their music more seriously. One of those new encounters was Bill Martin's book Music of Yes, in which he suggests the idea of "Squire Variations" for solo bass as a modern analogue of the Bach Cello Suites. Inspired by the possibilities, I've arranged the following Yes works as a suite for solo bass guitar:

  1. To Be Over
  2. South Side of the Sky
  3. Tales from Topographic Oceans
  4. Turn of the Century
  5. A Venture
  6. Close to the Edge

As of early 2020 I've completed these arrangements (except that I'm still figuring out how to transcribe Rick Wakeman's massive organ solo toward the end of "Close to the Edge"). Recording plans are unclear because of other projects I'm working on. Stay tuned for updates!

(Fans of Yes might also enjoy a lyrical analysis of And You and I.)

Peter Saint-Andre > Music > Yes