DONALD FAGEN is a composer, pianist, vocalist and producer. Donald and Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker catapulted to fame during the 1970s with platinum releases such as Aja and Gaucho. Donald’s first solo album, The Nightfly, was nominated for seven Grammies and received the Grand Prix Du Disque De Montreaux in 1982. He has since written film scores (Bright Lights, Big City); Co-founded, with Libby Titus, The New York Rock and Soul Revue; and in 1993, released his second critically acclaimed solo album, Kamakiriad. Warren Bernhardt is an acclaimed jazz pianist and DMP recording artist. He played with Steely Dan on their sold-out tour in the summer of 1993.



with Warren Bernhardt


This video gives us rare insight into the musical thinking of one of the most influential songwriters and arrangers in American popular music. In an intimate conversation with jazz pianist Warren Bernhardt, Donald Fagen explores the process that went into writing and arranging of some typical Steely Dan songs (penned with partner Walter Becker) as well as some of his own solo works.

Starting with the Steely Dan hit Chain Lightning, Donald and Warren demonstrate how a sophisticated jazz-rock tune can evolve from a simple twelve bar blues form. By altering the bass line and chord qualities, an ordinary blues is transformed into a unique and original composition.

By selecting tunes that use familiar blues and R&B structures as source material, Donald and Warren can clearly trace the development of a piece. Songs of increasing complexity are played and analyzed. Peg, Josie, On The Dunes and Teahouse on the Tracks are each explored in detail to reveal their singular structures, harmonic and rhytmic characteristics, intro ideas and other devices.

By sharing his vast experience in popular music, Donald Fagen provides you with powerful tools to enchance your own playing, writing and arranging.

Write or call for free catalog listing hundreds of audio and video cassette lessons. Homespun Tapes, Box 694, Woodstock, NY 12498, 1-800-33-TAPES or 914-246-2550

1993 Homespun Tapes, Ltd. Cover photo: Will Faller

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Revision of December 07, 2021 - A Lost Wages Production..