Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) Guitar Lesson – Journey

In today's lesson we will learn all of the guitar parts to Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) by Journey.

In addition to being my favorite Journey song, Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) contains some killer guitar work by the great Neal Schon.

In this Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) guitar lesson, we will not only learn all the rhythm guitar parts, but also the opening keyboard melody that opens the track arranged for guitar. In the second video lesson, I will tackle both of Neal Schon's solos note-for-note.

You have probably seen this main guitar riff in Separate Ways played a little bit differently than you see me play it in this lesson. I researched videos of Neal Schon playing these riffs as far back as 1982, just before the track was released, all the way to videos from today. He consistently plays the riff in the way I demonstrate in this video lesson. If you listen to the recording very closely you will also hear the difference that playing the riff in this way creates.

That opening main riff which also serves as the verse is by the far the toughest riff to play in the song. Don't let the driving rhythm fool you, Neal Schon is adding a lot of fast muted strums to the mix which really kicks up the difficult level quite a bit. Add to that the quick harmonics that close out the riff each time and you have yourself a pretty tricky rhythm to play.

After watching how I break down this riff in the lesson, don't get to hung up on recreating every little nuance of the riff. That would be impossible to do even for Neal Schon himself. There are just some elements of it that are a bit random. However, you should be able to get pretty close and do a very convincing version of the riff if you break it down correctly.

Even though Schon plays some killer riffs in Separate Ways, the highlight of the song, for me at least, is his instantly recognizable guitar solo which I will cover in-depth in the second video lesson.

In true Neal Schon style, he plays some beautiful melodic phrases that just soar over the music before launching into a crazy fast alternate picking lick. I will break all of this down for you phrase-by-phrase.

There is also the second solo to consider which is almost identical to the first except for a couple of variations and thankfully, without the fast alternate picking part. 🙂

I hope you guys enjoy learning this classic from Journey and the great Neal Schon!


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Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) Guitar Lesson Pt.1 - Rhythms - Journey

Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) Guitar Lesson Pt.2 - Solos - Journey


  1. Lawson on February 20, 2024 at 2:07 pm

    carl could you do a lesson on ”stone in love” by journey please?

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