Wheel In The Sky Guitar Lesson – Journey

Recorded in 1977 and released on their fourth studio album Infinity, "Wheel In The Sky" was perhaps Journey's first big hit and it helped catapult the band to it's stadium rock God status they enjoyed throughout much of the late 70's and 80's.

In this Wheel In The Sky guitar lesson, I will break down all the chords, killer guitar riffs and solos as they were played by the great Neal Schon note-for-note.

We have a lot to sink our teeth into with this one, so I will spread it out between two different video lessons. In the first video lesson, I will take a you through the cool fingerpicked intro and then to the tricky yet extremely fun to play verse riff. We will close out the first lesson with the chorus chords.

In the second video lesson, I will show you note-for-note Neal Schon's main guitar solo in "Wheel In The Sky", followed by an in-depth breakdown of the scales he is soloing with during the outro chorus of the song.

The fingerpicked intro can create a little trouble for players that don't have a lot of fingerpicking experience. I will show you exactly how to pick each note so there shouldn't be much confusion in that regard. After that, it will simply require thoughtful repetition before taking it to full speed.

After that intro you will need to grab your pick again for the verse riff. This riff is very repetitive yet also very precise in how it is performed. When it all comes together it can sound like two different guitars playing at the same time.

Around this riff there will be some simple chords. The chorus is also a pretty basic part that shouldn't give you much trouble if you can already play the intro and verse.

Neal Schon's guitar solo which is covered in the second video lesson if full of classic Neal Schon solo tricks. As with most of his solos, he wraps fire breathing guitar chops around highly melodic musical ideas. As for the techniques you will be practicing, there are fast bends and pre-bends, slides and legato all over the place. In addition, some rapid alternate picking across strings is required.

Take your time to absorb all of these licks and slowly put them together for the complete solo. I teach the solo one phrase at a time and that is a great way to break it up in your practice as well.

There is a solo under the outro chorus that I cover note-for-note to a point. I spend some time showing you the different scale forms he is using so you can see how the solo was put together and give you the ability to do your own thing there.

Have fun guys!


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Wheel In The Sky Guitar Lesson - Chords/Rhythms

Wheel In The Sky Guitar Lesson - Solo


  1. GEORG on July 8, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Carl, thank you so much for teaching this song. I appreciate it greatly.

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