Celebrating Rush's Alex Lifeson On His 60th Birthday

(Gibson) Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson turns 60 today August 27. A founding member of Rush, he's dazzled over numerous albums, adapted his guitar style, and has seen Rush go from one of the most "uncool" bands on the planet to… actually, quite a cool band really.

Rush do their own thing, whether you love them or hate them. What's never been in doubt is the trio's musicianship. Geddy Lee (bass/vocals) and Neil Peart (drums/lyrics) are regularly voted "best ever" rock players in their field, and understandably so.

But does Alex Lifeson get the props he deserves? Maybe not so much. So as it's his birthday, here's a salute to Alex Lifeson of Rush. Lifeson is one of rock's premier players who are instantly recognizable and unique.

His many fans even talk about "the Alex chord." It can vary depending on which fan you ask, but it's usually a moveable sus2 or sus4, often with open higher (B and E) strings. F#7sus4 is a favorite "Alex chord." It features a lot in "Hemispheres" and "Xanadu." Suspended powerchords also feature large in "Tom Sawyer." Lifeson's chords and his counterpoint to Geddy Lee's bass are key to Rush's sound.

Harmonics are also a Lifeson staple: listen to "Hemispheres" or the intro to "Red Barchetta" (which also features plenty of suspended chords) here and read more.

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