The Beatles were excellent songwriters and performers. In spite of this, very few guitarists stop to evaluate the Beatles guitar work. George, John, and Paul all played guitar on Beatles tracks, switching off duties repeatedly. Many people think of George Harrison as the lead guitar player, but at various times, John or Paul might be playing lead instead. If you want to master the Beatles approach to guitar, you need to learn songs by each Beatle guitarist. Also, serious players will want to learn both acoustic and electric songs. The Beatles approached the guitar playing differently when the instrument was electrified. (Don't we all?) I've made a list of the best Beatles songs to learn on guitar to help you out. I've chosen some electric, some acoustic, some by Paul, some by George, and some by John. It wasn't easy to meet this criteria--especially because there are so many great Beatles songs to choose from.
Song 1. Yesterday
Paul McCartney performs the acoustic guitar on Yesterday. On Yesterday, Paul plays guitar and sings. Not one other Beatles appear on the sound recording. (Yesterday is definitely the very first time that this occurred.) (The string quartet (that Paul produced) was added during an overdub session.) Yesterday is an excellent song to master on guitar. It's actually not tricky to play, and it's extremely popular (having set the Guinness Book of World Records world record for the most recorded song in rock history). For the more capable guitarist, this song is a nice study in groove as well as in Paul McCartney's ballad guitar style. Furthermore, it does have some striking chord changes, plus some good licks for those who tend to be paying close attention to every note. Yesterday is my own pick for one of the best tracks to learn on acoustic guitar. Because it sounds so good and is so accessible to the beginning guitar player, it ranks at the top of my checklist.
Song 2. Hard Day's Night
A Hard Day's Night was composed primarily by John Lennon. He wrote the song straight away (within hours) to make sure he'd have the title song for the film. The principle electric guitar work on the recording is done by George Harrison...but that only includes the intro and the outro. The main groove is kept by Lennon's acoustic guitar section. A Hard Day's Night opens with arguably the most famous guitar chord in rock and roll. The jangly Fadd9 chord rings from George's twelve string Rickenbacker (with backing from John's acoustic and Paul's bass), demanding your attention. This song and motion picture influenced a whole generation to grab a guitar and form a rock 'n roll group. The middle part of the track is great for six string strummers, the intro and the outro (as well as the guitar solo) are perfect for electric guitar players.
3: I Want To Hold Your Hand
I Want To Hold Your Hand is truly one of my favorite Beatles tunes. It really is genuine excitement and is also most likely the very best of the early Beatles tunes. According to John, I Want To Hold Your Hand was a true face-to-face collaboration. This track is great to play on guitar given that the mix separates George Harrison's guitar from John's guitar by panning one to the left ear and the other to the right ear. This technique makes it simple to more easily learn the individual parts. Furthermore, the electricity crammed in the song is tremendously riveting.
4: While My Guitar Gently Weeps
The track has several layers of guitars, incorporating acoustic and electric rhythm guitars plus Eric Clapton's weeping electric guitar solos. This song makes my "best of" list because it has something for every type of guitarist.
If you haven't heard it, you should definitely check out the performance of this song from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame DVD where it performed by Dhani Harrison (George's son), Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Prince. Talk about a supergroup! Prince's solo is unbelievable! I'd definitely recommend that you check it out.
Blackbird is a Paul McCartney tune that shows up on the White Album. It's probably Paul's best acoustic guitar work, showing his efficiency at something that he does best--singing and performing simultaneously. The "percussion" which you hear on the track is really only Paul's very fashionable boot tapping out the tempo on the recording studio floor. The acoustic guitar part this tune is ideal for intermediate and professional guitarists, however, if you would like to perform it exactly, it could be a little hard for the beginner to tackle. In Blackbird, McCartney's showcases his acoustic guitar playing--especially the arpeggiated technique he developed while in India. Just as John picked up a few tips from Donovan (see Across the Universe), Paul was not to be outdone. The result is what you hear in Blackbird.If you're a musician and performer who really likes playing the Beatles tunes, you should go and visit The Beatles Scoring Blog to find the best of the The Beatles sheet music. This website is ideal for musicians-especially ones who want to learn to play the Beatles tracks.
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