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George playing piano and Moog
9 September 2012
2.52am
Holsety
God Only Knows
Carnegie Hall
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He didn't ever play piano on a song, did he? I was looking at segment of the Let It Be film (about a minute in) and apparently he was capable. He was helping Ringo with Octopus Garden when it was clearly in an early stage. I found it interesting considering piano isn't usually listed next to his capable instruments; notably Wikipedia. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..kKmddq3e4Y

I'm also not sure if piano was just something every big musician learned consciously or something; he seems capable.. I'm not as surprised that Ringo can because he's played in live concerts, and he played it on the final version of this song, but George has only ever held a guitar in front of a stage.. right? Am I wrong? I could see why he possibly had no interest in playing the instrument because they could just as well, but that seems contradicting.

Please don't wake me, no don't shake me, leave me where I am, I'm only sleeping~.
9 September 2012
3.07am
mr. Sun king coming together
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He never played it live (Partially because he never did concerts). He was never needed to play piano on Beatles songs because Paul was  a significantly better pianist. He did write Old Brown Shoe on piano, Joe's page giving us this quote from I Me Mine:

I started the chord sequences on the piano, which I don't really play,

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
9 September 2012
3.09am
Holsety
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I meant to read that.. Never found it the day I went looking. On a side note, I neglected to mention he's credited for playing the moog synthesizer, which you could probably use if you could use a piano.

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9 September 2012
10.13am
minime
Candlestick Park
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How come this proto song sounds so much better than the finished product?ahdn_paul_01

9 September 2012
11.35am
GeorgeTSimpson
Vienna, Austria
Hollywood Bowl
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George played moog synth, hammond organ and harmonium on some beatlessongs so he could play piano (at least a bit) It's Paulon piano on the final version of Octopus's Garden, not ringo

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9 September 2012
11.47am
Ben Ramon
Candlestick Park
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If you think about it, piano-based songs were never really George's thing- the guitar was his baby. I think he generally had more interest in writing music with a "guitar" feel. It's fairly essential for any proficient musician to know the basic notes and chords on a piano, though.

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9 September 2012
12.05pm
meanmistermustard
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You can hear George playing piano on the demo of Old Brown Shoe which is on Anthology 3. He also plays piano on a demo of Something which is different from the one on Anthology (the same original demo but with overdubs).

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..y72dC2t8_k

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
9 September 2012
4.13pm
The Walrus
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mr. Sun king coming together said
He never played it live (Partially because he never did concerts). He was never needed to play piano on Beatles songs because Paul was  a significantly better pianist. He did write Old Brown Shoe on piano, Joe's page giving us this quote from I Me Mine:

I started the chord sequences on the piano, which I don't really play,

Not only was Paul a significantly better pianist, but John and Ringo were too, and George Martin was better than any of them. I think it is quite telling that on all the occasions listed so far, George was practically alone in the studio, except Old Brown Shoe- not sure why he played organ there instead of John or Paul or George Martin.

Might be controversial, but I think George's keyboard playing was generally sloppy, like John's bass playing. On those grounds I think it is safe to say he wasn't particularly capable.

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9 September 2012
4.18pm
Holsety
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GeorgeTSimpson said
It's Paulon piano on the final version of Octopus's Garden, not ringo 

I looked at Wikipedia first, which says Ringo did instead of Paul, but this site is probably more reliable so I'll leave it at that. 

Please don't wake me, no don't shake me, leave me where I am, I'm only sleeping~.
9 September 2012
10.12pm
robert
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Don't forget Blue Jay Way which is almost all keyboard – Hammond Organ, played by George and has no guitar at all – except for bass.

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9 September 2012
11.58pm
IMDeWalrus
Terrace BC Canada
Decca
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George also said (in a 1999 interview about the reissue of YELLOW SUBMARINE, published posthumously in 2010 in "Guitar Legends" magazine's special issue on The Beatles) that he played organ on "It's All Too Much" -- he said in that interview that he thought it was Paul who played the guitar feedback which opens that track.   

In a separate interview, George says he wrote "Something" on piano, although on the released track, John played it -- and you only hear it briefly just before the guitar solo.   

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10 September 2012
12.08am
meanmistermustard
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George wrote Within You, Without You on Harmonium and there is Circles which is on the organ.

 

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
10 September 2012
12.46am
annab93
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minime said
How come this proto song sounds so much better than the finished product?ahdn_paul_01

I agree. I don't know if I like the sound effects on the album version all too much.

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10 September 2012
6.39am
Von Bontee
A Hole In The Road
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Holsety said
I meant to read that.. Never found it the day I went looking. On a side note, I neglected to mention he's credited for playing the moog synthesizer, which you could probably use if you could use a piano.

Heh, as long as you read the 1000-page instruction manual!

Regular keyboard skills weren't really that much help in playing those old Moogs. Besides being insanely complicated to set up properly, they were exclusively monophonic, meaning they were only capable of playing one note at a time, so the knowledge of and the ability to play chords - ie. the basic keyboard skill - was of absolutely no use.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
11 September 2012
3.36am
mithveaen
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 I watch the cover of that bootleg and I think it's almost a sin to see an ugly Beatles album cover. paul-mccartneypaul-mccartney

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21 September 2012
2.54am
awaizy
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21 September 2012
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It's not like George wasn't able to play piano or anything like that. He definitely wasn't an accomplished pianist, but all the Beatles had at least rudimentary skills on piano, even Ringo as you saw there. If I recall correctly, all the Beatles had pianos at their homes to write/play music on.

 

George was a great musician…he was able to play chords and such at the least.

21 September 2012
3.06am
meanmistermustard
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In an '87 interview George said he could play 3 finger piano and that he was decent but nowhere close to the greats; not sure how serious he was being over the 3 finger thing or it has some other musical meaning but it wasnt a throwaway joke .

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
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