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Paul v.s. George on Lead Guitar
17 November 2012
6.16pm
RunForYourLife
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Relax, this isn't a thread about who was the "better" guitarist.

In 1965/1966, Paul played the lead guitar parts on...

- The Night Before (Doubled w/ George)

- Another Girl

- Ticket To Ride

- Drive My Car (Into and Solo)

- Taxman (Solo)

- It's rumored he also plays lead on Paperback Writer.

 

My question is, to what extent was this the band "allowing" Paul to flex his chops as a friendly gesture v.s. impatience with George? (I'm not suggesting George was incompetent, but this was the time period where he was sort of "struggling" with breaking from his rockabilly roots and finding his own style)

Geoff Emerick seemed to imply that, at least on Taxman, Paul played because George was having trouble with the solo and the band had grown impatient. I've also heard that Paul's playing on Drive My Car was the result of similar circumstances.

17 November 2012
7.17pm
Holsety
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On another note, he also did the solo to Day Tripper( or I thought he did, but Beatles Bible doesn't mention it so I may be wrong). Considering a lot of songs he started playing lead were on Help, maybe they were trying something new? Paul might have been getting bored of bass and George didn't like being the center of attention all the time anyway. He liked Paul's attempt at the Taxman solo. 

Please don't wake me, no don't shake me, leave me where I am, I'm only sleeping~.
17 November 2012
9.09pm
Funny Paper
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I'm a big Paul fan and I consider him to be a better acoustic guitarist than George, however, I think George has the edge over him on lead guitar.

 

If Paul was really that good, he would have done the solos himself on "Too Many People" -- but I'm pretty sure it's Hugh McCracken (or Dave Spinnozza).  If someone can prove to me that the solo on that song is done by Paul, I will pronounce him better than George on lead.

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
17 November 2012
9.37pm
Ben Ramon
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Funny Paper said
I'm a big Paul fan and I consider him to be a better acoustic guitarist than George, however, I think George has the edge over him on lead guitar.

 

If Paul was really that good, he would have done the solos himself on "Too Many People" -- but I'm pretty sure it's Hugh McCracken (or Dave Spinnozza).  If someone can prove to me that the solo on that song is done by Paul, I will pronounce him better than George on lead.

I've always wondered about that solo- it does sound very much in Paul's style. He might have directed one of those session guitarists on how to play it.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
18 November 2012
4.13am
Funny Paper
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Ben Ramon said

Funny Paper said
I'm a big Paul fan and I consider him to be a better acoustic guitarist than George, however, I think George has the edge over him on lead guitar.

 

If Paul was really that good, he would have done the solos himself on "Too Many People" -- but I'm pretty sure it's Hugh McCracken (or Dave Spinnozza).  If someone can prove to me that the solo on that song is done by Paul, I will pronounce him better than George on lead.

I've always wondered about that solo- it does sound very much in Paul's style. He might have directed one of those session guitarists on how to play it.

Yes, if he didn't perform it himself, then he not only directed it, but told them how to play every last note.

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
18 November 2012
6.30am
Inner Light
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I cannot believe how many fans out there keep talking about McCartney's guitar playing. First of all, he is a bass player. That is his specialty. If he was a great guitarist, he would have been the lead guitarist in the Beatles and he would not have needed to hire other great guitar players such as Jimmy McCulloch, Lawarence Juber, Robbie McIntosh and Rusty Anderson.

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18 November 2012
4.27pm
RunForYourLife
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I actually had a specific question regarding Paul's playing on a few songs in the OP, but it looks as if the thread has devolved into a general discussion of his playing.

18 November 2012
5.10pm
Ben Ramon
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Inner Light said
I cannot believe how many fans out there keep talking about McCartney's guitar playing. First of all, he is a bass player. That is his specialty. If he was a great guitarist, he would have been the lead guitarist in the Beatles and he would not have needed to hire other great guitar players such as Jimmy McCulloch, Lawarence Juber, Robbie McIntosh and Rusty Anderson.

McCartney is a good guitarist. I'd still contend George was better, but there's no denying that Paul could have provided lead guitar with just as much proficiency and competence for any band.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
18 November 2012
7.31pm
Funny Paper
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Ben Ramon said

Inner Light said

 

 

1. Being a guitarist is not limited to playing "lead guitar"; there is also the category of acoustic guitar playing, both strumming and picking.  For example, neither Paul Simon nor James Taylor play "lead guitar", but they are considered among the best guitar players for how they intricately finger and/or pick their acoustic guitars.  Playing acoustic guitar is not just about strumming 3 chords, like some airhead at a campfire sing-along.

 

2.  Aside from the two categories of Lead Guitar and of Acoustic Guitar playing, there is another category of the Rhythm or Backup Guitar -- a bonafide category in which people can excel.  I think Paul is better at this than George.

 

3.  Paul playing bass does not necessarily mean he can't excel in another instrument.  Since when is it a Law of Music that a musician can only have his forte with one instrument?

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
18 November 2012
7.45pm
Ben Ramon
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RunForYourLife said
I actually had a specific question regarding Paul's playing on a few songs in the OP, but it looks as if the thread has devolved into a general discussion of his playing.

I do think George began to struggle a little to write solos as John and Paul's songs became far more characteristic and complex, and for several years the guitar solo was a fairly redundant tactic in the Beatles' music. You can't really stick a Chet Atkins-influenced 12-bar blues or rockabilly break in the middle of many of the tracks on Rubber Soul or Revolver, so it was more convenient for Paul to step up to the challenge a couple of times. Try and imagine a solo to replace Paul's in Taxman without making the song lose its groove and momentum; it's not easy. As far as I can tell, George was forced to change and adapt his style and that probably would have taken a while, not to mention his putting guitar aside in favour of traditional Indian instruments and other means of composition at that time (as I recall he wrote nearly all of his '67 contributions on the harmonium).

That said, I do think George's guitar abilities skyrocketed in this middle period; those who profess that George only became a worthy lead player as late as Abbey Road are overlooking the wonderful shimmering melodies he brought to Nowhere Man, If I Needed Someone, I'm Only Sleeping, And Your Bird Can Sing etc.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
18 November 2012
7.47pm
RunForYourLife
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Ben Ramon said

RunForYourLife said
I actually had a specific question regarding Paul's playing on a few songs in the OP, but it looks as if the thread has devolved into a general discussion of his playing.

I do think George began to struggle a little to write solos as John and Paul's songs became far more characteristic and complex, and for several years the guitar solo was a fairly redundant tactic in the Beatles' music. You can't really stick a Chet Atkins-influenced 12-bar blues or rockabilly break in the middle of many of the tracks on Rubber Soul or Revolver, so it was more convenient for Paul to step up to the challenge a couple of times. As far as I can tell, George was forced to change and adapt his style and that probably would have taken a while, not to mention his putting guitar aside in favour of traditional Indian instruments and other means of composition at that time (as I recall he wrote nearly all of his '67 contributions on the harmonium).

That is my theory as well. I was just curious as to which times this was the case v.s. the times where they just let Paul play as a favor (Specifically, on the song Drive My Car).

18 November 2012
7.55pm
Ben Ramon
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RunForYourLife said

Ben Ramon said

RunForYourLife said
I actually had a specific question regarding Paul's playing on a few songs in the OP, but it looks as if the thread has devolved into a general discussion of his playing.

I do think George began to struggle a little to write solos as John and Paul's songs became far more characteristic and complex, and for several years the guitar solo was a fairly redundant tactic in the Beatles' music. You can't really stick a Chet Atkins-influenced 12-bar blues or rockabilly break in the middle of many of the tracks on Rubber Soul or Revolver, so it was more convenient for Paul to step up to the challenge a couple of times. As far as I can tell, George was forced to change and adapt his style and that probably would have taken a while, not to mention his putting guitar aside in favour of traditional Indian instruments and other means of composition at that time (as I recall he wrote nearly all of his '67 contributions on the harmonium).

That is my theory as well. I was just curious as to which times this was the case v.s. the times where they just let Paul play as a favor (Specifically, on the song Drive My Car).

I would guess that Paul simply already had the idea for the lead guitar line in his head, and the others let him play it out of necessity or convenience.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
19 November 2012
5.43pm
Inner Light
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Funny Paper said
Ben Ramon said

Inner Light said

 

1. Being a guitarist is not limited to playing "lead guitar"; there is also the category of acoustic guitar playing, both strumming and picking.  For example, neither Paul Simon nor James Taylor play "lead guitar", but they are considered among the best guitar players for how they intricately finger and/or pick their acoustic guitars.  Playing acoustic guitar is not just about strumming 3 chords, like some airhead at a campfire sing-along.

 

2.  Aside from the two categories of Lead Guitar and of Acoustic Guitar playing, there is another category of the Rhythm or Backup Guitar -- a bonafide category in which people can excel.  I think Paul is better at this than George.

 

3.  Paul playing bass does not necessarily mean he can't excel in another instrument.  Since when is it a Law of Music that a musician can only have his forte with one instrument?

Here are my responses to the above:

1. You are correct regarding acoustic guitar playing. I have been playing guitar since I was 11 or 12 and will be 60 next month. I play both acoustic and electric and agree you do not have to play scales and lead notes to be a great guitar player. Finger style which I also do is a great technique and has a great impact any many songs. Paul Simon is one of the best guitar players I have ever heard. There are so many how are underrated. Regarging Harrison's acoustic guitar playing, check out three of his solo albums. 'Thirty-Three & 1/3', 'George Harrison' & 'Somewhere In England'. He does just about all the acoustic and electric playing on those albums.

2. George did a lot of backup guitar in Beatle songs. For examle, check out the rhythm guitar on 'Drive My Car'. This was the driving force behind that song which Harrision played. 

3. McCartney does play more than one instrument and I think that is fantastic. I still feel the bass guitar was what he is best at and what he is know for. 

Summary: I am not trying to knock McCartney as a guitarist. I just have a problem when I read blogs that McCartney is a better all around guitar player than Harrison. I think they are both excellent in their own style and should be appreciated for what they contribute to their songs.

The further one travels, the less one knows
19 November 2012
5.48pm
Inner Light
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Ben Ramon said

RunForYourLife said
I actually had a specific question regarding Paul's playing on a few songs in the OP, but it looks as if the thread has devolved into a general discussion of his playing.

I do think George began to struggle a little to write solos as John and Paul's songs became far more characteristic and complex, and for several years the guitar solo was a fairly redundant tactic in the Beatles' music. You can't really stick a Chet Atkins-influenced 12-bar blues or rockabilly break in the middle of many of the tracks on Rubber Soul or Revolver, so it was more convenient for Paul to step up to the challenge a couple of times. Try and imagine a solo to replace Paul's in Taxman without making the song lose its groove and momentum; it's not easy. As far as I can tell, George was forced to change and adapt his style and that probably would have taken a while, not to mention his putting guitar aside in favour of traditional Indian instruments and other means of composition at that time (as I recall he wrote nearly all of his '67 contributions on the harmonium).

That said, I do think George's guitar abilities skyrocketed in this middle period; those who profess that George only became a worthy lead player as late as Abbey Road are overlooking the wonderful shimmering melodies he brought to Nowhere Man, If I Needed Someone, I'm Only Sleeping, And Your Bird Can Sing etc.

Very good points above. I agree. I think that George was losing some interest around 1967. He was more focused on Indian culture and music at that point which in the long run I think helped him become a better all around guitarist. He started using much more complicated chord structures and began his quest focusing on his slide playing. Harrison for me was a very emotional singer and player and put so much of his essence into the music he created. I will always respect him for never selling out and writing songs when he truly felt he had something to say and kept his humble attitude throughout his entire career.

The further one travels, the less one knows
12 August 2013
1.56am
The eggman
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Funny Paper said
Ben Ramon said

Inner Light said

 

 

1. Being a guitarist is not limited to playing "lead guitar"; there is also the category of acoustic guitar playing, both strumming and picking.  For example, neither Paul Simon nor James Taylor play "lead guitar", but they are considered among the best guitar players for how they intricately finger and/or pick their acoustic guitars.  Playing acoustic guitar is not just about strumming 3 chords, like some airhead at a campfire sing-along.

 

2.  Aside from the two categories of Lead Guitar and of Acoustic Guitar playing, there is another category of the Rhythm or Backup Guitar -- a bonafide category in which people can excel.  I think Paul is better at this than George.

 

3.  Paul playing bass does not necessarily mean he can't excel in another instrument.  Since when is it a Law of Music that a musician can only have his forte with one instrument?

         

         Paul was a master of the acoustic, but George was very good at it. Take a look at the Anthology versions of "WMGGW" or "Something".

         As a rhytm guitarist George was, in my opinion, better. He played rhytm in some beatle songs and he did a great work. But the master of rythm guitar was John by far. 

         Paul is an awesome lead guitar player, and he could play faster than George, but George had something unique in his playing, Paul doesn´t. Obviously George had problems during the middle period of the Beatles, he was very apart from the band, but from the White Album to Abbey Road he showed that he was one of the best musicians ever. 

         And George was a nice bass player too. I think this is one of the best thing about the Beatles, the fact that they were good at playing many instruments (especially Paul and George).

         

12 August 2013
2.08am
LongHairedLady
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I'm not reading this whole thread, but I've said before that I really enjoy when Paul plays leads.  His solos are amazing.  Just listen to the first McCartney album.  100% Paul.  heart

 

That is all.  

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

12 August 2013
5.16pm
Von Bontee
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Why not read the whole thread, it's only one page and it's pretty good! (And definitely less contentious than another similar-themed 8-page thread of a year ago.)

[Another nice new avatar there, LHL - I knew the previous one wouldn't last long!)

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
12 August 2013
5.19pm
meanmistermustard
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8Ah the old days of 35 pages of people shouting and arguing and getting nowhere. Ah, how the days fly by.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....wDi3rm1omc

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12 August 2013
5.31pm
LongHairedLady
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Von Bontee said
Why not read the whole thread, it's only one page and it's pretty good! (And definitely less contentious than another similar-themed 8-page thread of a year ago.)

[Another nice new avatar there, LHL - I knew the previous one wouldn't last long!)

Thank you!  a-hard-days-night-john-1  I rather like this one.

I may read the thread later...  but it's all a little technical for me.  a-hard-days-night-paul-10

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

12 August 2013
7.12pm
Inner Light
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The eggman said

Funny Paper said
Ben Ramon said

Inner Light said

 

 

1. Being a guitarist is not limited to playing "lead guitar"; there is also the category of acoustic guitar playing, both strumming and picking.  For example, neither Paul Simon nor James Taylor play "lead guitar", but they are considered among the best guitar players for how they intricately finger and/or pick their acoustic guitars.  Playing acoustic guitar is not just about strumming 3 chords, like some airhead at a campfire sing-along.

 

2.  Aside from the two categories of Lead Guitar and of Acoustic Guitar playing, there is another category of the Rhythm or Backup Guitar -- a bonafide category in which people can excel.  I think Paul is better at this than George.

 

3.  Paul playing bass does not necessarily mean he can't excel in another instrument.  Since when is it a Law of Music that a musician can only have his forte with one instrument?

         

         Paul was a master of the acoustic, but George was very good at it. Take a look at the Anthology versions of "WMGGW" or "Something".

         As a rhytm guitarist George was, in my opinion, better. He played rhytm in some beatle songs and he did a great work. But the master of rythm guitar was John by far. 

         Paul is an awesome lead guitar player, and he could play faster than George, but George had something unique in his playing, Paul doesn´t. Obviously George had problems during the middle period of the Beatles, he was very apart from the band, but from the White Album to Abbey Road he showed that he was one of the best musicians ever. 

         And George was a nice bass player too. I think this is one of the best thing about the Beatles, the fact that they were good at playing many instruments (especially Paul and George).

One thing about John, Paul and George, they were all great musician's in their own way. I think George could play just as fast as Paul but chose not to. Less is more. It's not how fast you can play but the emotion and feeling you are putting into the notes you are playing. I have learned this over the years. I have been playing guitar all my life and have learned this.        

 

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