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John, Paul, and George as Guitarists
6 March 2014
6.40pm
PeterWeatherby
A Park in the Dark
Carnegie Hall
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5 February 2010
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I typically don't think of JP&G as being especially proficient guitarists, in the sense of being technically complex. For example, George could lay down a memorable guitar solo like nobody else, but his work is usually understated and not all that difficult to play.

But every now and then I catch a flash of something here or there in a song (Beatles as well as solo material) that I realize is quite complex or difficult to play, and I think maybe these three had a lot more proficiency as guitarists than they always let on.

George's electric guitar work on John's song "Oh My Love" is incredible in the way it jumps all over the scale, moving from bass notes to single high notes and back through chord-based riffs.

John's guitar solo on "Get Back" is another example for me – there's some rather difficult quick-picking on that riff.

Paul's guitar solo on "Taxman" mostly stays on one string, but it makes very clever use of descending and ascending hammer-ons/pull-offs, and it moves quickly.

On the acoustic side, Paul's "Blackbird" and John's "Julia" (and its stylistic counterpart "Look at Me") are both examples of songs that use complex chord shapes and voicings, and require a fairly good grasp of finger-picking technique. Oddly, I'm having a hard time coming up with an acoustic song of George's that would qualify ("Here Comes The Sun" is beautiful, but it's fairly simplistic and relies on the full band to fill out the chords when the little solo riffs come up).

Not a bit like Cagney.
6 March 2014
8.51pm
Inner Light
Friar Park
Shea Stadium
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20 December 2010
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George doing a complicated guitar solo doesn't make him a better guitarist. What Harrison brought to the table regarding the Beatles is he played to the song. He did not need to be a flashy player and added just right touch which enhance their songs. This goes for Lennon and McCartney as well although I feel Harrison was the best and most proficient guitar player in the group. I have been a professional guitarist for most of my life and the one thing I have learned is its not what you play or how fast or complicated your style is, its what you don't play. Less is more.  

The further one travels, the less one knows
6 March 2014
9.37pm
IveJustSeenAFaceo
Somewhere other than where you are.
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 2616
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1 November 2013
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Inner Light said
George doing a complicated guitar solo doesn't make him a better guitarist. What Harrison brought to the table regarding the Beatles is he played to the song. He did not need to be a flashy player and added just right touch which enhance their songs. This goes for Lennon and McCartney as well although I feel Harrison was the best and most proficient guitar player in the group. I have been a professional guitarist for most of my life and the one thing I have learned is its not what you play or how fast or complicated your style is, its what you don't play. Less is more.  

Same for Ringo's drumming, I'd say. They were a very subtle little group, eh?

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