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John, Paul, and George as Guitarists
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6 March 2014
6.40pm
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PeterWeatherby
A Park in the Dark
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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.
17 August 2014
4.27pm
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Funny Paper
America
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In terms of acoustic guitar fingerpicking, Paul is clearly the best.  I think of songs like Blackbird, Mother Nature's Son, Junk (particularly the ending), 3 Legs (again especially the ending), Heart Of The Country, and faint echoes of this in parts of Some People Never Know and the brief instrumental interlude before Tomorrow.   That's something I miss, incidentally, from McCartney's later work.  I can't think of any good acoustic picking work in any song after his second album. (Also noteworthy was his solidly professional albeit unassuming strumming style in I Will or Two Of Us.) 

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
26 August 2014
12.35am
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Bongo
Somewhere In Time
Apple rooftop
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28 March 2014
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Funny Paper said
In terms of acoustic guitar fingerpicking, Paul is clearly the best.  I think of songs like
Blackbird, Mother Nature's Son, Junk (particularly the ending), 3 Legs (again especially the ending), Heart Of The Country, and faint echoes of this in parts of Some People Never Know and the brief instrumental interlude before Tomorrow.   

Yes Blackbird is a hard song to learn, as well as Yesterday.  Not bad for a Bass player! a-hard-days-night-paul-11

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk38/rickdelsie/The%20Beatles/parlunread_zps28270d9d.gif BEATLES Music gives me Eargasms!  apple01

1 October 2014
12.56pm
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Gerard
Candlestick Park
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Blackbird was the first song I ever learnt on the guitar, all I needed was the tab sheet; never needed to learn how to play chords

2 October 2014
3.24am
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Musketeer Gripweed
Coldspring Harbor, NY
Carnegie Hall
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Gerard said
Blackbird was the first song I ever learnt on the guitar, all I needed was the tab sheet; never needed to learn how to play chords

Bongo said

Funny Paper said
In terms of acoustic guitar fingerpicking, Paul is clearly the best.  I think of songs like Blackbird, Mother Nature's Son, Junk (particularly the ending), 3 Legs (again especially the ending), Heart Of The Country, and faint echoes of this in parts of Some People Never Know and the brief instrumental interlude before Tomorrow.   

Yes Blackbird is a hard song to learn, as well as Yesterday.  Not bad for a Bass player! a-hard-days-night-paul-11

I thought black bird was pretty simple chord wise. The finger strumming can be a little tricky. Just learned it about a week ago. 

Paul's got an interesting finger picking style I guess from being self taught. I don't think its all correct but doesn't matter all works perfect music wise. Is Yesterday the first instance of him using it? I think Paul just being the master of melody makes him seem the best. John did some really great work like Julia and Dear Prudence. DP has a great arpeggio that you can't really fully hear because of the over dubs. Dear Prudence is a great song to learn to learn finger picking. Learned that and everything else has been cake. 

28 October 2014
6.25pm
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MOCKSWELL
Canaduh
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8 October 2014
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 Oh I am pretty sure George would be irked if you put Paul at his level... George did a lot of hybrid finger stuff early on. Till There Was You. Good luck finding those voicings without watching or reading them, very nice stuff.

None of Paul's fingerpickings are up to a good country player. He knows that. But, is he ever good at his own songs, the parts always suit the vocal nicely.

 John is under-rated as a terrific rhythm player, not as easy as you'd think - esp. when singing a lot. He always has the good voicings and unusual strums he must of worked fairly hard on.  

 When asked about musical influences, Lennon replied '12-bar' but the Beatles were wise enough to only play a few straight 12-bars, and allus w/ strong melodies.

 Point is - you need to be in a group to play the way any of them did - working out a solo version is usually a waste of time, imho. Someone like Tommy Emmanuel can do a very entertaining job of it, but learning Beatles 'parts' on guitar is, with the exception of a lot of the great chords George used in many of their great early songs... not particularly interesting. I've heard hundreds of strummy 'interpretations' and it doesn't make me nostalgic for 1963, it just sounds a bit weak. *

 

Remember, this stuff wasn't taken too seriously for a lonnnng time. Even in the 80s-90s I had the Beatles Complete book handy and went thru every single tune w/ students. There was no effort made to even have the songs in the right key, they were arranged for school bands - Bflat and EFlat... though many ended up in E, and John capoed that up often.

Then they started transcribing Beatles note-for-note as if it was classical music or summat. Well, it's pretty good.... but Paul's comment that 'pop music is the new classical music' was one of his sillier remarks, I think. They are just pop songs. And without the boys playing them.... and having heard them all a million times... I'd advise that people learn unusual covers, like the artsy Beatles did. They dug through B-sides for years.

6 November 2014
1.48pm
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Annadog40
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