Please consider registering
Guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed sp_TopicIcon
John, Paul, and George as Guitarists
No permission to create posts
6 March 2014
6.40pm
Avatar
PeterWeatherby
A Park in the Dark
Paris Olympia
Forum Posts: 367
Member Since:
5 February 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

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
Avatar
Inner Light
Friar Park
Carnegie Hall
Forum Posts: 528
Member Since:
20 December 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

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 following people thank Inner Light for this post:

Oudis, Bulldog, guitarman

The further one travels, the less one knows

6 March 2014
9.37pm
Avatar
IveJustSeenAFaceo
Arrived Somewhere (But Not Here)
Rishikesh
Forum Posts: 2838
Member Since:
31 October 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

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?

The following people thank IveJustSeenAFaceo for this post:

Silly Girl

(This signature brought to you by Net Boy and Net Girl. Putting messages in modems since 1996.)

17 August 2014
12.46am
Avatar
Oudis
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 1491
Member Since:
15 May 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

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.  

I couldn’t agree more. That’s why for me (maybe not for everybody) Mark Knopfler is a good guitarist; he lacks the technique of Clapton, but has played with Clapton because he plays with inspiration. What happens with The Beatles’ songs is that they all played to make the song sound the way it had to, not seeking the audience applause as individual players.

Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit” (“Perhaps one day it will be a pleasure to look back on even this”; Virgil, The Aeneid, Book 1, line 203, where Aeneas says this to his men after the shipwreck that put them on the shores of Africa)

17 August 2014
4.27pm
Avatar
Funny Paper
America
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 2080
Member Since:
1 November 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

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...

24 August 2014
10.04pm
Avatar
cleaner101
A Beginning
Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
24 August 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I'd tend to agree that in term of guitar finger-picking, Paul would display the most talent in the songs they released. And I also think that the general consensus of this discussion rings a certain level of truth - as individual instrumentalists they were nothing outstanding (at least from their performances on record).

But what it all comes down to (in my opinion) is songwriting and grasp of melody - they had both in droves and this can compensate for technical talent to the point that it makes the latter almost irrelevant.

That isn't to say that they didn't have technical talent as well; it's just that most of their songs were so well written that they didn't demand extravagant guitar solos etc to dominate the performance and detract from the song itself. 

The following people thank cleaner101 for this post:

Oudis, Silly Girl
26 August 2014
12.35am
Avatar
Bongo
Somewhere In Time
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 1401
Member Since:
28 March 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

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
Avatar
Gerard
Hollywood Bowl
Forum Posts: 683
Member Since:
27 December 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

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
Avatar
Musketeer Gripweed
Coldspring Harbor, NY
Royal Command Performance
Forum Posts: 249
Member Since:
16 January 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

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. 

The following people thank Musketeer Gripweed for this post:

Silly Girl
2 October 2014
3.29am
Avatar
Musketeer Gripweed
Coldspring Harbor, NY
Royal Command Performance
Forum Posts: 249
Member Since:
16 January 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I never really dove into Georges solo work. I think it has to do with his lyrical content. But are their any songs to check out that he uses finger picking on? 

28 October 2014
6.25pm
Avatar
MOCKSWELL
Canaduh
The Kaiserkeller
Forum Posts: 54
Member Since:
8 October 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

 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
1.47pm
Avatar
Meowson
The Deep South
The Kaiserkeller
Forum Posts: 52
Member Since:
3 November 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Does anyone know if the beatles used guitar picks? Sorry if this is derailing, but i didnt feel like making a new thread just for this one question.

With love from me, to you.

6 November 2014
1.48pm
Avatar
Starr Shine?
Waiting in the Sky
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 13852
Member Since:
1 November 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I am fairly sure they did

The following people thank Starr Shine? for this post:

Meowson

she was the sun, burning bright and brittle and,https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

If you can't log in and can't use the forum go here and someone will help you out.

6 November 2014
2.29pm
Avatar
Ahhh Girl
sailing on a winedark open sea
Moderator


Forum Posts: 13569
Member Since:
20 August 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@Meowson, I know the topic is mentioned several places on the forum. If no one else points you in the right direction within the next 8 hours or so, I will find some of the links for you...when I have a little more time to work on it.

6 November 2014
3.46pm
Avatar
Meowson
The Deep South
The Kaiserkeller
Forum Posts: 52
Member Since:
3 November 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Ahhh Girl said
@Meowson, I know the topic is mentioned several places on the forum. If no one else points you in the right direction within the next 8 hours or so, I will find some of the links for you...when I have a little more time to work on it.

Thank you, I'd like to establish the fact that I did try to use the search function before asking my question.

With love from me, to you.

6 November 2014
5.56pm
Avatar
Ahhh Girl
sailing on a winedark open sea
Moderator


Forum Posts: 13569
Member Since:
20 August 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

ahdn_paul_06 :-) Thank you for trying! That makes this librarian very happy. Still a few more hours to go before I have time to spend on finding the links.

6 November 2014
10.12pm
Avatar
MOCKSWELL
Canaduh
The Kaiserkeller
Forum Posts: 54
Member Since:
8 October 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

yes they used picks... 'hybrid' style refers to pick/fingers like George. Paul played bass with a pick more often than not. John bashed w/ a pick.

Paul plays with his thumb/fingers like a real guitar player, on acoustic only I reckon.

The following people thank MOCKSWELL for this post:

Meowson
7 November 2014
2.33am
Avatar
Ahhh Girl
sailing on a winedark open sea
Moderator


Forum Posts: 13569
Member Since:
20 August 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@Meowson, do a Google image search for

harrison playing guitar
or
lennon playing guitar

and look at the pictures to see how they are playing. As they say, pictures are worth a thousand words.

The following people thank Ahhh Girl for this post:

Meowson, UnidentifiedFiendishThingy
27 December 2016
8.31pm
Avatar
HMBeatlesfan
Kalamazoo, Seussville, USA
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 1045
Member Since:
23 July 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Here's what I think of John, Paul, and George as guitarists:

John:

Rhythm:

John is a great rhythm guitarist and his style really fits in with what The Beatles were doing, although sadly he didn't play much guitar during 1966 and 1967, but came back swinging with the release of The Beatles.

Notable examples of John's rhythm work:

All My Loving (With The Beatles, 1963, Rickenbacker 325)

I Want To Hold Your Hand (Non-album single, 1964, Rickenbacker 325)

I'm Happy Just To Dance With You (A Hard Day's Night, 1964, Rickenbacker 325)

She's A Woman (Non-album single, 1964, Rickenbacker 325)

Nowhere Man (Rubber Soul, 1965, Gibson J-160E)

Doctor Robert (Revolver, 1966, Gretsch Nashville)

Dear Prudence (The Beatles, 1968, Epiphone Casino and Gibson J-160E)

Happiness Is A Warm Gun (The Beatles, 1968, Epiphone Casino)

Come Together (Abbey Road, 1969, Epiphone Casino)

Across The Universe (Let It Be, 1970, Framus Hootenanny)

Lead:

Let's be honest here, John sucks at lead guitar and whenever he does a solo, it's either choppy or very simple. It's like what I say about Ringo singing, just stick to what you do best.

Notable examples of John's lead work:

Long Tall Sally (Long Tall Sally, 1964, Rickenbacker 325)

You Can't Do That (A Hard Day's Night, 1964, Rickenbacker 325)

I Feel Fine (Non-album single, 1964, Gibson J-160E)

When I'm 64 (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967, Epiphone Casino)

Revolution (Non-album single, 1968, Epiphone Casino)

The Ballad Of John And Yoko (Abbey Road, 1969, Epiphone Casino)

I Want You (She's So Heavy) (Abbey Road, 1969, Epiphone Casino)

The End (Abbey Road, 1969, Epiphone Casino)

Cold Turkey (Non-album single, 1969, Epiphone Casino)

Get Back (Let It Be, 1970, Epiphone Casino)

Paul:

Rhythm:

Paul is a great rhythm player and his guitar style on the acoustic guitar is beautiful.

Notable examples of Paul's rhythm work:

Yesterday (Help!, 1965, Epiphone Texan)

Michelle (Rubber Soul, 1965, Epiphone Texan)

I'm Looking Through You (Rubber Soul, 1965, Epiphone Texan)

Here, There, And Everywhere (Revolver, 1966, Epiphone Texan)

Martha My Dear (The Beatles, 1968, Epiphone Casino)

Rocky Raccoon (The Beatles, 1968, Martin D-28)

I Will (The Beatles, 1968, Martin D-28)

Mother Nature's Son (The Beatles, 1968, Martin D-28)

Her Majesty (Abbey Road, 1969, Martin D-28)

Band On The Run (Band On The Run, 1973, Martin D-28)

Lead:

Paul is a lead guitarist that makes solos nearly on par with George, to the point where you wish they had him play lead guitar on every song.

Notable examples of Paul's lead work:

The Night Before (Help!, 1965, Epiphone Casino)

Ticket To Ride (Help!, 1965, Epiphone Casino)

Drive My Car (Rubber Soul, 1965, Epiphone Casino)

Paperback Writer (Non-album single, 1966, Epiphone Casino)

Taxman (Revolver, 1966, Epiphone Casino)

And Your Bird Can Sing (Revolver, 1966, Epiphone Casino)

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967, Fender Esquire)

Good Morning, Good Morning (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967, Fender Esquire)

Helter Skelter (The Beatles, 1968, Fender Esquire)

The End (Abbey Road, 1969, Epiphone Casino)

George:

Rhythm:

Although George is far from a bad rhythm guitarist, it's still sad when a song has him on this position, as he is the worst out of the 3 at this job.

Notable examples of George's rhythm playing:

Ticket To Ride (Help!, 1965, Fender Stratocaster)

Drive My Car (Rubber Soul, 1965, Fender Stratocaster)

Taxman (Revolver, 1966, Fender Stratocaster)

I Am The Walrus (Magical Mystery Tour, 1967, Fender Stratocaster)

While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles, 1968, Gibson J-200)

Piggies (The Beatles, 1968, Gibson J-200)

Helter Skelter (The Beatles, 1968, Gibson Les Paul)

Long, Long, Long (The Beatles, 1968, Gibson J-200)

I Me Mine (Let It Be, 1970, Gibson J-200 and Gibson Les Paul)

For You Blue (Let It Be, 1970, Gibson J-200)

Lead:

You can't beat George's lead work if you tried, he's hands down the best guitarist of The Beatles and he's up there with Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix.

Notable examples of George's lead work:

Can't Buy Me Love (A Hard Day's Night, 1964, Gretsch Tennessean and Gretsch Country Gentleman)

You're Going To Lose That Girl (Help!, 1965, Fender Stratocaster)

Day Tripper (Non-album single, 1965, Gibson ES-345)

Michelle (Rubber Soul, 1965, Gretsch Tennessean)

And Your Bird Can Sing (Revolver, 1966, Epiphone Casino)

Hey Bulldog (Yellow Submarine, 1968, Gibson SG)

Dear Prudence (The Beatles, 1968, Gibson Les Paul)

Something (Abbey Road, 1969, Gibson Les Paul)

Octopus's Garden (Abbey Road, 1969, Fender Stratocaster)

Let It Be (Let It Be, 1970, Gibson Les Paul)

The following people thank HMBeatlesfan for this post:

georgiewood

Maybe you should try posting more.

27 December 2016
11.16pm
Avatar
The Hole Got Fixed
A Dock at Southampton
Shea Stadium
Forum Posts: 837
Member Since:
27 November 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I completely agree with everything you said, @HMBeatlesfan, except for your review of John's lead work. John's work on I Feel Fine is really rather good, in my mind. 

Oh, by the way, this post was made by The Hole Got Fixed!

2016 awards: Username-Badge.png

No permission to create posts
Forum Timezone: America/Chicago

Most Users Ever Online: 597

Currently Online: The Hippie Chick, Leppo, SgtPeppersBulldog
95 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

Starr Shine?: 13852

Silly Girl: 9648

parlance: 7065

mr. Sun king coming together: 6412

Necko: 6315

Ron Nasty: 6190

Mr. Kite: 6133

trcanberra: 5973

mithveaen: 4613

AppleScruffJunior: 4539

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 87

Members: 2298

Moderators: 4

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 3

Forums: 42

Topics: 4156

Posts: 246364

Newest Members:

wecan, ghjukliokss, RobertDebusk, Moose64, mlilly

Moderators: Ahhh Girl: 13569, meanmistermustard: 20170, Zig: 9050, Joe: 4676

Administrators: Joe: 4676, Ellie: 4

Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today: NotQuiteGeorge
Upcoming: None