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New web site focusing on Beatles + guitar techniques
2 March 2017
8.18pm
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PeterWeatherby
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This has been a project very long in coming, but after years of participating in this forum -- specifically this musicology sub-forum -- I've finally launched a web site dedicated to these kinds of topics. Chords, capos, tunings, voicings, chord charts, tab, compositional analysis, and whatever else I can think of. 

Every Sound There Is

I would welcome any suggestions for topics you would like to see covered, riffs you'd like to learn, or anything else that piques your interest.

I'm happy to report that my most recent post -- the necessary tuning and fingering positions to play "Can You Take Me Back?" (the 30 second trail-off at the end of "Cry Baby Cry ") -- came about because of some research our very own forum owner did. Thanks, Joe, I would never have solved the riddle without you! I'm fairly sure this tab exists nowhere else on the entire Interwebs. 🙂

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Not a bit like Cagney.

3 March 2017
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HMBeatlesfan
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Nice site, but nonetheless flawed.

1. You messed up a note in the riff for Here Comes The Sun

Your version:

Image Enlarger

How you should've notated it:

here-comes-the-sun.pngImage Enlarger

If you're curious, here's how he actually played it:

sun.pngImage Enlarger

2. For You Won't See Me , you're messing up the positions, here's the positions used throughout the song, matching none of the positions you recommended:

A/E chord

B/F# chord
D/F# chord
Dm/F chord
Bm/D chord

Here's how the first part of the bridge is actually played by George using his Fender Stratocaster:

Bm/D chord

Bm/D chord
Dm/F chord
Dm/F chord
Dm/F chord
Dm/F chord
A/E chord
A/E chord

The diminished chord is only played by the piano, the Strat just plays the Dm/F while the piano does the Ddim

3. Lovely Rita was either sped up a half step or they slapped a capo on the first fret, this is proven by Paul's live performance of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?.....EDb2dsXrE8

So it's safe to assume John and George actually played it like this:

A chord

Asus4 chord
G chord
Gsus4 chord
D chord
D/G chord
A chord

4. According to Rob Taylor's Beatles To A Tee, both John and George play a Fadd9 for the opening chord of A Hard Day's Night .

Maybe you should try posting more.

4 March 2017
2.52am
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PeterWeatherby
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Thanks for the feedback. A couple of quick replies:

Here Comes The Sun

You are correct in that the first two notes of the riff are performed using a slide-up from the 2nd fret to the 4th fret, at least on the recorded version (and also George's live "Bangladesh" performance). That is, technically, the right way to do it, and if you have a full band backing you up, that's how you should do it. However, I'm a solo performer mostly writing for an audience of guitarists that I assume are also wanting to play these songs unaccompanied, so my approach is always going to be "how can we arrange this piece so that one person can squeeze in all of the parts?"

That's why my arrangement uses a slightly different voicing. It's easier to play when you're trying to execute the riff and also keep the chords in shape at the same time.

You Won't See Me

Same basic answer as above. The voicings you've provided are great for a lead guitarist who only needs to provide some "color" on top of a full backing band, and so much the better if you have a pianist to handle those tricky diminished chords. But most of us aren't in that position, so once again, my arrangement is intended for solo guitar, which means it has to include a way to play the diminished chord and still stay within a relatively consistent fret position.

Lovely Rita

What a cool video clip! I think that might be the first time I've seen Paul play a 12-string! My jury is out on what exactly happened to the original recording -- whether it got sped up or not -- but one thing I'm certain of is that the acoustic guitar part is playing E major voicings with the top B and E strings open. Perhaps they did indeed record the song in D, but with the acoustic guitar tuned down a full step (it wouldn't be the first time they used that trick) so that it's voiced in E.

A Hard Day's Night

I'm not touching that with a ten-foot pole. You can hear George's electric 12-string for sure, but it's hard to even make out a distinct acoustic guitar part, let alone say with certainty what chord John was playing. I'm only going based on what Randy Bachman reported after being allowed to listen to the original multi-track master. Either way, it's kind of a moot point, since what I'm after (again, as a solo guitarist playing without the benefit of a band) is how to replicate that opening chord as closely as possible with a single guitar.

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Not a bit like Cagney.

4 March 2017
7.37am
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Beatlebug
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Good to see you around again, @PeterWeatherby, and great site -- I've bookmarked it! 

apple01apple01apple01apple01apple01apple01

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It verges from the sublime to the ridiculote

Silly-Girl-2016.png Silly-Girl-2017.png bbbadge2018.jpg

New to Forumpool? You can introduce yourself here. 

4 March 2017
8.45am
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HMBeatlesfan
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For Here Comes The Sun , you're right, although if I were playing alone, I would just play one guitar part. For example, if I'm playing Sgt. Pepper 's Lonely Hearts Club Band, I'll just play Paul's lead part, which he played on his Fender Esquire, and imagine every other part in my head, combining guitar parts is challenging and is not what The Beatles intended, but I do respect the effort.

For You Won't See Me , if you want to actually play the Ddim chord, you could use this shaping:

Ddim%2fF.png?p=x-x-x-10-9-10&f=---213&s=2

For Lovely Rita , you said this:

Perhaps they did indeed record the song in D, but with the acoustic guitar tuned down a full step (it wouldn't be the first time they used that trick) so that it's voiced in E.

Which makes no sense for 2 reasons:

1. The song is in the key of Eb, so why would they detune their guitars to D only to speed it up a half step

2. They almost never detune their guitars, here's a list of songs where they ACTUALLY detuned their guitars before recording the song:

1. Act Naturally (Drop D on George's Gretsch)

2. Yesterday (D Standard)

3. Rain (AEAAC#E on George's SG)

4. Dear Prudence (Drop D for John's Casino and Acoustic Guitar)

5. I Will (D Standard)

6. Cry Baby Cry (D standard for outro)

7. I Want You (She's So Heavy) (Drop D for George's Les Paul during the outro)

8. For You Blue (Open D for John's slide guitar)

I can count those with my 2 hands and still have fingers to spare, songs like I'll Get You , Yellow Submarine , She Said She Said , Rain (John's Gretsch part), Strawberry Fields Forever , Revolution , and Across The Universe were originally played in E standard but then slowed down or sped up in the recording studio.

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Maybe you should try posting more.

4 March 2017
9.20am
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Ron Nasty
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@HMBeatlesfan said
...I can count those with my 2 hands and still have fingers to spare...

Not unless you call thumbs fingers. You listed eight, how many fingers do you have?

a-hard-days-night-george-10

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"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

 

The Beatles Non-Canon Poll List

4 March 2017
9.30am
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Shamrock Womlbs
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Love the site @PeterWeatherby, great work

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"I Need You by George Harrison"

8 March 2017
8.08pm
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HMBeatlesfan
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An update on a couple of new things:

1. Please don't use n/c when referring to single notes, do this instead.

G%20single.png?p=3xxxxx&f=1-----&s=2

Or this.

G.png?p=3xxxxx&f=1-----&s=2

2. For Strawberry Fields Forever , I'd like to help you out there. You seem unsure about a lot of stuff so here's the gist.

For John's rhythm on his Epiphone Casino and George's slide part the song was originally recorded in E standard with the key of C but slowed down 5 quarter steps down to D430 in the key of A#430, being tuned flat or sharp of standard tuning is actually more common than you think and some bands like AC/DC and Pantera deliberately tune to A430 instead of A440 whereas some bands do it by accident or speed manipulation, take Black Sabbath for example. Black Sabbath is in E standard but NIB is tuned down a quarter step, Paranoid is a quarter step sharp of E standard, Volume 4 is typically in-between C# and D, and Seventh Star was originally recorded in D# but the tapes were slowed down a quarter step. As for Paul's solo, you're guess is as good as mine for the tuning.

Also, I recommend you watch Beatles To A Tee, you can get it off torrents and it is probably the only guitar lesson video series that truly dedicates itself to accuracy and I take it seriously, although sadly Rob Taylor is very anonymous and I am unable to get the volume of Beatlology with him in it.

Maybe you should try posting more.

8 March 2017
10.45pm
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PeterWeatherby
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Thanks for the additional info -- I do remember reading that about "Strawberry Fields," now that you mention it.

I'll look into "Beatles to a Tee," sounds like a good get. As I said, I'm less interested in posting note-for-note tabs for one particular guitar part or another, and more about distilling everything down to solo acoustic guitar, but it's always good to have reference to something like that video set when questions arise.

Glad you're enjoying the web site.

Not a bit like Cagney.

11 March 2017
11.28am
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Dark Overlord
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I know you're not going for 100% accuracy but Michelle was recorded with a capo on the 5th fret, there is photographic evidence of this and it's the way Paul plays it.

d86265db896fb5877ed459053529a4e8.jpgImage Enlarger

As for the solo, I'm not sure whether or not it was recorded with a capo or not but since it's harder to play with a capo on, I'm assuming George didn't use one.

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If you're reading this, you are looking for something to do.

15 March 2017
12.54pm
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PeterWeatherby
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Cool picture! Wish I'd had that when I wrote the post originally, it's always nice to have a little photo evidence. As for the capo thing, I talk about the 5th fret vs 3rd fret, the way Paul plays it in concerts, and my reasons for choosing the 3rd fret anyway, in the second and third paragraphs of the article. 🙂

Not a bit like Cagney.

15 March 2017
2.43pm
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Dark Overlord
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I understand, it's just that I'm not big into the doing it a different way thing, I like to do stuff the way they actually did it.

If you're reading this, you are looking for something to do.

17 March 2017
2.05pm
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PeterWeatherby
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gettingbetter said
I understand, it's just that I'm not big into the doing it a different way thing, I like to do stuff the way they actually did it.  

I hear you. For me it really comes down to the sorts of opportunities I have when I'm playing. If I'm jamming with a group of players and they want to do a Beatles song, it's great to know all the solos and exact chord positions so I can just fill that stuff in while others play the chords.

Unfortunately I don't usually get to do that because I'm usually the only one playing in a sing-along type of setting. So I'm constantly looking at these songs from different angles and thinking, "ok, how do I slip a bit of the bass line in here, or how can I get close to playing single-note solos while my fingers are wrapped around a B7 chord?"

The song "Girl" is another one of those that's tough to do "as recorded." John's got his capo way up on the 8th fret or some such, which means you lose a ton of bass-y depth. And that really beautiful guitar duet at the end is, I think, played on guitars without capos, but if you're going to go that route, the chords get a bit nastier to finger. So I end up going for the middle ground and play it with a capo at the 3rd fret. You get the depth, and both parts of the duet can be played there while still hanging on to the rhythm track/chords.

But what's that old saying? You can't break the rules until you know the rules? Which is why it really helps to know the precise way they recorded the songs. Once you know some of that, it's easier to start finding variations that allow freedom to roam while still staying mostly faithful to the original.

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Not a bit like Cagney.

17 March 2017
6.18pm
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Dark Overlord
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I noticed for your article The constant D in Put It There, you labeled the chords like this:

C2 G/B D/A D(no3)

C2 G/B D/A D2 D

When you should've labeled them like this:

Cadd9 G/B D5/A D5

Cadd9 G/B D5/A Dsus2 D

Also, for Honey Pie , I always thought John played the G as a barred chord, not as an open G.

Also if you'd like some advice for a new article, you should do something on specific guitar models.

If you're reading this, you are looking for something to do.

22 March 2017
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PeterWeatherby
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Thanks for the notation notes -- I go back and forth with myself on stuff like that ("D5" vs "D(no3)") because I've seen it done both ways. I think in that specific case I was leaning towards the thought that "D5" might be more confusing. I don't know. Six of one ...

And I do believe you're correct about the G chord in Honey Pie being a barred chord. Come to think of it, I usually play it that way myself. Again, probably just leaning more towards "lowest common denominator" and hoping to inspire some beginners to give it a shot. Maybe in the future I should just notate it both ways and point out that one is more accurate, and one's easier to play (like I recently did with "Rain ").

I've been kicking around the idea of talking about guitar models a bit, but I haven't landed on a topic that makes sense yet. I mean, when you've got books and web sites out there like thebeatlesgear.com, what's left to say that could add to the conversation?

Although, here's a fun topic, perhaps: how many of The Beatles' guitars, early on, were poor quality? Paul has talked about how he could never keep his Hofner in tune, and I've heard not-great reviews of John's Framus 12-string, but it seems like they didn't really get too tripped up on stuff like that. Of course, later, they started getting nicer guitars -- Martin acoustics, a Rickenbacker bass, Fender Stratocasters, etc.

Not a bit like Cagney.

30 March 2017
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Dark Overlord
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Here's an idea for a new post:

You know the song Mr. Moonlight, that song that no one cares about, similar to When I Get Home or Hold Me Tight . Well, you've been playing it wrong. You see, most people put a capo on the 2nd fret and play it like so:

E chord

Esus4 chord

E|0-2-4|

A chord

E chord

Esus4 chord

C#m chord

B chord
A chord

E chord

Esus4 chord

E|0-2-4|

A chord

E chord
C#7 chord
F# chord
B chord

But in reality, they either detuned their guitars down a half step or slowed the tape down and used these positions:

Acoustic Rhythm Guitar (John Lennon ):

Verse:

G chord

C chord
G chord
Em chord
C chord
G chord

Chorus:

C chord

G chord
E7 chord
A chord
D chord

Lead Guitar (George Harrison ):

Verse:

G chord

Gsus4 chord

Gsingle chord

Asingle chord
Bsingle chord
C chord

G chord

Gsus4 chord

Em chord

D chord
C chord

G chord

Gsus4 chord

Gsingle chord

Asingle chord
Bsingle chord

Chorus:

C chord

G chord
E7 chord
A7 chord
D7 chord

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30 March 2017
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PeterWeatherby
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Interesting. As one of those songs that no one cares about, I think I've probably played this one ... rough estimate ... three times in thirty years? And you're correct, every time I've played it, it's been with a capo at the second fret.

As I listen to the recording, and especially to a lot of the early takes where the guitars are much more prominent, I'm wondering if they even played it with a capo. A lot of those voicings sound like fully fretted, barred chords. Not a lot of open-string twang going on there, if any at all. Sounds like a lot of partial chords, too.

The weird thing is that I'm definitely hearing two moving notes in that introductory F# to F#sus4 chord. Something like:

F%23.png?p=24432x&f=13421-&s=2

B%2fF%23.png?p=2x444x&f=1-333-&s=2
F%23.png?p=24432x&f=13421-&s=2

Of course, if that's the case, I'm sure there's some thumb-fretting going on with that low string.

Sure would be easier to play it de-tuned a half step, that's for certain.

Might have to give this a closer listen.

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Dark Overlord

Not a bit like Cagney.

31 March 2017
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Dark Overlord
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This is a case very similar to Black Sabbath's Solitude or Green Day's Uptight where there is now real way to confirm the tuning because they never played the song live or at the very least if they did there's no audio or video footage of it, so for these songs I do 3 things:

1. Consider what tuning(s) they were using at the time.

Black Sabbath's first 3 albums were in 3 different tunings. Black Sabbath was in EA430, Paranoid was in E450, and Master Of Reality was in C# except for After Forever which is in D (Sweet Leaf uses C# tuning despite popular belief).

Green Day used D# for Dookie and Insomniac, as well as Kerplunk (of which the tuning gets slightly flatter as you play through the album), but Nimrod is in E.

The Beatles typically used standard tuning and when they wanted a song detuned, they'd tune to standard anyways but have the tape slowed down.

2. Consider what chords would've been used for each tuning mentioned.

Solitude:

In E tuning, you have Gm and F, in D tuning, you have Am and G, in C# tuning, you have A#m and G#.

Uptight:

In E tuning, you have F#5, B5, C#5, and D#5, in D# tuning, you have G5, C5, D5, and E5.

Mr. Moonlight:

In E tuning, you have F#, B, D#m, D#7, G#, and C#, in D# tuning, you have G, C, Em, E7, A, and D.

3. Make an educated guess using this information.

Solitude is most likely in D because Am to G is a very normal chord progression whereas Gm to F is not a common progression and practically nobody uses an A#m to G# progression and in addition to this, After Forever is also in D tuning so it's likely that both of these songs were recorded during the same session.

Uptight is most likely in D# tuning because it would make more sense to use a G5 C5 D5 progression instead of an F#5 B5 C#5 one and also Green Day used this tuning entirely on their previous 3 albums, so it is very possible that they used it here as well.

Mr. Moonlight was most likely recorded in standard and dropped down half a step to D# because The Beatles are well known for doing that and the chord progressions fits a lot more nicely that way.

If you're reading this, you are looking for something to do.

3 April 2017
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PeterWeatherby
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I'm tracking with you 100%, @Dark Overlord -- and you've basically hit on the central issue(s) that I face as a solo performer, trying to find the balance between doing songs the way The Beatles did them, and being forced to alter things slightly here and there because I've only got one guitar to work with.

Most of the time I try to listen to the recordings and the outtakes as much as I can to isolate what's happening with the guitar(s), because I like to know what chord voicings they were using. The case of "Mr. Moonlight" is a tough one because, as you pointed out, the recorded key is murder on a guitarist. Did they really play this song in F# major? Probably, because no matter how tough that key is, the majority of the instrumentation isn't being performed on guitars. It's easier to play in F# on the organ or the bass than it is the guitar.

As a solo performer, I'd rather tune down a half step and play it in G, but then you have to decide whether it's more of a hassle to stop and re-tune everything than it is to deal with all those nasty F# major chord voicings. This is probably why the majority of people just capo up and play it in E major.

Alternately, if I'm going to hassle with tuning down a half-step (especially if I'm jamming with a bunch of people who just want to sing along), I like to as much bang for my buck as possible -- like, "ok, we're down a half-step now, so it's time to play all of the songs that fit this mode." That would include "Lovely Rita " and "I'm Only Sleeping ", not to mention "Yellow Submarine ." (I think I saw a songbook once that actually suggested playing "Yellow Submarine " capoed at the second fret in the key of E. Woof.)

Thankfully, nobody usually requests "Mr. Moonlight" when I'm in the middle of a singalong jam. (Unlike, say, "Yesterday " -- super popular tune, but it's always a matter of "hang on, let me just re-tune everything.")

Not a bit like Cagney.

3 April 2017
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Dark Overlord
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Or just do what Tony Iommi does and play it as if you're guitar is tuned properly so it sounds sharp or flat.

To be honest, I think Black Sabbath's first 2 albums sound better in Eb than E anyways, gives them a darker and heavier sound, although detuning doesn't always make a song heavier, remember that.

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