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San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
5 Posts
6 October 2012 - 4.09am

Dear BEATLES Fans,

At the end of "Fixing A Hole", the backing vocals sound like the harmonies are created on kazoos. Is this just some more "Sgt. Pepper" / George Martin producing wizardry, OR are they actually using kazoos?

I noticed on this site that kazoos are not listed for "Fixing A Hole" as one of the instruments used. However, "paper and comb" are listed for "Lovely Rita".

Does anyone else hear what I'm talking about? Please explain.

Thanks in advance for your help,


My ALL TIME FAVORITE fortune found in a cookie after dining out at a Chinese restaurant:

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

666 Posts
6 October 2012 - 4.31am

I nominate this as "Weirdest First Post Ever".


Welcome Fab4Fan.  I have no answer to your unusually-specific question.  


But it's nice to have you here.

The following people thank SatanHimself for this post:

Silly Girl

E is for 'Ergent'.

68 Posts
6 October 2012 - 8.00am

That is interesting, I had never even thought of that until you brought it up.  So! I looked up the isolated vocals, and I think its just vocals with some studio work on them.  If you listen right at the end the lower harmony misses his note too.  But hey, be the judge for yourself.  Hope it helps :)

The following people thank linkjws for this post:

81 Posts
13 October 2012 - 9.23am

Oh Man, linkjws, hearing that isolated Paul vocal is absolutely AWESOME! I cannot wait to hear more of these, I had no clue about them, and your YouTube link has made my weekend. I'm an older guy, and haven't adapted to computers as well as most people, but I'm just knowledgable enough to keep about a year or so behind in finding new information off the internet; so, while most of you are probably more familiar with what to keep up with online, it's links like this that people like linkjws share with fans like me on a site like this that gives me info I wouldn't get otherwise, or in any quicker time. So thanks a lot for this.

"Fixing A Hole" is a fundamental cornerstone of the entire Sgt Pepper foundation, alongside "Within You Without You," "Lucy In the Sky..," and "A Day In The Life." The abstract disconnection, the dream-like flow and meandering wordplay, equal to the best 'Lennonisms' on this or any other LP, with that searing, determined guitar rip from George, out of the ether and just- so perfect.

But Paul is at his most accomplished vocal ability on this track, on this album. Even with some double-tracking flubs, that near-final line, "I'm taking the time -- for a number of things, that weren't important --yesterday" - the world-weariness and resignation in his voice .."and I still go-ohohohoo..."


For what it's worth, Fab4Fan, I definitely hear a "paper and comb"- sounding effect right before the last refrain; given the kazoo's unstable ability to maintain consistency in audio volume, due to the restrained and understated expulsion of low breath in emitting the subdued and controlled backing sound effect, I was able to form a comfortable supposition that utilization of kazoo or kazoo-related instrumentation was not employed; however, upon repeated replays of what I had initially believed to be the more plausible "paper and comb" accompaniment applied to the "Lovely Rita" recording (an entirely separate incident that is way too graphic and unsettling to recount here), I have concluded that..

it is neither.

Upon the most intense inspection, I find the culprit of this paper/comb/kazoo or kazoo-related effect is, in fact, the metallic edges of Ringo's 'drum brushes', casually sweeping the surface of what is most likely his snare drum, a common effect used in jazz trio instrumentals with piano and standup bass, giving a feeling of rhythm without relying on an audible 'beat', to put it simply.

Well, 4:21am here, I suppose there's some sleeping or similarly-restful activity I should be attending to.


19089 Posts
13 October 2012 - 11.52am

A very clever individual called Helter Skelter set up a blog that analysed the rock band tracks, put each individual song's tracks (eg track 1 rhythm section, track 2 vocals, tracks 3 harmonies, track 4 overdubs) back together in the right place, and made them all available to download. He got thru all of Rubber Soul, most of Pepper & a few other tracks before life got busy.

Its more, far more, than isolating the multitracks which every one can do and are everywhere and a joy to behold. Well worth taking the time to collect and digest.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

68 Posts
13 October 2012 - 4.45pm

I am glad you enjoyed that so much Wildcat :)  The individual tracks make me incredibly happy to hear too.  On some you can hear the boys messing around (on You Never Give Me Your Money you can hear Paul humming the guitar line before the "One sweet dream" part).  And you can use them to practice parts around.  I downloaded a lot of them so that I had them, and learned the Electric Piano, Guitar, and Bass parts to "I Am The Walrus" to the orchestra and drum track since I could not play those myself.  


Also that is a very cool link MMM, I am reading about it now.  Very interesting to read what this guy pieces together about the songs.


And I would have to listen more to get a feel as to what exactly fab4fan is talking about because I feel like I am missing it.  Drum brushes?  Kazoos?  I'll have to dig deeper haha

Ahhh Girl
sailing on a winedark open sea

12415 Posts
29 May 2015 - 7.56pm

According to this article, we don't really know who plays the harpsichord on this this song. Joe lists George Martin at the person playing it. Do we know for sure it is george-martin?


19089 Posts
29 May 2015 - 8.28pm

John C. Winn has it as George Martin in 'That Magic Feeling';

The backing, consisting of Paul playing bass, Ringo on drums, and George Martin on harpsichord, went onto track 1, while Paul’s guide vocal and some rhythm guitar (John or George) went onto track 3. This was perfected in three takes, the second of which was “best.” Backing vocals were added to track 4, and someone played a guitar solo on track 2. Mark Lewisohn and George Martin both claim this to be the work of George, but another source suggests it was Paul, playing hisEpiphone Casino guitar through his ancient El Pico amplifier.

. In 'Recording Sessions' Lewisohn doesnt mention the line-up by name but writes 

fah.JPGImage Enlarger

The following people thank meanmistermustard for this post:

Matt Busby

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

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