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Best guitar for playing Beatles songs?
Abbey Road
12 Posts
10 November 2013 - 6.06pm

Sorry if this thread is in the wrong forum. I'm still somewhat new and i'm still learning the ropes of how everything here operates.

Anyways, i'm a huge Beatles fan (as you can probably tell) and they have inspired me to take up the guitar. Naturally i'd want to begin by learning to play Beatles songs. So i was wondering, whats the best budget minded guitar for playing their music? 

Keep in mind that i'm kind of poor at the moment so i don't have a whole lot of money to shell out. If i did, i'd simply get an Epiphone Casino or some other expensive replica. a-hard-days-night-paul-11

Any and all opinions are welcome and i appreciate any advice. Thanks. a-hard-days-night-paul-8

Funny Paper
2080 Posts
10 November 2013 - 6.58pm

Good question.  Unfortunately, though I've been playing acoustic guitar for like 30 years, I'm pretty ignorant of general information about the subject.  My guitar is a Martin copy made by some Japanese company, and it has done me well all these years (amazingly, it seems to sound better now than before).  I'd say, if you are starting out, it doesn't matter, so go for the cheapest brand you have to buy.  The actual similarity of sound comparing your playing with the records I think is not that important -- what's more important is getting the fingering and chords down.  Once you start getting better over time, and if you have more money, you can graduate to something more in tune with what Paul, John and/or George were playing at different points in their careers.

I don't know what type of guitar Paul was playing at different points in his career.  My fan interest just isn't technically geeky that way; and when one of my friends who is more inclined that way tells me "Oh, Paul was playing an XYZ during his Ram days" I say "Oh, that's interesting" then I forget what he told me the next week...

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...

coming in through the bathroom window
2098 Posts
10 November 2013 - 7.59pm

I've been trying to learn for about a year.  Beatles stuff is not the easiest to learn I have found, seeing as they were damn good musicians.  

I have a few guitars…  one is an acoustic that is too big, one is my dad's old electric, and the other is a smaller acoustic that sounds like shit.  It is my goal to buy a new guitar in the new year that is still a bit smaller but sounds better.  In my opinion it will make a big difference.  I want to love my guitar.

Some easier Beatles songs to learn are (mostly based on the chords, not the rhythm):


Hope this helps.  Also, welcome to the forum!  a-hard-days-night-john-1

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"


666 Posts
10 November 2013 - 9.43pm

The best guitar is the one you enjoy playing.  It can be acoustic or electric, a $5000 custom Les Paul or a $50 one out of the Sears catalogue.  It doesn't matter.  

Learning to play comes before getting too preferential about what you're playing on.

E is for 'Ergent'.

175 Posts
11 November 2013 - 6.17am

And now a technical post a-hard-days-night-john-6


So in the early period (1963 - 1964) the guitar sound was much "cleaner" and "twangier"; not much distortion/overdrive used. This can be achieved with a very cheap guitar if you use the bridge pick up, (the one at the end, furthest from the neck). These songs are mainly chordal and the solos are very, very simple. 

In the middle era (1965 - 1967) you use much more distortion and special effects. The sitar sound can be achieved by using a slide, and again, the bridge pick up. This time a lot more studio effects were in use during the songs so it won't be as easy to replicate them live. Although, the use of a Wah-Wah peddle might come in handy.

In the later era (1968 - 1970) the a more "dirtier", "gravely", "crunchy" sound to the guitar tone. There is not as much effects here so it wuld be a good idea to play these ones.#

And on to equipment: For the guitar I'd recommend a telecaster as it pretty much handles all three stages. (the stratocaster is too twangy for middle or late and the les paul is too "heavy".) But, then again, it is all up to you :)

"White Album - My joint-fave Beatles album along with Revolver. They show the two sides of Beatles. Revolver's very controlled - even though it's also very innovative. The White Album's playful and almost ramshackle. It's like a scrapbook kept by a genius. Fantastic stuff."

Hershey via Boston
1556 Posts
11 November 2013 - 4.24pm

I find that with the 2 guitars I currently own (Rickenbacker 360 and Epiphone Dot 335), by playing around with the pickup tones, my amp (Vox), and pedals, I can achieve lots of those sounds. Well that, and the *way* I play them. Remember, regardless of what gear one uses, it's ultimately the player themselves who makes the sounds.

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"


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Sitting in an English garden
2929 Posts
11 November 2013 - 6.08pm

Don't really know about the more techie side of things, but here's my little bit of know:

1. Surely it depends on the type of song more than anything?

2. As SH said above, one you feel at ease holding. The neck of my guitar is quite narrow, which is good for me because that means I can get my small hands around it properly. My tutor's guitar has a better sound, but has a wider neck, meaning I can never get my fingers to go all around it. If it fits comfortably when you just hold it, it'll make playing it a lot easier.

Oh, and this if absolutely fine here. Welcome to the site. If you haven't already, you can introduce yourself to everyone over on the 'Introduce Yourself' thread, under 'All Together Now'. apple01

Moving along in our God given ways, safety is sat by the fire/Sanctuary from these feverish smiles, left with a mark on the door.

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