Playing Beatle songs on guitar not so simple. From Quora

by | Mar 23, 2023 | Uncategorized

Barry Bynum · 

Guitarist, songwriter, studio producer/engineerUpdated Nov 8

Which is the toughest Beatles song on guitar?

A couple come to mind. Qualifier: I’ll add this to the question (as I assume it is implied) … “To play correctly and well?…”

All sorts of Beatles guitar parts get butchered worldwide daily. I have sometimes been guilty out of convenience or laziness. Since I pretty much play at pro level, most of the parts, for me, can be mastered as far as playing the notes. Ah but HOW you play them. That’s the proverbial carrot. More careful examination shows they all played with more finesse than you would first notice. The odd one is John. He goes from being a sloppy strummer to brilliant chordist and back again (sometimes in the same song). He loves to make a joke out of anything and it shows in his music here and there. So here’s my top 3:

“Because” this song has brilliant theory, unique triad flip-overs, common drone note hangovers and some of the weirdest fingerings I’ve ever used. But for him it was very natural.

“Revolution” (the single) oh Barry surely you jest. It’s just a rehash of a boogie of “Really Got a Hold On Me” right? (I refer to the sort of live video released around the time of the single) Listen and watch closely. That rhythm part is very intricate and harmonically fascinating. He’s using up the neck major chords against open strings through a thrashing fuzz tone pedal (or distorted channel of a mixing desk) and he played into the distortion’s reaction to this in a very exact way. Not all that easy to get it just right.

“I Feel Fine” (John’s intro and continuing rhythm) discussed above. Again not easy to make it sound right. There has to be a certain bounciness created by partial damping. Also the “swing” in the (supposed) 8th notes is a bit unusual. There’s a little Buddy Holly in there, and a Chet Atkins-esque approac to the note pattern, a pattern not unlike English folk fingerpicking but with a plectrum. So he’s arranged a collision between 3 musical forms here. I’m a very skilled and experienced guitarist, and getting that to work just right, is a challenge.

There’s my 3 examples of “its not just playing the notes” and it’s how you play them.


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