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Learn Guitar: Play Beatles Songs On Guitar
At some point of your guitar playing career, you will discover
The Beatles, in fact some players never recover from this
intoxicating musical experience.
It's hard to imagine the musical world without this famous group.
Whether you are an ardent Beatles fan or a working musician in a
cover's band it's important to able to authentically play some
There has been hundreds of articles, books etc written about The
Beatles telling the reader "what" the Beatles did, I'm going to
approach The Beatles music from a different perspective and look
at "why" they did it.
By understanding "why" a particular group chose certain musical
resources the guitarist/musician moves from merely imitating a
sound to being able to create his or her own sound based on
proven time tested musical examples and formulas... and as we all
know The Beatles formula certainly works!
As most guitarists own an acoustic guitar the following tips are
offered primarily in mind, however these ideas can be applied to
electric guitar as well.
Tip 1. Blues progressions
Often guitarists underestimate the importance of learning
recognizing blues chord progressions by ear, in fact the term
'Blues' often conjures up images of smokey jazz clubs etc.,
something that the rock or pop guitarist may have no particular
interest in at present.
It's important to keep in mind how groups like the Beatles learnt
their craft. Countless hours of jamming with a good dose of blues
chord progressions resulting in songs such as:
Boys/ Chains/ Dizzy Miss Lizzy and Money (That's What I Want)
In addition to these blues based original compositions The
Beatles or individual members of The Beatles often recorded
cover versions of well known blues based tunes such as Kansas
City and Be Bop A Lula (By Paul McCartney -Unplugged Album).
Tip 2. Harmonized scale
The Beatles are a very interesting group to study because of
their mixture of blues styled songs blended with traditional
classical music principals.
Whereas the blues scale is one of the most unique and frequently
used scale in pop/ rock music because of it's flexibility and
feeling The Beatles were aware of the benefit of using
contrasting musical material that stem from European musical
culture i.e., the European diatonic scales.
Listen to the final set of chords in "Let It Be" and you will
hear a good example of how Paul McCartney harmonized scale in the
descending chord progression.
"Let It Be" is in the key of C Major which produces the following
chords: C major / D minor/ E minor/ F major/ G major/ A minor/ B
As example of how Paul applies the harmonized scale would be if
the basic chord progression is F major to C major, Paul would
often play: F major to E minor then D minor and finally arrive at
As you can see he simply played the two minor chords that exist
in between the F major chord and the C major.
Tip 3. Slash chords
This is a favorite of the Beatles, a slash chord is written in
the following manner: A/B
In this example the chord is represented by the first letter
whilst the second letter identifies the specific bass note the
composer wants to hear.
Therefore our chord would be an "A" major chord with a "B" note
in the bass.
Have a listen to "The Long And Winding Road" for a classic
example of this ambiguous sounding chord.
After the lyrics ... "The Long And Winding Road", you will hear
two chords, that's our slash chords.
There's a wealth of rich chord progressions and musical ideas in
the music of The Beatles waiting to be discovered by the
guitarist with an inquiring mind. Persistent, patient study will
reveal many new sounds that can be applied to all styles of
How to Play Guitar
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