The Top Five Very Best Beatles Songs To Learn On Guitar

Published: 08th December 2011
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Everyone understands just how incredible the Beatles songwriting and recording abilities were. But have you thought about their guitar work? You need to. Do you realize that the Beatles actually had three top-notch guitar players-George, John, and Paul-all of whom routinely switched off on guitar? If you want to master the Beatles approach to guitar, you need to learn songs by each Beatle guitarist. Also, you'll want to learn both acoustic and electric-based songs. In this article, I've listed some of the best Beatles songs to learn. I've included some electric and some acoustic ones. I've also included some by each of the three guitar players.

Song 1. Yesterday

Yesterday was written by Paul McCartney. He played the acoustic guitar on the song too. Paul was a really good at playing and singing at the same time--which he does on this recording. Actually, Paul is the only Beatle on this track. (The strings were added after the fact as an overdub.) Yesterday is not a really difficult tune to play, and it is also the most covered songs in rock 'n roll history...making it an ideal track to learn on guitar. Yesterday is well suited for the more skilled guitarist. It's got some striking chord changes, great rhythm, as well as some very good guitar licks for those who can pay attention to the phrasing. It is my pick for one of the finest Beatles songs for an acoustic guitarist to know. Since it is so accessible for the beginning guitar player, Yesterday ranks at the top of my list.

2: Hard Days Night

John Lennon wrote A Hard Day's Night right away to be sure it would be the title song for the movie. George Harrison plays the intro and outro using the electric guitar. The steadiness of the song's main rhythm can be ascribed to Lennon's acoustic guitar section. A Hard Day's Night opens with arguably the most famous guitar chord in rock and roll. The jangly Fadd9 chord rings from George's twelve string Rickenbacker (with backing from John's acoustic and Paul's bass), demanding your attention. This song (as well as the movie) stirred an entire generation. Quite a few band members mention A Hard Day's Night as being the reason they 1st picked up instruments and established bands. This song can be quite entertaining to play--right from the initial chord.

3. I Want To Hold Your Hand

I Want To Hold Your Hand is possibly the best early Beatles tune. It is without a doubt one of my personal favorites. I Want To Hold Your Hand was a true face-to-face (or as John describes it: "eyeball to eyeball") collaboration. John and Paul wrote this song in the basement of Jane Asher's parents' house. The recording differentiates George's guitar from Lennon's six string by panning 1 to the left side and 1 to the right ear. This 100 percent panning makes it easy to easily distinguish the parts. Also, the tune's electricity is amazing.

Song 4. While My Guitar Gently Weeps

George Harrison composed While My Guitar Gently Weeps, and invited Eric Clapton to play lead guitar on the track. This song makes my "best of" list because it has something for every type of guitarist.

Have you heard the performance of this song from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame DVD? It was performed there by the make-shift supergroup of Dhani Harrison (George's son), Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Prince. Prince's solo will rip your face off! I'd definitely recommend that you check it out.

Song 5. Blackbird

Blackbird is a McCartney tune that features Paul performing and performing acoustic guitar all at once. The percussion you hear is Paul's foot keeping the time while he plays and sings. The somewhat tough guitar work on this amazing track is probably not suited for beginning players. I would personally recommend it for intermediate and professional guitar players, however. In Blackbird, McCartney's showcases his acoustic guitar playing--especially the arpeggiated technique he developed while in India. Just as John picked up a few tips from Donovan (see Across the Universe), Paul was not to be outdone. The result is what you hear in Blackbird.

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