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#1
I've heard in a few interviews that the Beatles were not the greatest guitar players in the world nor could they even read music, so what made them so good at making music then? What did they have that others did not?
#4
They had a good ear, used rather simple concepts(tho some songs do a lot of niice complex stuff)...George Harrison said in an interview that he hardly practiced the guitar and just wrote stuff, though he said it's one of his regrets that he didn't know his instrument better.

Never underestimate a good ear and creative minds put together.
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#5
they werent great musicians, but they were amazing songwriters
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#6
Quote by rojomeansred
I highly doubt they couldn't read music.
They were so good I'm assuming because they knew their theory!


I've read (and heard multiple times) that the only beatle to know how to read/write music was Paul. They had a good sense of music theory, but not on a written level.
#7
Quote by LoneWanderer13
They had a good sense of music theory, but not on a written level.
yup, I'd have to agree.
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#8
Quote by KryptNet


Never underestimate a good ear and creative minds put together.


this is really what it all comes down to anyway. Even if you know theory.
shred is gaudy music
#9
Quote by rojomeansred
I highly doubt they couldn't read music.
They were so good I'm assuming because they knew their theory!
My guess is that they didn't know standardized names. They would say something like, "Hey, I'm playing a C major scale over an Em chord and it sounds kinda Spanishy!" While we all know this is E Phrygian, they would only know it as "Spanish Sound." Nonetheless, they would be able to apply it and make a great song due to having great ears and creative minds.


This is just an example. I can't even think of any Beatles songs that use Phrygian!
#10
They used all sorts of modulations and non-diatonic chords i thought. Although i don't think they even knew what is was they were doing.
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#11
they could write catchy melodies with simple ideas, and they did it a lot. they also pioneered different recording techniques, instruments, etc.
#12
Quote by DominoK
What made them so good at making music then? What did they have that others did not?


Nothing. They wrote easily accessible music that people could relate to. That's it.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#13
Quote by Archeo Avis
Nothing. They wrote easily accessible music that people could relate to. That's it.



wow. thats it eh?
shred is gaudy music
#14
Quote by GuitarMunky
wow. thats it eh?


Yes.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#15
Quote by Archeo Avis
Yes.



I dont think so man.

Quote by DominoK
I've heard in a few interviews that the Beatles were not the greatest guitar players in the world nor could they even read music, so what made them so good at making music then? What did they have that others did not?


actually they were decent players, and quite talented musicians / artists.

What did they have that others did not?.... plenty. But its not something you can just get a list of .... and then acquire.

Try listening to their music. If you dig it, youll get something out of it. (ofcourse the same goes for any music).

You would really have to have your head up your ass to think they were just average musicians that stuck to accessible pop songs because of their lack of talent. As if they would have wrote Innaccessible music.... if they just had the talent for it.

You dont get to be one of the most commercially successful, and critically acclaimed bands without having something special to offer in the musical talent department.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Mar 22, 2008,
#16
no way man, look at a song like I Want You that uses all kinds of tricky jazz inspired chords. abbey road is probably one of the most musically 'advanced' pop records ever made.
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#17
Quote by Archeo Avis
Yes.
I disagree Archeo. Sure John Lennon said, "we're the toppermost of the poppermost." And they were...but fanatical idolatry of their music has underscored their writing abilities. If you happen to like the beatles and listen to White Album or Abbey Road you would be surprised. Even tho the White Album was full of strangeness, one could attribute that to "jamming out" and coming up with strange sounds that worked. But not Abbey Road because that album was conceptualized/composed. I'll say it in a quote:
As an academic underneath it all, Pollack can't help but address the snobbery and skepticism often adopted toward pop music in the academic milieu . His "Notes On..." can be seen at times as a passionate vindication of the Beatles' material as being worthy of serious scholarship. Pollack uses academic tools to document the Beatles' iconoclastic tendencies as composers. The band itself had a love-hate relationship with previously established harmonic rules and conventions of composing, and Pollack's work highlights the specific harmonic and melodic idiosyncrasies that make their work unique and groundbreaking.


It's not Tchaikovsky, but I'll be damned if they were just pop.
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#18
Quote by Takendergib
no way man, look at a song like I Want You that uses all kinds of tricky jazz inspired chords. abbey road is probably one of the most musically 'advanced' pop records ever made.


Exactly. They did so many different things. And if you check out some of their chord progressions, they are not all really that simple, when you compare them to other pop songs.

The Beatles were incredibly smart and gifted artists.
shred is gaudy music
#19
They were all really great players. People today just judge players by how fast they play. Those guys were serious performers and writers who got great by playing A LOT. They played 6 or 7 hours a day, seven days a week as a band in Hamburg. If you really listen to their music you can tell that these guys were pros - extremely solid players. Yeah they didn't shred, but that's not the point.
#20
Quote by GuitarMunky
Exactly. They did so many different things. And if you check out some of their chord progressions, they are not all really that simple, when you compare them to other pop songs.

The Beatles were incredibly smart and gifted artists.

they also used alot of "wierd" (read, harder to grip) chords in alot of their songs, u may not hear the complexity, but anyone trying to play these songs the way they did will recognize it
#21
If you think about it, they were not your average pop stars, after a certain time they were high often, and the music suffered, there music was sometimes band from the radio because of possible drug references. However they were pop with the meaning of the word, i.e. Popular Music, and it was popular... because they were good musicians and song writers.
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#22
Quote by ChemicalFire
If you think about it, they were not your average pop stars, after a certain time they were high often, and the music suffered, there music was sometimes band from the radio because of possible drug references. However they were pop with the meaning of the word, i.e. Popular Music, and it was popular... because they were good musicians and song writers.

to be fair, alot of their best work was from their drug usage (inspired by it anyway)

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#24
Quote by nt1440
to be fair, alot of their best work was from their drug usage (inspired by it anyway)
and remember that whole spiritual re-awakening with their whole trip to India. But it's still debatable. Sometimes music+drugs=cool stuff and sometimes it = sad decline.

I'm just a passing fan of the Beatles but my sister's Beatlemania has enabled me to know all these technical things I wouldn't/didn't care to know.
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#25
They used a lot of interesting chord progressions and substitutions and pioneered a lot of recording and production techniques that are common today.
#26
Quote by Archeo Avis
Nothing. They wrote easily accessible music that people could relate to. That's it.


And they were original and revolutionary, which is why their "accessible music that people could relate to" was so successful.
#28
i would suggest that they were superb at what they did.even simple themes were constructed in layers of changing and evolving counter melodies,and unexpected instrumentation,etc so that by the time you heard the whole song a lot had happed.they may not have had a background in the classics or berklee but they really did know how to put together great albums.these days music has become just so much wallpaper to use as a background noise for doing other stuff like driving.most of what they did from revolver and rubber soul up to the white album(i really cant include most of let it be but thats just me) is well worth a real listen,with no distractions,and played through something a lot more hi fi than ipods and the like.....and yes sir george martin played a huge role
#29
The beatles are the perfect example that theory aint everything. they wrote how they felt and focused on making cool melodies and experimenting with chords and arrangements.
#30
Quote by Tophue
The beatles are the perfect example that theory aint everything. they wrote how they felt and focused on making cool melodies and experimenting with chords and arrangements.


For the love of...

Theory is descriptive. It's impossible to write "with" or "without" theory.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#31
Quote by Tophue
The beatles are the perfect example that theory aint everything. they wrote how they felt and focused on making cool melodies and experimenting with chords and arrangements.


this is true.
shred is gaudy music
#32
Quote by Tophue
The beatles are the perfect example that theory aint everything. they wrote how they felt and focused on making cool melodies and experimenting with chords and arrangements.
can you make that into "the study of theory ain't everything" and i would wholeheartedly agree with you.
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#33
what made the beatles so great ?you ask.they have all the best pop melodies,give em three chords and they'll write you a million different songs.
#34
I don't know. I've never really managed to wrap my head around the general perception of them as "geniuses". When I watch Paul McCartney in an interview, the first thing that comes to mind isn't "genius", rather "pop star with annoying accent."

I like some of there stuff, they really did manage to cover a wide spectrum of sound with their music, but... genius??

Goo goo gajoob.
#35
i donno, abbey road was pretty close to genius as well as sgt peppers.

but ya it may be a wee bit strong of a word. that word belongs to one and only one man, a man whos name rhymes with endrix

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#36
Quote by Takendergib
i donno, abbey road was pretty close to genius as well as sgt peppers.

but ya it may be a wee bit strong of a word. that word belongs to one and only one man, a man whos name rhymes with endrix


Don't get me started. Hendrix is famous because the eras zeitgeist was receptive to change and the style of music he was creating. He is not the pinnacle of guitar playing brilliance.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#37
Quote by Archeo Avis
Don't get me started. Hendrix is famous because the eras zeitgeist was receptive to change and the style of music he was creating. He is not the pinnacle of guitar playing brilliance.


thats a matter of opinion.

I think he was quite a brilliant player, and a very creative artist.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Mar 23, 2008,
#38
his guitar playing is the most sensitive i've ever heard, he had the ability to play what he thought on the fly...but ya lets not get started because i'll defend the man to the death.
A fool is not one who makes a mistake, a fool is one who does not learn from it.
-me HAH!
#39
Quote by Takendergib
his guitar playing is the most sensitive i've ever heard, he had the ability to play what he thought on the fly...but ya lets not get started because i'll defend the man to the death.


YOUVE EVER HEARD, is key.

You have not heard every guitarist in the world, so its hard to judge. Also, Hendrix is only considered "great" because the people who call him that are only comparing him to other mainstream guitarists. Then it is understandable that people can think he was great, but in comparison to A LOT of unknown guitarists he is no where near "great"
#40
i think the beatles were good, very good. You can't really deny that for too long before being ripped to pieces by their fans.

However, the general public and the media tend to find a band/artist they like a bit and go crazy over them while a band that is just as good might never become famous just because they were heard less/were less lucky, ect.

Also, i've heard a lot of people say that no modern band compares to the beatles because no band has ever got that big or had such a massive amount of fans, or the bands that do are dismised for being too simple. I think a few modern bands are better than the beatlles but due to the diversity of music nowdays very few good (imo) bands get that many fans.
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