Saturday, September 26, 2009

Learning Guitar With the Beatles

By Keith Dean

There seems to be yet another resurgence in the popularity of the Beatles. I say "yet another" because, since the mid-eighties, there have been new Beatles explosions every decade or so. Recently, the launch of a new video game, of which sales are skyrocketing, and the re-release of the complete Beatles catalog, all digitally re-mastered have served to expose the music of John, Paul, George and Ringo to another whole new generation.

And for those of us who can still remember listening to "Love Me Do" through the scratchy speaker of a transistor AM radio, all this Beatles hoopla opens a floodgate of memories and re-ignites our passion for the Fab Four.

One of my earliest childhood musical memories was listening to my mother's 45 RPM record of "I Want to Hold Your Hand". And I have admittedly been a die hard fan ever since. Years later, when I started playing guitar, it was a natural gravitation toward learning the songs of the Beatles that - in retrospect several decades later - had a profound effect on my playing and songwriting.

A beginning guitar student could do a lot worse than strive to learn the music of the Beatles. With styles ranging from the simplicity of the early Liverpool days, to the psychedelic orchestrations of the latter years, there is a wealth of guitar chords, progressions, lead licks, and song structure to be gleaned from a study their music.

Whether your parents let you stay up late to watch the "British Invasion" on Ed Sullivan, or you are hounding your parents to buy you the re-mastered collection - guitar players of all generations would be well served to devote a good portion of study time to one of the most legendary groups in modern history - The Beatles.

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Keith Dean is founder of and a 30 veteran of stage and studio. He toured extensively as a road musician throughout the US and Europe, was a former lead guitarist for Jason Aldean and has shared stages with Little Big Town, Wild Rose, Winger, Confederate Railroad and more. He is a published songwriter, owned and operated a successful music store, and has instructed numerous students in guitar.

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