JJ Rocks Article # 137:
From St. Croix Muic Magazine, Issue # 28, January 2009
There is one musical fact that many players don’t realize. Before the Beatles came along most of the pop music that blasted across the airwaves consisted of mostly typical 1-4-5, 1-6-2-5, and other very standard progressions. Using major 2 chords, diminished, augmented, or even changing keys for a few measures were only expressed by jazz groups and some of the more refined R+B acts. And even though some of the Beatles first songs went for the norm, they still had a few that broke the boundaries of Elvis from the waist up and the early surf tunes.
Now everyone knows that not long after the Beatles busted onto the music scene they started to widen the boundaries of the way that songs were written. Their vocal harmonies that would over lap and intertwine like threads in a modern day musical tapestry that was full of colors and dimensions that were unheard of at that time and even today.
I really feel that it is essential for the blossoming musician to learn at least a few Beatles tunes. They should start with at least two of their earlier songs to get the feel for their roots in early rock and roll, then move up to a few that were released in the middle of their careers to study their growth and experimentation, then try out a couple from Sgt. Peppers and Abby Road to finish up the lesson. But please don’t just use tabs or other written music! You have to let the music into your soul and the only way to do that is with intense listening sessions. Don’t cut yourself short.
Once you do I’m guessing that most of you “true” up and coming musicians out there won’t stop at that point but will continue to study one of the greatest musical phenomena’s of the 20th century. And that goes for you singers also! Don’t forget, there were no pitch correctors or fancy digital toys to help them out. What you hear is what they were. And even with George Martin’s great productions and arrangements, underneath it all was four musicians who were more concerned with the total sum of their music rather than their individual egos or musical abilities. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for another Beatles to come along any more that I would another Beethoven, so don’t pass up the chance to let them pass on their accomplishments to your musical education.
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JJ Rocks Article # 137: