The George Harrison Guitar Stylings Fueled Beatlemania-Here's Why!
The George Harrison guitar style never received the acclaim he was due as the lead guitarist for
“The World's Most Famous Band The Beatles.”.
The Beatles were an English Band formed in Liverpool in 1960.And the George Harrison guitar
stylings were an integral part of the Beatles sound. George played lead guitar with The Beatles
and also wrote some of the bands greatest hits like “Something,”.Here Comes the Sun,”and
While my Guitar Gently Weeps”
After the Beatles George had a successful solo career writing songs such as “My Sweet Lord,”
“What is Life,” and “Isn't it a Pity” among others. And in the late 1980”s he formed the
Supergroup the Traveling Wilburys whose members also included Bob Dylan,Roy Orbison,
Tom Petty,and Jeff Lynne.
OK...I'm going to talk about the George Harrison guitar style during his Beatle days.
Mr. Harrison was a very versatile,tasteful guitarist he was equally adapt at performing
Country influenced guitar playing as he was at playing rock and he also plays good slide
The George Harrison guitar playing style encompassed alot of musical styles...for example
listen to George on the ballad “Till There Was You” I think he plays it in the key of F,
it starts out with a 1 V1 11 V intro...A - 1 - 6 - 2 - 5 - intro...what the H*** does
that mean? OK...fooled ya huh? This is a very common chord progression in popular music and
jazz. I'll give you a brief explanation.
I'm going by musical scale tones here F..G..A..Bb..C..D..E..then back to F.... In the key of F....
F would be the 1 chord...D7 would be the V1 chord...Gm7 would be the 11 chord...and C7
would be the V chord...the one,six,two,five is written out in roman numerals
In “Till There Was You” The Beatles use some common substitutions the intro is a 6 string F chord
played on the 1st fret....and substituting for the D7 a F#dim with the F# note played on the 6th string
2nd fret and then the Gmin7 with the G note played on the 6th string 3rd fret and then the C7 or V chord played on the
So as you can see diminished chords can sometimes be substituted for Dominant 7th or
7 +9 or 9 or 13 chords depending on the harmony of the song.
Anyways...listen to the George Harrison guitar sound as he plays The solo in “Till There Was You”
See how he seemlessly weaves the single string notes over the intro and then into the verse
where he introduces single string notes with some jazz chords. Sounds deceptively simple
doesn't it? Such was the beauty of the George Harrison guitar style.
George was just an all around good guitarist,never flashy or showy it wasn't in his demeanor.
But he was absolutely perfect and essential for the Beatles. Listen to the classic Beatle
intros most of them were played by George He came up with some ultimate guitar lick
intros.Remember?“Eight Days a Week,” “I Feel Fine,” “A Hard Days Night,”
“If I Needed Someone,” the list goes on and on. Listen to the song “Devil in Her Heart”
George does some extensive use of 3rd intervals in his guitar fill in work and it sounds great.
Another neat George Harrison guitar lick is the open string riff he plays near the end of
“ Strawberry Fields Forever” in the key of A. He hits the open 5 string A note and while letting
it ring...then hits the D note on the 2nd string 3rd fret 2nd finger and then hammers on the C#
note alternating between the D and The C# note with the hammer on.
The George Harrison guitar style utilized all the tricks he knew all the hammer ons,arpegios,
pull offs,sweeping, open string licks,jazz chords,.6/9 ending chords etc ...George Harrison was
heavely influenced by the Rockabilly guitar playing of Carl Perkins who had all these
techniques in his bag of guitar tricks.
So what kind of musical equipment did the George Harrison guitar sound entail?
Well... he used many guitars but the early Beatle sound is personified by his use of Gretsch,
Rickenbacker 12 string, and Ramirez classical guitar,Gibsons,Fender, and Epiphone,
and he used Vox Amplifiers.
George was also a record producer,and Film maker and introduced the Beatles to Indian Culture
and Hinduism which influenced their music. George Harrison died in 2001 from cancer.
By George....I think that's all I've got to say about the great George Harrison.