Ge­orge Har­ri­son

Stu­art Ryan dis­cov­ers that the fa­mously ‘Quiet Bea­tle’ac­tu­ally had plenty of mu­si­cal things to say on his acous­tic six string in­stru­ments!

Guitar Techniques - - LESSON: ACOUSTIC -

con­tem­po­raries for gen­er­a­tions to come. while the Bea­tles oeu­vre is dom­i­nated by the hits of John len­non and Paul McCart­ney, it’s im­pos­si­ble to imag­ine their back cat­a­logue with­out the clas­sics writ­ten by ge­orge har­ri­son: here Comes the sun, some­thing and while My gui­tar gen­tly weeps ar­guably stand equal to straw­berry Fields For­ever and Yes­ter­day, and it’s tempt­ing to think how much more ge­orge could have con­trib­uted to the group. his solo works also con­tains many great mo­ments, with My sweet lord and give Me love (give me Peace on earth) per­haps be­ing among the best known of his post Bea­tles hits. how­ever, his achieve­ments don’t end there – check out any­thing by the trav­el­ling wil­burys to re­mind your­self of how Ge­orge re­mained a firm fix­ture in the mu­sic world long af­ter the Bea­tles had split.

of­ten re­garded as the ‘lead’ gui­tarist with the Bea­tles, ge­orge was also a fan­tas­tic acous­tic player and an in­ven­tive, tex­tu­ral com­poser adept at lay­er­ing tracks with both acous­tic and elec­tric parts, strummed or fin­ger­picked. His rich, bright tone al­ways brought his parts to the fore and his har­monic vo­cab­u­lary con­tained a plethora of sweet sound­ing chords that added some­thing to ev­ery track on which he played.

Born in liver­pool on Fe­bru­ary 25, 1943, Har­ri­son’s early in­flu­ences were the pop leg­ends of the day – Buddy holly and lit­tle Richard among oth­ers – but he also had a healthy in­ter­est in gui­tarists and was a keen fan of Carl Perkins, Chet Atkins and blues­man Big Bill Broonzy. he al­ways had a dis­tinctly folky voice to his gui­tar style and this was some­thing that came more to the fore to­wards the end of his ten­ure with the Bea­tles – the mu­sic of Bob Dy­lan and the Byrds par­tic­u­larly in­flu­enc­ing him in this di­rec­tion.

For this month’s study we’ll see how ge­orge could take a stan­dard chord pro­gres­sion and add in­ter­est by en­rich­ing the chord voic­ings and adding some melodic

I be­lieve I love my gui­tar more than the oth­ers love theirs. For John and Paul, song­writ­ing is im­por­tant and gui­tar play­ing is a means to an end.

con­tent to the se­quence. You can re­ally hear this ap­proach at play in here Comes the sun which show­cases his dis­tinc­tive, jan­gly chord based rhythm style.

the use of a capo is not es­sen­tial for play­ing this one, but take it away and play in the open po­si­tion and you’ll see how the parts lose some of their ‘zing’! when play­ing this type of study I wouldn’t worry too much about play­ing ev­ery note as it is in the tab – there will be times when you catch other strings but in this in­stance they won’t sound out of place so aim more for vibe, clean fret­ting and tight rhythm play­ing.

Ge­orge Har­ri­son play­ing a capoed Martin acous­tic

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