Our 5-Packs of Early Beatles Singles continues with their next wave, songs appearing in the UK in 1963. George Martin thought it best at the time to not include singles on albums as he didn’t want to short-change the buying public. This was not the case as albums were repackaged for the US many months behind their UK dates.
This set includes I Want To Hold Your Hand, performed in 1964 on the Ed Sullivan Show, really helping solidify their popularity in America. The set rounds out with Thank You Girl, This Boy, I’ll Get You, and P.S. I Love You.
Lesson 1: Thank You Girl - Beatles - Guitar Lesson
Thank You Girl was slated to be The Beatles’ third single until they quickly came up with From Me To You, relegating this cool tune to being a B-side.
There really is no second tier sound to this song, which is very fun to play. It starts off with a blues shuffle riff, which can continue as a second guitar part throughout the song. Most of the chord changes happen every two beats, making it important to look for common fingers on consecutive chords.
Lesson 2: I Want To Hold Your Hand - The Beatles - Guitar Lesson
This one has it all– driving power chords, syncopated changes, great harmonies and vocal pyrotechnics, different textures in different sections, and even handclaps to up the fun quotient. I Want To Hold Your Hand is one of the early songs that really showed what the Fab Four had to offer, and the future was no disappointment.
This lesson covers just about everything the guitars do, with particular attention to getting just the right drive in each part. Barre chords, power chords, and the basic rock riff are all used here, along with some standard strumming of open chords.
Lesson 3: This Boy - Beatles - Guitar Lesson
This beautiful Lennon/McCartney ballad starts with a chord progression that is almost cliché from the 50s, adds some three-part vocal harmonies and simple guitar parts, creating a typical Beatlesque take on a familiar sound.
This lesson is done in our “Work It Out” style, starting off with just listening to the chords and trying to figure it out for yourself so hold off on printing out the chart.
We also go over transposing progressions to various keys and trying to think by number rather than absolute chord. There is also a short segment on a second guitar part, as heard on the original recording.
Lesson 4: P. S. I Love You - Beatles - Guitar Lesson
P. S. I Love You was the B-side to The Beatles first single, P. S. I Love You, released in the UK in early October, 1962. It already shows Lennon and McCartney’s “outside the box” approach to chord progression and harmony, using some chords that most songwriters would not in the key of D.
The two songs from this single later appeared on the album Please Please Me, something George Martin stopped doing shortly afterward, leading to the CD release of Past Masters Volumes I & II, which contained most of the singles.
This lesson just covers the chord progressions to the three parts. The strumming is very basic but good command of barre chords is necessary to play through P. S. I Love You.
Lesson 5: I’ll Get You - Beatles - Guitar Lesson
The B-side to She Loves You, I’ll Get You borrows from some of the themes on that A-side (“oh yeah”), but tones it down into a beautiful, lilting melody. It is played in the key of D, using mostly open chords, Bm being the lone exception, using a basic, rock, strumming pattern.
A good song for beginners working on chord changes but I’ll Get You also will present a chance for intermediate players to hone those same changing skills.