Neil has been arranging Beatles songs for solo guitar since he released his album A Beatles Collection in 1989. The album sold over 20,000 copies back in the day and guitar players have loved playing these pieces ever since. The first two of these lessons are from the original CD and connected as a medley, and the others were done more recently for TotallyGuitars.
With the exception of a short solo in In My Life, which is very advanced, the rest of these are very playable by all students with a bit of experience playing solo guitar instrumentals.
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Lesson 1: And I Love Her - Solo Guitar Arrangement
This solo arrangement of And I Love Her dates back to my album A Beatles Collection, which was mostly medleys of related tunes of theirs. This followed Here, There And Everywhere and was connected with a short modulation that is included in that lesson.
It is always important to clearly understand the chord progression in any solo arrangement, which allows a lot of room for variations and improvisation. This piece uses many barre chords and the technique of 'rolling' out chords, slightly separating the notes of chords written on the same beat, is very important.
The last segment is just an improv of how it came out the day of shooting the lesson.
Lesson 2: Your Mother Should Know - Guitar Instrumental Lesson
Your Mother Should Know is a Paul McCartney song from 1967 that was released on the Beatles’ album Magical Mystery Tour. This lesson is a solo guitar arrangement in the original key of C and is not too difficult to play.
The song really just consists of a verse and a short instrumental bridge. There are a few left hand fingering challenges – a couple finger stretches, and the left hand thumb wrap is used in a few spots, although there are alternate fingerings suggested. The arrangement includes a short segment on improvising some variations.
Lesson 3: In My Life - Beatles - Neil Hogan
This arrangement of In My Life by The Beatles is done in the original key of A Major. Each verse is done in different registers on the guitar for a little variety.
There are a lot of slides involved, trying to keep it very legato. There are a few differences in this arrangement from the Play Through, including a more reasonable way to approach the instrumental solo.
Verse 1 has the melody played in the middle register of the guitar, making for some filler notes above the melody.
Verse 2 takes the melody up an octave onto the higher strings, and also follows the lyrics which create a slightly different arrangement of syllables.
The short solo after the second verse of In My Life is fascinating on a few fronts, and not particularly guitar friendly either. It was originally played on the piano and then doubled in speed to sound more like a harpsichord (along with being much easier to play).
In Part 5 we take a look at getting most of the notes on the guitar. The embellishments and the glissando at the end are really unnecessary so this slightly modified arrangement keeps the song relatively playable.
In Part 6 we do get into the embellishments, mordents to be specific, for those who need to up the difficulty a level or two.
We wrap this lesson with a few tips on the coda, which is tacked on after the last chorus. There are some subtle differences with a few of the chords and a bit of a stretch at the end but if you have gotten this far you should be very proud of yourself.
Lesson 4: While My Guitar Gently Weeps - Solo Guitar Arrangement
This lesson is going to be more of a “build your own arrangement” one, rather than the note-for-note approach I usually use with solo arrangements. We will start with a basic, alternating bass version where I just give you hints about determining and defining the components, along with a skeleton play through (just bass notes and the melody).
I could certainly use some feedback and/or suggestions as we go along here with what I hope will be a fun and interactive lesson.
Part 4 – The Chorus: This segment goes over the skeleton version of the chorus, starting with the chord progression and melody, then offers a few suggestions on putting them together.
Part 5 – Add Some Fills: Now that you have a grip on the alternating bass arrangement of While My Guitar Gently Weeps, we are ready to fill it out a bit with some extra notes. The melody is fairly full in many measures but there are a few places where extra chord notes can add a lot.
Part 6 – The Intro: While My Guitar Gently Weeps opens up with the piano playing a single ‘A’ in a series of dotted eighth and sixteenth notes. This can be a little challenging on the right hand and will probably take a lot of practice to master. This segment also includes a couple different ways to incorporate Eric Clapton’s opening fill leading into the melody.
Lesson 5: Here, There And Everywhere - Solo Guitar Arrangement
In 1989 I put out an album of Solo Arrangements of Beatles' tunes. It has lately resurfaced, at least on my radar and here is the second arrangement from my past. Here, There And Everywhere was released in 1966 on Revolver.
This arrangement is not too difficult, as long as you have some experience with fingerstyle playing. There are a few barre chords and good right hand technique is important but there are not many variations, just a few rotating embellishments.