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George Harrison isolated guitar, "Don't Let Me Down"

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by PRW94, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Meister

    Oct 25, 2017
    Really shows his mastery. It's the kind of thing where you'd just say "great song" instead of "wow, look what that guitar player did." Greatness does not have to suck all the air out of the room.

    Also kind of defies the distinction between 'lead' and 'rhythm.'

    Thanks for posting this.
    Georox likes this.

  2. troy2003

    troy2003 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 30, 2010
    Central Minnesota
    Awesome,just awesome

  3. LowThudd

    LowThudd Friend of Leo's

    Feb 11, 2014
    Sherman Oaks, Ca
    I have had two guitars make that sound. One is a Gold covered Humbucker which has gone microphonic, tapping it with even light pick touch makes that noise.

    I also have had a loose cover on a Tele neck pickup do that.

    And wow, remarkably great playing. Perfect.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
    dogmeat likes this.

  4. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 9, 2008
    That's very cool - thanks for posting that.

    BTW, I don't know how many Beatles fans I've said the following to only to get either no response or a "yeah, that's interesting, I never thought of that..."

    George Harrison was a supreme/sublime master at slide guitar and his skill at that easily equals or surpasses Paul's facility/inventiveness on the bass"

    It might be that a large portion of that was post-Beatles.

    Nope. They still don't.

    Listening to 47+ year old guitar bands has nothing to do with Ableton and lap tops and skinny jeans millenials...:lol:

    But all three of those things have a lot to do with how little I hear guitar in new bands/artists - and I still listen to a ton per month.

  5. Captain Simian

    Captain Simian Tele-Holic

    Jun 29, 2003
    I think it's his hand & pick hitting the pickup. I do something very similar to that where it sound like a click. Drives my drummer crazy sometimes.
    Badger06 and dogmeat like this.

  6. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 23, 2014
    A great example of the increasingly rare art of rhythm guitar playing with fills that support the song. In my experience there are more guitar players who can play a decent solo than there are players who can do this, which is much more important IMO. What Hendrix did as a rhythm player, for example, has always been more compelling to me than his solos.Thanks for posting!

  7. memorex

    memorex Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 14, 2015
    I'm glad you posted that, because now I can see I've been playing some of it wrong for like 50 years.

  8. JL_LI

    JL_LI Tele-Holic

    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    George Harrison is the master. He's the one who took lead guitar from a solo in the middle of the song to an indispensable instrument in the ensemble. Many of us are trying to do what he did 50 years ago. Some of us are coming close. George Harrison is still unequaled. I'm humbled every time I listen.
    telemnemonics and 6BQ5 like this.

  9. dkmw

    dkmw Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2016
    Florida USA
    Thank you, this is very educational.
    GGardner likes this.

  10. Clash Telecaster

    Clash Telecaster Tele-Meister

    Nov 30, 2017
    New York
    Can't speak about other bands, but for The Beatles these iso tracks came about due to that "Rock Band" Beatles version video game that was released about seven years ago. People hack into the game and grab the separate, various instrumental tracks. Can't do that with their records, but that game was designed to highlight each instrument so fans started pulling out these individual instrument isolated tracks from that game. As a Beatle fan that game was a Godsend. I don't play it at all, but I sure love the iso tracks that we now have because of it.

    Beatles recorded most of their material, believe it or not, on just four tracks. Impossible to really pull out individual instrumental or vocal tracks because on one track there might be two or three instruments. That video game actually went into the Beatles master tapes and used some very advanced technology to separate the instruments. Must have cost a fortune, but without that video game and its need for individual tracks we would never be able to hear precisely and clearly what each band member was playing. I love it.

  11. Skub

    Skub Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jul 28, 2010
    Playing for the song always works.

  12. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    I had Beatle-weenie friends who used to dissect these songs and lift the needle (!!) and say, "WHAT'S THAT CHORD?!?!"
    I thought they were over-analytical until I heard THAT CHORD at 2:21.
    Just beautiful...sublime...perfect from beginning to end!
    Mr Ridesglide likes this.

  13. dswo

    dswo Tele-Meister

    May 1, 2016
    East Carolina
    A few days ago I read Geoff Emerick's 2006 memoir of engineering the Beatles. He writes dismissively of Harrison's guitar playing and Starr's drumming. Starr, he says, was competent but not inventive; and Harrison, he reports, required numerous takes to record things that McCartney could have played in one or two.

    I don't know enough to take sides, but I'm curious how folks account for the difference of opinion, which is so marked that we might as well be discussing a different person altogether. Emerick allows that Harrison eventually became a competent musician and songwriter, and the song we're discussing here was recorded late. But I suspect there's more to it.

  14. jhundt

    jhundt Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 23, 2003
    it is, as everyone says, a beautiful and tasteful piece.

    The sad thing is that - in my experience - there is not one guitar player in 10,000 these days that would even consider playing anything like this. Most guitar players would never come up with parts this simple, and if told to play something like this would feel that they were not getting enough attention. And they would feel that their guitar part was not "cutting through the mix" enough.
    Jethro and Badger06 like this.

  15. David Barnett

    David Barnett Poster Extraordinaire

    Do we know it was the Telecaster, and not Lucy?

  16. JL_LI

    JL_LI Tele-Holic

    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    This is one man's opinion. What Harrison did is something that might have been expected from a classically trained musician but not from a rocker; a lead line in counterpoint to a melody or vocal. I'm not a recording engineer and I don't care how many takes were required to get it right. He was incredibly creative and he left a legacy. A lead line in counterpoint to a vocal is more common in country music than rock. Brad Paisley is one of the best at it now IMO. I try to mix a lead line in with chords and a bass line when I play finger style accompaniment to vocals. It isn't easy. What George Harrison did was distinctively his own. I didn't appreciate it when I was a teenager but I couldn't play it either. I couldn't think outside the verse, chorus, solo mode. So far as opinions go, liking something doesn't necessarily make it good and not understanding it certainly doesn't make it bad. Still, legitimate differences of opinion are just that; differences of opinion.

  17. John Owen

    John Owen Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Jan 29, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    Masterful. Thanks a bunch for posting.

  18. PRW94

    PRW94 TDPRI Member

    Jun 17, 2011
    Gadsden, Alabama
    Emerick, and to an extent Paul McCartney, fell in love with and became enthralled by Hendrix and the other '60s guitar gods. That was never, ever, ever going to be George's thing, but they held him up in comparison to the guitar gods and found him wanting, which IMO was unfair.

    George responded by, after he left the Beatles, barely playing another note of lead guitar and switching completely to slide playing.

    George just wasn't ever going to get up there and show off and make his solos the focus of everything that was going on, he played SONGS.

    The end of this video is probably the closest George ever came in his life to showing off on guitar. It's from the 1987 Prince's Trust concert. It's one of those all-star band deals, I don't think I have to identify the other participants. Clapton of course did a righteous solo as he did on the record, but he gave George some openings at the end and IMO he filled them quite nicely. The guy could play guitar, and in his own way he too was a guitar god, he just did it his way.

    FrontPU, JL_LI, Ducerro and 1 other person like this.

  19. Clash Telecaster

    Clash Telecaster Tele-Meister

    Nov 30, 2017
    New York
    Ah, someone is thinking.

    I know this is a Telecaster forum and George is seen playing a Tele for that song during the rooftop performance...but, hold onto your Teles, that is a Gibson Les Paul all are praising here. It is Lucy, not the Tele.

    The audio of that song is not the rooftop concert. That song was recorded in studio and that is the version that was released. It is more than likely that George played his Gibson Les Paul for "Don't Let Me Down."


  20. Clash Telecaster

    Clash Telecaster Tele-Meister

    Nov 30, 2017
    New York
    That book is not the one to go to looking for accuracy. Many mistakes have been documented. But what you are speaking of - Emerick's dismissal of George - is really based on the fact that Emerick and George did not have a great relationship. He was closer to Paul whom he praises to high heaven in that book.

    The book is biased...and filled with inaccuracies. Not a book Beatle fanatics turn to for insight into the band.
    dogmeat likes this.

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