Back in the 1960s the Beatles were musical amateurs. They wanted to play rock ‘n roll, but the training that is available to us now was not available to them. Consequently they experimented a lot when they were writing their songs. So they did a lot of unmusicianly things like putting seven or eight chords in every song. Fortunately later generations preferred to learn the basics of blues and rock ‘n roll rather than imitate the Beatles’ songs were written.
The Beatles unique way of writing songs made it difficult for other people to produce cover versions. It’s understandable because the Beatles learnt to write songs mainly by exploring the possibilities of their guitars without much guidance. Another aspect of popular music that the Beatles pioneered was meaningless lyrics. Previously to the Beatles there was a kind of unwritten agreement that the words in songs had to make some kind of sense. The Beatles changed all that. This hasn’t proved a problem for future generations because we have no problem singing songs that have no meaning, we can just go ahead and do it.
Rather than dwell on the complexity of the Beatles songs, let’s find some songs that are easy to sing and easy to play on the acoustic guitar. Some easy Beatles songs are You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away, Across the Universe, I’m A Loser, Eleanor Rigby and Please Please Me.
A few of the Beatles songs that have proved to be popular amongst acoustic guitar players are, Get Back, Norwegian Wood, With A Little Help From My Friends, Blackbird, Revolution, And I Love Her, Girl, Her Majesty, Here Comes The Sun, Hey Jude, I’m Looking Through You, I’ve Just Seen A Face, Julia, Long Long Long, Lovely Rita, Mother Nature’s Son, Rocky Raccoon, Till There Was You, Two Of Us, Yesterday, and I Will.
A lot of people wanting to learn to play the Beatles songs on acoustic guitar have trouble finding books of sheet music or tab that are both accurate and helpful. Hal Leonard’s Best of the Beatles For Acoustic Guitar goes some way towards fixing this problem by giving us accurate translations of the Beatles music with excerpts from the songs. The book not only gives us the acoustic guitar accompaniment to the songs but also George Harrison’s lead guitar, with both guitars played at normal speed and also slowed down. There is another book which might be helpful, it’s called The Beatles for Acoustic Guitar. It has guitar tab for thirty popular Beatles songs. If you are interested in these or any books of acoustic guitar arrangements of Beatles’ songs they are readily available from music stores or online from sites like ebay or amazon.
The video I’ve included is of a strongly-voiced dude singing a fine acoustic rendition of In My Life by The Beatles.