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#1140481 - 11/18/08 02:56 PM Leoon & McCartney - just how good could the play piano??
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
I've been a fan all my life and now that I can read and identify with what sheet music and songbooks are about, I wonder just how good could Paul and John play piano.

Paul appeared to understand the rudiments of the piano and harmony and I'd dearly love to see something by him on piano solo.

On the other hand, I don't think John was as competent, though his songs were superb on piano - perhaps it was Nicky Hopkins playing??

Any further thoughts?

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#1140482 - 11/19/08 02:35 AM Re: Leoon & McCartney - just how good could the play piano??
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1732
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
I think they both were pretty much accompanists for themselves when doing their own tunes.

McCartney- Let it be, Fool on the Hill, Lady Madonna, Hey Jude, Long & Winding Road to name a few off the top of my head.

Lennon, probably less a pianist but still came up with a very simple part on "Imagine" that is still a a very identifiable part of that song.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the more technical parts, say like the solo on In My Life or Martha My Dear might have been played by George Martin, who produced and arguably gave them their sound.

Nicky Hopkins might have been there too somewhere for all I know. He was certainly "the guy" during that time period. Of course there was the obvious Billy Preston on Rhodes on Get Back and Organ on Let it Be.

Yeah, Beatles forever!!
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2005 NY Steinway D, Yamaha CP4, CP5 (home use) , RCF TT08A, TT22A speakers

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#1140483 - 11/19/08 08:07 AM Re: Leoon & McCartney - just how good could the play piano??
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
Dave I remember Paul being interviewed by BBC TV in 1978 about songwriting. He told the interviewer that his father was an accomplished player and musician and that he had taught him the basics of harmony and chords.

I think John may have had a good ear for the piano but couldn't understand the mathematics of the piano like Paul.

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#1140484 - 11/19/08 10:24 AM Re: Leoon & McCartney - just how good could the play piano??
Booker_Boy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 27
Loc: Southern California
Dave, you're right.

The solo on "In My Life" was played by George Martin (on a harpsichord, actually). It was done by slowing the recording down and then dubbing the solo over it.

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#1140485 - 11/19/08 03:00 PM Re: Leoon & McCartney - just how good could the play piano??
pianojazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 359
Loc: dearborn, mi
Personally, I think Paul & John play(ed) piano like they played guitar - good enough to get by -and close enough for rock'n'roll. I know Billy Preston (sometimes called the 5th Beatle?) worked with them a lot in the latter years of the Beatles - and Billy could play.
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#1140486 - 11/19/08 03:41 PM Re: Leoon & McCartney - just how good could the play piano??
kentm Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/20/08
Posts: 126
Loc: Camp Verde, AZ.
Nicky Hopkins never recorded with the Beatles. Other than George Martin, Billy preston is the only other keyboardist you'll here....


....and that is Paul on Martha My Dear, and one of his best on piano, IMO ;\)
_________________________
Play skillfully!.....Psalm 33:3

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#1140487 - 11/19/08 05:42 PM Re: Leoon & McCartney - just how good could the play piano??
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
 Quote:
Originally posted by kentm:
Nicky Hopkins never recorded with the Beatles. Other than George Martin, Billy preston is the only other keyboardist you'll here....

....and that is Paul on Martha My Dear, and one of his best on piano, IMO ;\) [/b]
Sorry, Nicky worked with John on the Imagine album. Yes, Martha my Dear IS superb!

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#1140488 - 11/20/08 01:54 AM Re: Leoon & McCartney - just how good could the play piano??
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1732
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Again, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there a book out that lists all the sessions indicating who played and sang what?

Another tune I was thinking about with a very cool solo is "Lovely Rita".

Ah...very minimal digging and whadda ya know:

http://www.amazon.com/review/product/060...howViewpoints=1

I agree, Paul and John weren't serious players in the typical sense but their piano parts on their songs are forever etched in time has an identifiable part of that song. The way they recorded the piano to make it sound much fatter than it was, or just messing with the tone...these things are PART of their songs, especially for serious Beatle-heads like me.

This might seem funny now, but when I was in High School, Abbey Road came out. When I heard the voicing on the Am chord in "You Never Give Me Your money", it was a new color or sound I'd never heard. I had to figure it out. No big deal now of course, but back then, I remember it opening up some new doors for me.
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2005 NY Steinway D, Yamaha CP4, CP5 (home use) , RCF TT08A, TT22A speakers

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#1140489 - 12/30/08 10:03 AM Re: Leoon & McCartney - just how good could the play piano??
Anonymous
Unregistered


Having worked with both John Lennon and Paul MacCartney as piano technician, I can tell you right off that they were both quite good when they sat down at the piano. Paul especially. One listen to "Baby I'm Amazed", "Lady Madonna or "Live And Let Die" from the "WIngs Over America" (1976)recordings should lay anyone's doubts to rest about his pianistic abilities. It's a matter of record that neither one of them could read or write music. It was more a matter of having fabulous instincts, deep musical backgrounds and extremely keen "ears".

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#1140490 - 12/31/08 12:36 PM Re: Leoon & McCartney - just how good could the play piano??
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
Ten Beatles Songs and Who Played Keyboards
1. The Night Before (John-electric piano)
2. Your Mother Should Know (Paul-piano, John-organ)
3. Revolution (Nicky Hopkins-electric piano)
4. Let it Be (Paul-Piano, Billy Preston-electric piano and organ)
5. I¹m Looking Through You (Ringo-organ)
6. Here Comes the Sun (George-synthesizer)
7. I Want to Tell You (Paul-piano)
8. We Can Work It Out (John-harmonium)
9. Strawberry Fields Forever (Paul-mellotron)
10. A Day in the Life (Paul-piano; end piano chord, John, Paul, Ringo,
and Mal Evans)

I ushered at a McCartney concert in the 1980's and during the sound check Paul sat down and played a short solo piano version of Satin Doll by Duke Ellington and he sounded like a pro.

I heard that Yoko Ono insisted Nicky Hopkins play the famous piano part for the recorded version of Imagine because he was a better player than John.
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Roland FP-4 digital piano, Mason & Hamlin acoustic piano.

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