- The Beatles sounded the same whether they were live or in the studio
- Why George Harrison Switched From 12-String Guitar to Six-String in “If I Fell”
- Why Harrison Struggled With Songwriting
If you were ever lucky enough to see the Beatles play, and the band performed “If I Fell”, you might have seen George Harrison switch between the two guitars. During an interview with journalist Larry Kane (who toured with the band during their US tour in 1964 and 1965), Harrison explained the reason why they were “always swapping”. He also talked about sounding The Beatles and staying true to his songwriting aspirations while performing live.
The Beatles had no trouble imitating their voice in live performances.
Kane toured with the band during their first two US tours. They boarded the same planes, stayed in the same hotels, and tried to interrogate them whenever possible. During one of those interviews, he asked Harrison if The Beatles had ever had any trouble replicating his voice on stage.
“Not at all, Larry,” replied Harrison, as recorded in the book George Harrison on George Harrison. “From the beginning, when we were taping, we would always do it in one take. We never did any of that overdubbing and that stuff. What are we doing?”
No matter where The Beatles played – in the studio or on stage – they aimed to sound the same, because they played the same way every time.
Why George Harrison Sometimes Changes Guitar in the Middle of a Song
Kane also asked Harrison why he would switch from his twelve-string guitar to a six-string, sometimes in the middle of a song, most notably in “If I Fell”.
George Harrison Was Spiritual But He Also Had a Dark Side
“Uh, ’cause it’s a different sound, yeah,” Harrison explained. “With a twelve-string, it’s two sets of each—I mean, two lots of each string, yes. Only, instead of tuning it out, they’re in the octave, y’see, so getting this note Instead of [plays note] like you would on a normal, you get [plays same note an octave higher]. so you get [high note] And [low note] both together, so it gives you that noise, yes. It is – it’s a high sound. And with it being electric, it’s a nice sound, and I, so that’s what I use, um, when I’ve used it on records, I use it on stage too, yeah, so I’m always Swap the ’round’.
If Harrison played a song with two guitars in the studio, you better believe he played it with two guitars on stage as well.
George Harrison’s Songwriting Efforts
Why George Harrison Called The Beatles’ 1964 Show in San Francisco ‘One of the Most Painful’
Harrison also talked to the journalist about songwriting. Not the group’s well-known songwriter, he often had trouble completing the work he was working on.
“I’m still trying to work out a couple,” Harrison said. “My main problem is trying to write songs, and I don’t think it’s worth writing the song and having someone else write the song because you don’t feel like you’ve really done it. So I wrote a few more songs as well. The ones I’ve taped at home, but if I find something, I’ll tape it. I’ll be gone if for about five weeks, then I’ll suddenly remember. Then I’ll add some more to it, and so maybe It will take me about three months to finish a song. I’m too lazy. It’s funny, but I want to write more.”