View Full Version : Beatles on mando

Feb-03-2004, 12:43am
I've been working out some Beatle stuff on the mando
(While My Guitar, Dear Prudence, and Across the Universe so far). Semi successful (I'm an awful player!), but some of it sounds ok. Any know of recordings to recommend? I'm not nuts about the "Picking on..." type bluegrassifacationism CDs, but any advice is welcome.

Feb-03-2004, 1:07am
I don't know of any books but other tunes that work well are (sometimes you have to change keys of the tune though to fit nicely with open strings....)

eleanor rigby
here comes the sun

John Flynn
Feb-03-2004, 1:47am
Both David West and The Hooters have done really great mando covers of "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds."

Feb-03-2004, 1:59am
There is a Beatles book for the banjo that is now out of print....The banjo player in my band just ordered a copy off of ebay. I'm not sure if it is in standard notation or tab...Hopefully I'll be able to transcribe some over to mandolin.
My band does Eleanor Rigby and Don't Pass Me By....both work out really well on mando....

Feb-03-2004, 2:22am
I messed around with Martha, My Dear years ago. Because was in the repertoire of early dawg bands, done as sort of a mando opus.

Feb-03-2004, 2:51am
I saw the Beatles back in about '65 at Cleveland Stadium and have transcribed about a dozen of their songs to TAB for my mandolin.
I have a good fake book with just about everything they recorded.

Strado Len
Feb-03-2004, 3:14am
Check out "Beatle Country" by the New England Bluegrass Boys, featuring Joe Val on mandolin. Originally issued by Elektra in 1966, and now available on CD (Rhino), the album features great bluegrass versions of Yesterday, Nowhere Man, If I Needed Someone, and other early Beatles tunes. It's really quite good.

Feb-03-2004, 3:50am
hey john w- willing to share some of your tab?http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif??

anyway, we do norwegian wood- really easy d-c-d then dm-g dm-em-a. the riff in the intro sounds great on the mando and is really easy to figure out by ear in a number of octaves.

Feb-03-2004, 4:38am
Thanks folks; how could I have neglected Norwegian Wood!!!
That's exactly the type I love.
Eleanor Rigby is hard for me to attempt; a local guy named Bobby Syvarth played a jam funk version with John Skeehan of Railroad Earth on mando that has made that tune unattainable for me. "Jam funk" doesn't do it justice BTW, don;t know what else to call it. Truly awesome.
Thanks again.

Feb-03-2004, 8:10am
e-mail me at johnw@inreach.com and I'll send over any files I have stored electronically (some are still on paper). I use Excel and can send them to you as a web page.

Feb-03-2004, 9:34am
as i recall blackbird is pretty hard to do "mandolinized" unless you put it into a different key.
however i will check out the otherones, thanks for the info!

Feb-03-2004, 9:37am
Nashville mandolin Ensemble's latest CD- BACH, BEATLES, BLUEGRASS features 3 Beatle tunes- Eleanor Rigby, Here, There, Everywhere, & With a little Help fr my Friends. All tastefully done.

Martin Jonas
Feb-03-2004, 10:51am
as i recall blackbird is pretty hard to do "mandolinized" unless you put it into a different key.
however i will check out the otherones, thanks for the info!
The melody line of Blackbird is pretty straightforward on mandolin, I find. I play it straight from the "Beatles Complete (Guitar Edition)" songbook in the original key, and it works fine like that. The chords may be a different story, though.

Co-Mando has cool TablEdit mandolin arrangements of "Here, There and Everywhere" and "Yesterday", which I like playing a lot. I can't get my head around the Co-Mando arrangement of "When I'm Sixty-Four", though, and their "Norwegian Wood" is fine until it dissolves into a mess of double stops and crosspicking. "I've Just Seen A Face" is almost a mandolin standard by now (although I'm still trying to find a good way of playing the "Falling" bit on a single mandolin; any suggestions?). A bit more obscurely, I find that "Your Mother Should know" is nice for some picking.


Feb-03-2004, 11:28am
Jack Tottle's "How To Play Mandolin" has simple but fun arrangements for "I'm Looking Through you" (it's a blast just flailing away on the chords) and "Get Back". Beatles melodies are so nice that they usually sound great on the mando.

Feb-04-2004, 12:21am
If only somebody would tab out "Only a Northern Song" http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif

Brad Weiss
Feb-04-2004, 12:14pm
Check out Evan Marshall's great take on "Do You Want To Know Secret" on Mandolin Magic (you can download the cut for free at amazon...

Feb-07-2004, 1:12pm
did norwegian wood at open mic on thurs. and it killed! people especially loved the intro riff on the mando

Feb-11-2004, 1:20am
Kind of a tangential question here, but someone on another board told me Big Mon played on Sgt. Pepper.. Is this true? Did he play mandolin? I'm having a hard time picturing Monroe with the Beatles..



Feb-11-2004, 10:14am
whoa, I was just thinking this AM if there were any Beatle recordings with mandolin at all.
Maybe Big Mon was in the cover picture not on the record?

Feb-12-2004, 12:06pm
Hello all!
I play in a band in Indy,called ..Spud Puppies!
We are just finishing up a recording..mostly original stuff
But we did record ..Rain by the Beatle's..another great tune!

I've worked on..Just a little..because alot is going on in this tune....Being for the benefit of Mr.Kite..another great tune!

If I could only find a mandositar I could do Within and Without You!


Feb-12-2004, 1:41pm
Two Very Easy Beatles Songs:

Tomorrow Never Knows:
C 5578
Bb/C 5356
C 5578

It's All Too Much
G 0023
sometimes C/G 0230


Pasha Alden
Dec-10-2012, 6:03am
Is it possible for you to let us hear you play some beatles on the mando? Regards Vanillamandolin

Pasha Alden
Dec-10-2012, 6:04am
Wow that sound wonderful. I love here comes the sun intro - am sure there is something diffferent from a guitar in there. Vanillamandolin

John Flynn
Dec-10-2012, 8:45am
I can strongly recommend a CD "Any Time At All - A Session Picker's Tribute to The Beatles." It includes the late, great John McGann on mandolin family instruments. It is a kind of a "picking on" approach, but not bluegrass. This ensemble, led by Brian Hebert, takes Beatles standards and turns them into Irish session tunes. They do it very tastefully and well. I agree with you on many of the "picking on" approaches. They almost become parodies of the original tunes rather than good re-arrangements. But this one is an exception that spends a lot of time in my CD player. It is one of those CDs that just makes you feel good!

Dec-10-2012, 9:16am
www.amazon.com/The Beatles-Complete-Scores (http://www.amazon.com/Beatles-Complete-Scores/dp/0793518326/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355147394&sr=1-1&keywords=beatles+complete)


For those that can read notation and are more proficient players, The Beatles Complete Scores, is the book to invest in. Learn the guitar rhythm chording and riffs, the bass lines, Ringo's drum grooves (good foot percussion exercises), and instrumental solos. My wife gave me a copy for my birthday years ago. Got a lot out of it. Would mess with stuff like "Ticket To Ride", "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "Nowhere Man", "Can't Buy Me Love", "Obladi Oblada", "Drive My Car" simultaneously playing the bass line on pedals, kicking Ringo's drum part (sometimes simplified out of necessity) and one of the guitar parts (on mandolin). Having to do all the interlocking parts by yourself is a real education on the construction of grooves. (By itself, some of the rhythm guitar strums seem really moronic....BUT, when you put them into context with the drums and bass, they transform into the glue holding the other instruments together.)

And for solo fingerpicking, "Blackbird" (of course), "Dear Prudence", "Here Comes The Sun" etc. Or learn the guitar solo note-for-note to "Something" or the trumpet lines on "Penny Lane".

Niles H

Dec-10-2012, 9:47am
If you are a member of the Bluegrass Academy Mandolin School you will have access to several EXCELLENT mandolin chord melody arrangements that Mike Marshall has done in response to student requests; myself included.

Off the top of my head he has done:

In my Life
Norwegian Wood

and at least several more. If you are a Beatles/mandolin head this alone is worth the price of admission.

I should add that Mike's arrangements are very playable.

John Flynn
Dec-10-2012, 9:49am
+1 both on the Beatles Complete Scores and the Academy of Bluegrass. Great stuff.

Karl Keating
Dec-10-2012, 10:25am
Don't forget "The Beatles for Mandolin," published in 2010 by Hal Leonard. It includes 25 songs in standard notation and tab.

Scott Tichenor
Dec-10-2012, 10:46am
Don't forget "The Beatles for Mandolin," published in 2010 by Hal Leonard. It includes 25 songs in standard notation and tab.

Link to all of the various products for this book, ie., hard copy, Kindle, etc.



Dec-10-2012, 12:01pm
Don't forget "The Beatles for Mandolin," published in 2010 by Hal Leonard. It includes 25 songs in standard notation and tab.

I love the arrangement for LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS, but when singing, I like playing the opening riff instead of the chords up until the refrain. Anyway, it's a wonderful book!

Dec-10-2012, 12:25pm
Mandozine has some tab edit files of beatles songs on their rock/ popular catagory

Dec-10-2012, 12:51pm
i did an album of beatles music (just for fun)....a few examples may be found on my website sbarnesart.com click on solo projects, then mandoBeatles.....these are not for sale or anything and i'm certainly not that hot of a mandolin player but they were extremely fun to do....multi track and i play all of the instruments (sorry some synthesized strings on elenor rigby)....

Dec-10-2012, 7:37pm
This is not what the OP asked for, but I've recommended this before so I'll post for other Beatles fans -

Similar to the "Pickin' on" series is a series called Beatles 'n Choro, which features some pretty interesting arrangements of Beatles tunes for Choro instrumentation. Hamilton De Holanda and Herique Cazes playing bandolim and cavacao, respectively. There are many volumes; it can be purchased digitally off of Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Beatles-n-Choro-3/dp/B00108ZP74/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1355185992&sr=1-2&keywords=the+beatles+%27n%27+choro), which also has samples.

Dec-12-2012, 9:48am
I know Flinner Grear and Phillips do a great "I want you - She's so Heavy" long instrumental Jam i think the Cd is just called Flinner Grear and Phillips

Tim Ware group did great "Elenor Rigby" might be hard to find that one

there' s Mike Marshalls "Because" from Gator Strut also live on DGQ retrospective

Not mando but Darol anger does a very cool instrumental- "little help from my friends" on his "Diary of a Fiddler"

Dec-13-2012, 1:56am
Julia and Mother Nature's Son work quite well as mando solo arrangements.

Dec-16-2012, 2:09pm
I'm working on a few Beatles songs. So far the only one I've posted on my site is Hey Jude. It's mandolin lesson 008; my website has a link for the pdf. There are lots of great links and lessons out there for Beatles music.