It's been just over 15 years since we lost the "quiet Beatle." George would turn 74 this Saturday. Even after decades of listening to his work, his tasteful solo lines and emotionally rich melodies are no less magical today than they were when we first heard them.
To deepen our appreciation for his skills as a guitarist and songwriter, we're diving into five riffs that highlight specific techniques Harrison frequently used:
- "Something" shows his use of descending chromatic lines.
- "My Sweet Lord" shows his use of diminished chords to pivot.
- "Ticket to Ride" shows his use of rhythm and arpeggios within a single chord.
- "And I Love Her" shows his use of chord voicings.
- "All My Loving" shows his use of tasteful soloing with chords.
Jump around in the playlist above, grab your guitar, and play along.
George Harrison's Gear
Over his long career, George played a wide range of guitars. The ones he's most famously associated with, however, include his black Gretsch Duo Jet, his Gretsch Country Gentleman (on which Joe's Eastwood Classic 6 is based), his Rickenbacker 360/12, and his all-rosewood Fender Telecaster.
One amp in particular is worth noting: the Vox Conqueror. As The Beatles moved more into psychedelia, Harrison used this solid-state amp for its built-in fuzz and "cocked wah" EQ sweep. While original specimens are rare and expensive, you can achieve a similar tone with the Jext Telez White Pedal. Its overdrive, fuzz circuit and EQ controls are based on the Conqueror and the tones Harrison was able to coax out of it.