The Beatles are one of the most famous and influential bands in music history. Their catalog includes a wide variety of styles, from rock and pop to folk and country. With such a diverse range of musical influences, it’s no surprise that the Beatles incorporated banjo into some of their songs. In this article, we’ll explore the Beatles’ use of banjo in their music.
Are there any Beatles songs with banjo?
One of the most well-known examples of the Beatles using banjo in their music is “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” from their 1965 album “Help!” The song was written by John Lennon and was heavily influenced by the folk music of Bob Dylan, who was a major influence on the Beatles’ music at the time. The banjo on “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” was played by George Harrison and adds a distinctive folk flavor to the song. The song features Harrison’s gentle strumming of the banjo, which provides a melodic undercurrent to Lennon’s vocals.
Another Beatles song that features banjo is “Two of Us” from their 1970 album “Let It Be.” The song was written by Paul McCartney and was inspired by a road trip he took with his future wife Linda Eastman. The song features McCartney playing acoustic guitar and singing, while John Lennon adds banjo to the mix. The banjo part is played with a fingerpicking style and provides a bouncy, upbeat feel to the song.
In addition to these two songs, the Beatles used banjo in a few other tracks throughout their career. For example, “I’m a Loser” from their 1964 album “Beatles for Sale” features a prominent banjo riff played by George Harrison. The song was influenced by the country music of Buck Owens, who was a major influence on the Beatles’ early music. The banjo riff adds a catchy, twangy element to the song that helps to give it a country flavor.
Another example of the Beatles using banjo is “Dig It” from their 1969 album “Let It Be.” The song was written by Lennon and features a jam-style arrangement with each band member playing their own part. In this case, George Harrison adds banjo to the mix, playing a riff that adds a jangly, almost bluegrass feel to the song.
While the Beatles only used banjo in a handful of their songs, the instrument played an important role in their music. The use of banjo added a folksy, country flavor to their sound and helped to expand the range of musical styles that they could explore. It’s also worth noting that the Beatles were not the only British Invasion band to incorporate banjo into their music. Other bands like the Rolling Stones and the Kinks also used banjo in some of their songs, helping to popularize the instrument in the UK and beyond.
In conclusion, while the Beatles may not be known for their use of banjo, they did incorporate the instrument into several of their songs throughout their career. From the folk-inspired “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” to the country-tinged “I’m a Loser,” the banjo added a unique flavor to the Beatles’ music and helped to expand the range of styles that they could explore. Even though the Beatles’ time together as a band was relatively brief, their music continues to inspire and influence musicians around the world, and their use of banjo is just one example of the band’s enduring impact on popular music.