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The Beatles: Complete Scores Hardcover – January, 1993

4.3 out of 5 stars 382 customer reviews

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Hardcover, January, 1993
$159.52 $35.00
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1136 pages
  • Publisher: Wise Publications (January 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071193293X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711932937
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 11 x 2.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (382 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,283,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is an amazingly complete and accurate collection... musicians attempting to learn and to replicate the Beatles sound will not be disappointed. Included are all instrument parts, all vocal parts, and chord names above the staff, with tablature for the bass and guitar parts. What a bargain!
At times, the authors were able to capture some subtlties in the music which had gone unnoticed by me... but a careful re-listening to the song revealed the score to be surprisingly correct.
Regarding some of the complaints in other Amazon reviews, which made me a bit hesitant to buy:
1) Size of the print: it really is not that small, and it is quite legible.
2) Supposed inaccuracy of chord names: it appears that there is a general chord name above the staff, but more detailed guitar-part scoring in the staff... they were not trying to name the exact chord every time... in some cases not every string is being played.
3) Complaints about the inclusion of 'tab' for 'musical illiterates': tab actually includes, concisely, information which standard notation cannot show easily... like exactly which string/fret to use, out of several options on the guitar. And, by the way, Paul McCartney STILL does not read or write standard notation himself.
NOTE: I also compared this book to Hal Leonard's "The Beatles" (21 songs, in their "Transcribed Scores" series), and was amazed how much better The Beatles Complete Scores is.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have owned at one time or another the 4 Lennon McCartney song books.

The major flaw with those books was that they replicated the melody line and attached a chord, but in most cases they came nowhere near the actual arrangements. This is particularly true on piano based hits such as Hey Jude, Let it Be, Yesterday, Lady Madonna, Back in the USSR etc.

This book gets the original arrangements as played by the Beatles which are generally much better and actually easier to play a lot of times. You can discern McCartney's piano style which is not technically difficult. After all you are accompanying a voice and not playing a melody.

So when you play Let it Be it sounds so much better, and with Hey Jude you think that's all he did to make that sound. Lady Madonna enables you to sound ridiculously accomplished playing something that is technically quite easy. Obviously I am approaching this from a piano player's viewpoint.

As far as guitar is concerned, it has very authentic transcriptions, certainly on the fingerpicking songs such as Blackbird and Julia, which are not that difficult to reproduce.

I have found this book to be unbelievably helpful. You are getting some of the Beatles trade secrets here. You finally get to see the outside the box thinking that separated the Beatles from the rest. I rate this book the best sheet music investment I have ever made, and a must for any aspiring musician. The genius is in the details.

I hopethis review was helpful.
Comment 267 of 273 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
This book is as good as it gets - period. All titles from The Beatles catalog of British & American releases (during the group's career together) are represented. That's the first major plus of the book - you get The Beatles' arrangements of all their covers from Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, etc. They are great fun to play and many Beatles' versions are better-known than the originals. I know of no other source for these arrangements.
As mentioned by many other reviewers, you get a pretty heroic stab at scoring all the instruments heard on every song. This admirable attempt gets you on the right track (in the right key signature, etc.), but falls short on detail of all but the simplest (usually from the early years) songs. Clearly The Beatles had extensive use of multiple 4 track machines and eventually 8 tracks as they matured. This book "scores" usually only 5 parts. It would be impossible to score ALL the over-dubs and extremely lengthy to include all instrumentation, notes and George Martin's orchestral arrangements. So, I pick a bone with the authors using the title, "The Complete Scores". To me, that term means something very specific which is not appropriate for these types of recordings. The Beatles, George Martin and his engineers were awsome craftsmen. The layers of sounds we hear on the finished records are a one-time snapshot of their creative process - often with somewhat muddy results. For example, "I Am The Walrus" does have a guitar part - pretty lost in the mix and not represented in the book. I just don't think it's possible to get the "Complete" details on these recordings.
To save space, the authors often have you incorrectly play a single part for each verse repeat.
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Format: Hardcover
If you read the reviews below, most people will sufficiently let you know about the minor inaccuracies in the orchestrations, vocals, etc. From what I've seen, however, 99% of the songs are dead-on accurate for the guitars and bass.
If you want to learn how to play guitar, here is a way to learn from the best! Same with bass....and even piano (though anything other than "Let It Be" will be challenging for a newcomer to the instrument). If your band wants to be the next "1964", here is their owner's manual! The only thing that this book is lacking is the type of guitar and amp you should be using when playing the song in question!
Only two things that make my teeth grind: 1) They will show a C# barred at the 4th fret, go to another chord, then come back to the C#, but now its barred at the 2nd or 3rd fret (even though the handwritten chord letter is correect). This is probably not the author's fault, but rather some lackey forced to write this stuff down. 2)While the transcriptions are accurate, some are shown as played with a maximum amount of difficulty. Prime example is "Blackbird"...there is a much simpler way to play the same notes EXACTLY, without having to make comparatively difficult fingerings.
I would definitely recommend spending some bucks to get this book...if even to see the transcription to "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)"!
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