Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles

The Beatles – not much can be said about them that hasn’t been said already. For such an iconic band, they’ve endured throughout several decades and across continents, and their songbook is still one of the most treasured (not to mention extensive!) around.

One of the great things about the Beatles is how they’re able to take simple concepts and tweak them ever so slightly, adding in these quirks that make them really unique and clever. Because of this, their songs are great ones to grow with from a beginner guitarist to a more advanced one, as you can go back to simpler songs and add in new techniques as you learn them.

Speaking of slight tweaks and quirks, what the Beatles have done here is play around with timing a bit. Normally, you see 4-bar sequences in songs, or at least bars in multiples of 4. For this song, you’ll notice they’ve used a 5-bar sequence. If you’re familiar with the song, this will make more sense to you, so give it a few listens before playing it to get a feel for the timing. One thing that’s super helpful in the original recording is the strings – they play on the beat throughout most of the song, so when you’re playing along with the recording, you can use them as sort of an anchor to keep you in place.

There are a few strumming variations you can get into here, as well. I’ve given you some options to play it with or without a pick, including some versions where you can play around with accenting certain beats over others. Remember to play for your difficulty level! If you’re a beginner, start simply and slowly. You can always add things in later as you get more comfortable with them.