A Look Back At Paul McCartney's Guitar Love As He Turns 75

06-19-2017
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Paul McCartney

(Gibson) Paul McCartney celebrated his 75th birthday on Sunday (June 18th) and Gibson has marked the occasion by looking back at the Beatles legend's love of guitars, his approach to bass playing, and why "nicking" great riffs is not a bad thing to do.

On getting his first guitar, as told to Guitar Player (1990): I bought a right-handed guitar, a Zenith, an old acoustic which I've still got. I sat down at home with a little chord book and started trying to work it out. It didn't feel good at all very awkward. It was only when I saw a picture of Slim Whitman in a magazine, holding his guitar the "wrong" way, that I thought, "Oh, he must have turned his strings around." So I started on that problem, which is always the nut. I used to actually take matchsticks and build up the bass nut. It was only later that I was able to buy a left-handed guitar.

On his favorite guitar part as a Beatle, as told to Guitar Player (1990): I like "Taxman" just because of what it was. I was very inspired by Jimi Hendrix. It was really my first voyage into feedback. It was just before George was into that. In fact, I don't really think George got too heavily into that kind of thing. George was generally a little more restrained in his guitar playing. He wasn't into heavy feedback.

On how he and Lennon wrote songs together, as told to Drowned in Sound (2012): We had a kind of system, which was: you just sat with a pad of paper and a pencil, and you sat at your guitar or your piano, and you make a song, and within about three hours, you should have finished the song. That's how we always did it. Read more here.

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