Let It Be.
Those 3 words, so simple by themselves, have come to mean so much to us pianists.
Let It Be. The Beatles. Pop history. Piano ballad. Paul McCartney. Emotion. Speaking words of wisdom. Let it Be.
Here’s a solo piano version of Let It Be to give you some ideas:
It can be challenging to play a Beatles song. Not because the songs themselves are difficult. They’re usually not. And not just because the Beatles were great. Yes, they were great, but so are Elton John and Pink Floyd, and their songs are so much easier to interpret.
The Beatles songs are hard to play because of their arrangements. Their orchestrations. They spent so much time in the studio, polishing and perfecting their records that the sound of them playing their own music is inescapable. Just like Duke Ellington in the world of jazz. Yes, there are some great covers of Duke’s music, but not as many as you might imagine. Because if you know Ellington’s originals, you’ll always compare them with the covers you hear. Same with the Beatles.
So what’s a pianist to do?
Simple: be true to thyself.
Learn the song, and then simply be yourself. Find the essence of the song and then dig deep down and express what you need to express. From yourself to the world.
When we get right down to it, that’s exactly what the Beatles themselves did. They played Chuck Berry but it didn’t sound like Chuck Berry. They sang like the Everly Brothers but it didn’t sound like the Everly Brothers. They tried to play guitar like B.B. King but it didn’t sound like B.B. King.
It sounded like the Beatles.
Learn the music, be yourself, and Let It Be.