The First 3 Chords The Beatles Ever Learned

In the 1950s, long before the internet made lovely guitar learning sites like this possible 😉  it was a little trickier to learn the guitar chords of your favourite songs on the radio.

So imagine the young Paul and John tearing their hair out trying to work out what chords Little Richard was playing on Good Golly Miss Molly. Or what Fats Domino was playing on I’m Walkin’.

According to the history books, they eventually got two chords nailed. E and A.

What was missing now was the elusive 3rd chord. After all, you can’t play rock ‘n’ roll with only two chords. Not the songs the Beatles wanted to play anyway. What was the 3rd chords to compliment E and A and complete the puzzle?

They worked out it was B7. But none of them knew ho to play it. According to Paul they had heard of a guy on the other side of town who knew how to play B7.

So they all hopped on a bus and headed across Liverpool to gather apostle-like around the guy who knew B7 and pleaded to him to show them it. This he did and it turned out to be a little trickier than E and A.

But now that they had it, their arsenal of chords was complete and they were able to play virtually every rock ‘n’ roll song on the radio . . . and start writing their own. Consider Love Me Do for example, one of their earlier songs. It’s a simple “3 chord trick” involving only E, A and B7.

So here they are. The first 3 chords the Beatles ever learned.


So that’s how you play Love Me Do. And you didn’t even have to get a bus across town to learn it.

I’d love to write out the lyrics or do a video/audio for you for this song but copyright law prohibits me from doing that. If you want to learn Beatles songs, check out Guitar Tricks who have made a deal with the owner of the copyright od the Beatles songs to teach the songs online.

The Only 8 Guitar Chords You’ll Ever Really Need

guitaringWhen you’re learning how to play guitar, the amount of chords and songs you think you need to learn can be overwhelming. Do you want to know the secret to learning thousands of songs in one fell swoop?

There are 8 basic chords that you should learn if you’re going to be a great guitarist. Learn these 8 chords and you’ll be well on the way to knowing how to play thousands of songs.

Of course, getting them in the right order is a different kettle of fish. You can learn how to quickly work out the chords of a song by going here.

First, make sure you know these chords.


Do Your Fingers Hurt from Playing Guitar?

Fingers Hurt from Playing GuitarIf you’re getting sore fingers after practicing the guitar then the good news is, you must be doing something right.  Sore fingers probably means you’re doing enough practice and believe me, you’re not the only one to get sore fingers.

The other good news is your body will be creating calluses (hard bits of skin) to protect your fingers from injury and pain.

It’s quite natural if you think about it. You have been pressing a delicate part of your body onto sharp bits of wire. It’s bound to hurt! It ‘s just something we all go through when learning to how to play the guitar.

Even if you’ve been playing for years and you have an extended period without touching a guitar, the hard skin on your fingers will disappear and you’ll find it hurts again.

OK! But how do I stop them hurting?

Our goal is to build thick skin on the tips of our fingers so that the nerves are not as exposed. Here are a few tips to if you’re getting sore fingers.

  1. Take a day off. Stop playing. Give it a rest if they are hurting and come back to it tomorrow. But make sure you do play even just a short while each day when you come back to it. This will help your fingers build the thick skin it needs to prevent the pain.
  2. Dip the tips of your fingers in alcohol or something like vodka. This is believed to accelerate the hardening up of the skin by dehydrating it. Kind of like the opposite of using softening hand cream.
  3. Avoid washing your hands too much.  Again, too much pampering of the hands will soften up the skin.
  4. “Ghost” the fingers of the left hand. That means touch the strings rather than press down on them. This means you can still practice but you won’t be hurting your fingers. Not great fun but at least you can still practice finger changes.
  5. Tune the guitar to an open tuning and use your first finger to barre the chords. A good open tuning for this would be open E (E B E G# B E). Then you can move to the 5th an 7th frets with your first finger to play A and B. This means you can still practice your right hand techniques.
  6. I’ve also heard rumours that applying witch hazel to your finger tips will work. Never tried it myself so I can’t vouch for it. If it works for you let me know.

It’s also rumoured that the great Eric Clapton would use alcohol to harden up his finger tips so it’s worth a try!

Above all, only time will help with the finger pain because only with time can you build up the thick skin required to press those wires down.

Yes, I’m afraid so. It’s our old friend “stick at it” and it will all come good.  Oh well, it happens to us all ;-)

For more tricks to help stop your fingers hurting click here.

The Songs That Came In From The Cold

Ever been to Krakow?

There’s a suburb in Krakow called Nova Huta which was Stalin’s great attempt at Social Realism. My friend Jason and I were in a Trabant, being driven by the craziest tour guide east of Berlin, heading towards Nova Huta at 90 miles an hour.

When we got there we took a short tour round the still-existing shops that would dole out rations to the residents. Long wooden counters with drawers containing goodness knows what, and a sparse decor flagrantly ignoring commerciality, advertising and consumerism.

We had a short vodka in a 1970s restaurant and our guide showed us photographs and told us stories of the days of communism.

It was a fascinating tour and rich with human interest. Couple that with the recent John Le Carre film, “Tinker, Tailor” and the Cold War becomes much more luminous in the mind.

So I thought why not write some song collections about interesting historical subjects. You know, things that actually interest me. Raaaaaadical dude.

It makes for inspiring subject matter and a sense of direction.

Watching “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”, a trip to Poland and reading The Spy Who Came In From The Cold together have inspired a new project provisionally titled:

The Songs That Came In From The Cold: 9 Cold War Espionage Songs

And since I haven’t written or recorded anything since 500 BC it’s an even more suitable title.

I tracked down an Encyclopedia of Cold War Espionage, Spies, and Secret Operations at Amazon which is jam packed with the stories of spies and their murky goings on. A great source of inspiration.

My penciled in track listing includes:

  • Coming in From The Cold (Leamas’ Lament)
  • Hotel Krakow
  • Berlin Drive
  • Coming Back To The Circus
  • I Won’t Be Going Home
  • The Art of Betrayal
  • Live & Let Spy
  • …. and 2 more

That’s it so far. If you want to receive email updates stick your email address in this ‘ere box below and join the list. And I promise I won’t sell, rent or give away you email address to anyone else, especially spies.. I hate spam as much as you.

Learn Guitar Online – Guitar Tricks Review

I love the blues and guitarists not many people have heard of. I learned through the music of Mississippi John Hurt and Woodie Guthrie.

I used to have a lesson once a week from my old primary school teacher who would write out chords and tabs for me based on the old blues masters.

In those days an online guitar tuition website was of course, unheard of. But these days guitar lessons online are really quite mature and one of the best is Guitar Tricks. I’ve been a member for almost a year and it’s a pretty handy and fun learning resource.

However, if you’re thinking of investing in online lessons, here’s what I think of it.

Get A Free 14 Day Trial of GuitarTricks – You get full access for 2 weeks when you sign up for the free trial. If GuitarTricks isn’t for you feel free to cancel within 14 days.

Guitar Tricks Review

This is a long list so sit down and fasten in. There are over 5000 lessons on this site and more added every day. The price is only $14.95 a month and that’s about a third of a once a week lesson with a decent guitar tutor. I love the forum! You can actually talk to the instructors and ask them questions about something that is not making sense to you or leave recommendations for lessons you would like to see.

On top of that they have a guitar tech on staff so when I had a problem with my action height he was able to help in a little over a day and could help you with any problems you might encounter. Guitar Tricks provides a tuner and metronome built in to the site making it just a click away from tuning up you guitar or keeping in time. Pretty handy.

The jam station is a really nice feature allowing you to play different parts of the song without a band behind you. It has some great charts for finding out which chord is giving you a hard time.

There is also a list of all the scales and shows you the positions right on the fret board.

The videos have a feature that works really well allowing you to loop a section you are working on without having to let go of your guitar.

Even after several months of using the site I’m sure there are other features I have yet to find!

What I like about Guitar Tricks

This site has changed the way I play guitar. I hate the thought of someone criticizing the way I learn or learning on someone else’s schedule. Being a guitarist I like a lot of styles of music. This site has made it possible for me to learn all the styles I want and can switch whenever I feel like it.

I love the jam sessions! I can just jam out with back up without having to find people to jam with or work around their schedule. My favorite thing on this site is the looping feature. I can pick point A and point B to loop just that section till I have mastered it.

It really has helped me perfect some finger movements. Then I can move on to the next loop I need help with. You can change the loop sections at any time.

The price. I can’t forget that.

Yes it does cost money, but it is far less than personal live lessons. I think it’s better than spending almost two hundred a month at your local guitar shop. You just cannot get a better service for under $20 a month.

Key Features

  • There is a step-by-step beginner program: The Core Learning System
  • On-screen notation in the Core Learning System
  • There are over 8,000 lessons. Yes 8,000! That’ll keep you going right?
  • Guitar Tricks has twice as many songs as the other online lesson sites (500 songs) including song lessons by The Beatles, The Eagles, B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughn. And of course tons more. This is important because it’s hard and costly to gain publisher permissions to teach songs online and GT have agreements with most of the big guys.
  • The videos have a 3-angle view shot on HD cameras

Guitar Tricks Pros and Cons


  • Ability to learn whenever and wherever you want
  • Huge amount of lessons available
  • Reasonably priced
  • Easy to use
  • New lessons added all the time
  • Active forum and teachers

  • It might not have the artists you want to learn
  • Is very general in nature, doesn’t go technique in depth sometimes
  • You need to be at a computer to use it

What I Dislike

It’s easy to use, and teaches me things I did not even know I was supposed to learn!

However it can be a bit general in nature.

Since I love some odd guitarist like John Hurt and Cliff Gallup I would love for some of the obscure techniques to be highlighted. As much as I would love to learn to play like those guys, I also don’t dare fool myself to think I can perfect their guitar playing. Also, with so many new teachers, and user recommendations I would not be surprised to see them on GT shortly.


I don’t want this to sound like a sales pitch ’cause I don’t work for Guitar Tricks. I haven’t been practising a huge amount recently but I can fully recommend you sign up for the free trial today.

(Note: As a member of Guitar Tricks affiliate program I will get a commission from them if you actually buy it. Doesn’t cost you a penny more but does help towards my next album)

Saturday Feb 23rd, Cupar Corn Exchange

Hi everyone,

Battleofthebands_2013 (<— click to see poster)

I’m playing a short set as part of the New Brunswick Battle of the Blues in Cupar Corn Exchange this Saturday Feb 23rd. Starts about 8pm and there are 6 blues bands playing. £8 for a ticket on the door. Hope you can make it!

Abandon Cold War!

Ok this is a bit embarassing.

My 9 Cold War Love Songs project has gone  . . . well . . . cold.

Abandon project!

Seriously, I’ve tried to write 9 of them but it’s driving me crazy and my mental health is more important than a foolhardy concept album.

I hit The Dip; that period in a project when it gets tough and you can either quit or keep going. My best option was to quit. The Dip turned out to be a dead end. Divert resources elsewhere. Sometimes that’s the best option.

I have a written a few and I’ll put them on the next release.

You know when wise people say you should make your goals public because there’s more chance that you’ll complete them? Well I’m here to say that’s cobblers.

No more grand announcements from me.

As you were.

It’s All Just Made Up

It’s all man-made.

It’s all been invented.

Whether it was by kings, politicians, committees, businesses or philanthropists. It’s all man-made.

We made it up. People just made stuff up. Some things are tactile, some things are simply ideas. Like rules and ethics and cities and schools and systems and curriculums and houses and pubs and ways to do things. Right?


Sometimes what’s been made up is good. Sometimes it’s not.

Beware of the man who says “so you wanna be a [insert your dream job]? Whatcha gotta do is this….” How the hell does he know? He may well be right, but what he’s really saying is, “this is how I had some success or have seen some others having success”. He just made it up or, more likely, is talking from experience having done something that someone else made up.

It’s all just been invented by someone else.

So it stands to reason that you have every freedom, every right to make up some stuff yourself.

So go for it. Make up the stuff that you want to see in the world.

Draw that picture, write the song, have the baby, make some pies, design that building, do that 10k run, start that radical political movement.

I’m going to make up some more songs.

Just sayin’.

Johnny B Truant has just made something up. It ‘s called How To Be Legendary. It’s free.