Paul McCartney: Bassist or Multi-Instrumentalist?

This post was inspired by the wealth of information in the 1989 book Beatlesongs by William Dowling.

While Paul played bass guitar on every Beatles recording that included bass, he did do some other notable things, too.

Lead guitar – originally a guitarist in the very early days of the band, he switched to bass, but he did play lead guitar on several songs. Among them were “Ticket to Ride”, “Helter Skelter”, “Polythene Pam”, “Back in the U.S.S.R.” and “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road”.

Piano – Countless songs featured Paul on piano. Some of them were “Octopus’ Garden”, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “Glass Onion”, “I, Me, Mine”, “You Won’t See Me”, “Hey Jude”, “Your Mother Should Know” and “Hello Goodbye”

Organ – “Revolution”, “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” and “Mr. Moonlight”

Acoustic guitar – “Yesterday”, “I’ve Just Seen a Face”, “Here, There and Everywhere”, “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”, “I’ll Be Back”, “And I Love Her”

Fugelhorn – “Dear Prudence”

Harpischord – “Fixing a Hole”

Flute – “Glass Onion”, “Fool on the Hill”, “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane”

Maracas – “Ballad of John & Yoko”

Bongos – “Mother Nature’s Son”, “Hello Goodbye” and “Strawberry Fields Forever”

Tympani – “Mother Nature’s Son”

Recorder – “Fool on the Hill”

Congas – “Hello Goodbye”

Drums – played drums on “Back in the USSR”, “The Ballad of John & Yoko” and “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road” when Ringo briefly quit the band during the recording of The White Album. Actually, Paul had to fill in on drums on occasion during their early days in Liverpool and even in Hamburg. Years later when Wings was without a drummer prior to recording the Band on the Run album, Paul handled drumming chores himself. When Who drummer Keith Moon first heard the album, he immediately called his friend Paul and asked him who the great drummer was on the album.

Editor’s Note: After the Beatles broke up, Paul moonlighted by playing the kazoo on Ringo’s 1973 # 1 hit “You’re Sixteen”.

Have a listen to Paul on drums …………

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