Let It Be (The Beatles)
- Matched Reciprocal
- Audio mp3
Let It Be
Paul McCartney’s essential song, the inspiration would have come to him from a dream (as for Yesterday). His mother Mary appeared to him and said, as tensions assail him from all sides, “everything will be all right”. He translated this into Let it be, giving it a spiritual connotation that it may not have had at first. Although released in 1970 Paul was already working on it at the time of the double white album.
It is one of the rare Beatles songs built on the harmonic march that has become the cliche of today’s pop: I / V / VI / IV
We have chosen to make an instrumental version of it. The concept is the following: the bass, by a play of fundamentals and tenths, sets the rhythm and harmony and the right hand develops a play that could be described as “multi-voice”. As if each finger of the right hand represented an independent voice. The fingers are not systematically struck together. The chord is tapped then one finger will move to play the melody, another will stay in place to make the chord be heard and the third will move if the harmony changes. Or the chord is plated and the first finger will play the melody and the other two will stay in place for the chord etc…. All the combinations are possible and with the addition of the bass we end up with a real 4 voices writing. This contrasts with the very percussive and sometimes very dry side of the Stick. Don’t hesitate to play with a compressor or a delay to get a sound with a lot of sustain.
The rhythmic writing of the melody tries to follow precisely the placement of Paul’s voice. So it is quite complex. At first you can simplify it and play it less syncopated. If you also find the concept of multi-voice difficult to access, you can start by playing only the upper voice. Just with the bass and the melody you can hear the whole piece. Then when you are comfortable, add the intermediate voices. And for those who start on the instrument I also attach a very simple version just with the chords in accompaniment.
To note in the C part the descent in third with measure 30 the passing modulation in F (with a B flat) then back to C measure 31 (with a B natural) then F measure 32 then back to C measure 33.
At bar 32 the chords are taken from the organ part with an unusual inversion at the Stick on the second eighth note of the second beat. A kind of F6 or Dm with D/F/C as voicing. The following solo is obviously given as an indication. It’s up to you to build your own.
McCartney singing very high, and having kept it in its original key, the song is played very high on the fretboard, especially in the Matched Reciprocal version. As it is an instrumental version nothing prevents you once you have the piece to transpose it from a few lower keys.
In any case, whatever the key, the more you work on this treasure, the more you understand why it has been a worldwide hit for 50 years.