This featured ukulele video lesson, All My Loving, was recorded by the Beatles. All My Loving was released in 1963 in the UK and 1964 in the US. The song wasn’t originally recorded to be a single, but it became very popular and ended up serving as the first song that the Beatles played on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964.
Like many songs by the Beatles, All of My Loving starts out in a way that may make it seem simple, but it becomes really quite complex by the time the song gets going. This will be a challenging piece for a ukulele player but, with the right refinement and attention to detail, it is also a piece that will allow a ukulele player to build and develop – as well as show off – some of the skills that make a very accomplished instrumentalist.
The song is in F#m, and it uses a quite a
stunning number of chords during its runtime. It incorporates B7, E, Fmaj7, A and several variations on each to create an intricate,
rapidly changing chord progression that will provide significant challenges for
the player. A little trickier is the Fmaj7 run, which becomes easier with practice.
If this is being done in an ensemble, the bass ukulele player will have to play a walking bassline, reminiscent of early rock ‘n roll and country-western music. The song, in fact, was written by Lennon and McCartney in the style of a country-western song in many regards, and George Harrison’s guitar solo incorporates elements of both country-western music and rockabilly in its tone and structure.
The song is also characterized by quite a few variations on traditional pop structure. It has a very strong vocal hook to it, consisting of both bridges and refrains, but it changes chords very rapidly; much more so than most pop music. It also incorporates a relatively steady, simple baseline with a very rapid fire, quickly shifting chord progression, which gives it a complex feel and provides an opportunity for a ukulele player to really lose himself in performing the song.
In particular, note the differences between the rhythmic qualities of the verses and the refrain. While the verses are downright hyper in the speed of the triplets the guitars are playing, the refrain adopts a much more laid-back style that contrasts nicely.
Be sure to emphasize the upstrokes on the refrain, as they provide a great deal of what differentiates the refrain so strongly from the verse sections of the song.
This song, like many other Beatles songs, will be challenging for anyone at any level of proficiency. For beginners, it’s a great introduction to contrast, rapid strumming and exotic chords. For more advanced players, it’s an excellent opportunity to exercise the subtlety that comes with a great deal of study and practice.
While not one of the smash hits that the Beatles are known for, All My Loving is one of the favorite Beatles songs among true aficionados and, in particular, among those who admire the Beatles for their capacity for musical complexity.
This song showcases the incredible musical vocabulary that the Beatles possessed. It was released on the album With the Beatles and appeared on a single along with the B side This Boy. The song runs a short two minutes long, but it packs a lot of variety into those two minutes and is certainly one of the more memorable Beatles tunes. This is one of the few songs where Paul McCartney actually wrote the words before the music was written, and out of their entire catalog, it is certainly one of the most unusual selections, and one of the best, according to many critics.Return to Home Page
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