Blackbird - Beatles

This is my attempt at the Beatles classic - Blackbird. I hope you like it. On a few occasions Paul McCartney has been on the train I travel in and out of London on. Just on his own like any ordinary commuter. I was too starstruck to even give him a quick ‘Hello, Goodbye’.


Hi Alan,
That was some good playing and good singing :sunglasses: :clap:…looks very complicated :smiley:


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You catch me at the end of a Beatles revival phase-
I’ve just rewatched Get Back and 7 out of 8 parts of the Beatles Anthology TV series :smiley:
A good friend was visiting his brother-in-law at the weekend and was talking about John Lennon; he popped into the next room and produced a couple of personal notes to him from the Egg Man himself :open_mouth:
Even though it would be very uncool, I’m not sure I could restrain myself from some kind of interaction if I bumped into the Walrus :rofl:
Back to the business at hand. That’s an impressive bit of guitar playing.
Bravo! :sunglasses:
You have broken the back of this song. You know and can play all the parts. The odd ‘sticky bits’ should iron out smoothly with a little more practice. When you have the playing fully on autopilot, you’ll have more headspace to concentrate on the vocals. The good news is you are singing in tune, but to your own melody. It’s nice and if that’s intentional- cool. Some people will find it odd, as it’s not what they are expecting.
Either way, well done and thanks for the fab cover :smiley:


Very impressive Alan. Really nice playing and some good vocals to go with your playing. Thumbs up from me :+1:

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Thank you @roger_holland for your kind words.

once you delve into the song it’s not as complicated as it might appear, but let’s just keep that amongst the guitar learning fraternity.

@brianlarsen - thank you. Sounds like you’re undertaking a total immersive Beatles experience, respect to your Fab Four stamina. Will have to check out Anthology, I hadn’t realised there was also a tv series. I watched Get Back on a long coach journey to Liverpool with my daughter’s football team, enthralling as it was I did succumb to the odd snooze. Would have been nice to fit in visiting some Beatles related sights but alas it didn’t make the itinerary. Another time.

Thank you for your feedback. Much appreciated. Any association with myself and cool is likely to be fortuitous as I think my daughter would whole heartedly agree. Singing in tune though, I will definitely take that. Thank you. Interesting what you say about the melody, I did suspect maybe something wasn’t quite right but my ears aren’t that attuned to know exactly what it was. More investment in singing is required as my journey along that path is germinal. It was on my to do list but is still largely to be found on that list. Thanks again. Merry Christmas.


Thanks Eddie for listening and feedback. Best wishes Alan

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I do like it.
Very good Alan!
Impressive even. Very good finger pickin there for sure.

What was your method for learning this song?
Did you have some learning aid, like a you tube that showed you the ropes? Or did you just work it out by listening to it?
I do that song, but I learned it out of a book, and while what I play sounds like Blackbird, I know I don’t play it right as I play it with mostly open chords. What I do for sure is missing much imho.
Your version is much closer to the real song. Ya sure did very good guitar work there man.

I sure do want to learn to play it like your playing it.
If you have any insight as to learning that song, I’d sure be appreciative.

Your singing is good too.
I could guess that you sing bass though.
I sing bass and I can’t sing high enough to cover that song (or many Beatles songs for that matter) in it’s proper vocal range.
You appear to do what I do when I can’t get high enough. Drop a octave. It seems to be my only option when I sing it.

Very good rendition @Alan_1970
Thanks for sharing with us.

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:slight_smile: I kinda wondered if Justin didn’t have a lesson on that.
I’ll check it out.

No need to wonder!

It’s the first place I look when thinking about learning a song.

Hello Alan, this is a very complicated one to my eyes and you already have it all down your fingers; in my opinion, as Brian already said, you now need to iron it out smoothly with more practice. Watch and rewatch the video and detect those parts that need more work. As for the singing, you were not always in tune with the original recording, but since it wasn’t unpleasant one can think that this was your interpretation. Take my compliments for attempting this and getting it to a good level already!

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Hi Jim @HappyCat , thanks for listening and your kind words, much appreciated. I learned the song mainly using Justin’s lesson, listening to the song, I also check out the tab too from UG as I find it helps me see where the vocals fit in. My transcribing skills aren’t good enough to work out a song just from listening, something to aspire to in the future. Swift Guitar also does a good lesson on Blackbird that is a good supplement to Justin’s.
I understand that Justin teaches it with authentic chords the good thing you’ll see is that the most strings you hold down at anyone time is 2. Good luck if you give Justins lesson a try, I find it very enjoyable song to play. You might be right about high note in vocals, I did briefly check with a voice pitch app and there did seem to be a high note that my voice was getting nowhere near. When I sing in my lower range to my ears I sound out of tune, and tend to go a bit higher. Probably need a bit more practice around that range. I will look forward to hearing your version sometime if you post. Best wishes, Alan

Thanks, Sylvia for listening and your feedback. I very much appreciate your compliments. Best wishes Alan

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Well done Alan! I try to play Blackbird and I know there are some quick chord changes that are pretty tough and you’re hitting them very well. I noticed you play the song Paul McCartney style - using only the index finger on your strumming hand to do the picking and strumming. Advanced finger style pickers (like my guitar teacher) say it’s hard for them to play it that way. Anyway, great job and it looks like you’re having great fun playing and singing.

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Well done! I am trying to learn this one as well. I like that you are just plucking the stings, I have gotten my head all wrapped up in the index finger down strum Justin teaches in his video, but I should probably play it your way first and then try the harder technique later.

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Hi again Alan,
Justin say transcribing is good for us so I had a quick bash at looking what’s going on in the vocal melody department (for my own curiosity more than anything else). I think you’re playing the same chords as Justin in his lesson and when he sings he starts singing on G going to D.

G     G    G      G       G   D   D
Blackbird singing in the dead of night

I believe you start on the B ascending in steps to G
B     B    C      C       D   G   G
Blackbird singing in the dead of night

It looks like you’ve dropped to the B below the G. It might be worth trying to sing a whole octave lower than Justin staying on the G. If you’re able, it would be make it a lot easier to learn rather than figure out harmonies for the whole song.
Apologies for offering unsolicited advice, but I thought I might as well share in case it’s helpful.

Some of us just hope to one day croak out the words as we play…:man_facepalming:t3:

Thanks Mike. I decided to give the authentic McCartney style strum a try. I recall it did take quite a while to get it down. One weekend I was doing it all the time just against my leg along with the mantra - pinch down/up thumb up/down. Must have looked a little odd, my daughter wasn’t impressed as it co-incided with taking her on a shopping trip to London. Then trying it with the guitar and not snagging my finger on the strings. It did take a while to feel comfortable with guitar but now it seems quite engrained. It is really fun to play, I can definitely recommend. I never imagined I would ever be to play it. Good luck if you give it a go.

Hi Joshua, thank you. I believe I am playing the same as Justin, he seems to have a looser wristier action that sounds very cool. I couldn’t emulate what he is doing so I think my action is a bit more flicking with the index finger and I tend to anchor my hand on the guitar using my little finger or ring finger for stability. Try the mantra: pinch down/up thumb up/down. (I think I got this from swift guitar, check his version out too it just might help you see it more clearly.
Good luck with it, would be great to see your version at some point. Best wishes, Alan

Thanks Brian, no need to apologise, much appreciated. It has given me food for thought for my vocals on this song and also others I am trying. Best wishes Alan