Yellow Submarine Cover by dobleA

Here is my version of The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. As @ChasetheDream commented when he posted his cover of this song, and other members may have found too, there is more going on this song that it seems. For me it also has a childhood connection.

When I was a lobato in the Colombian scouts (lobato is wolf cub in Spanish [scout wolf cubs are called cub scouts by Scouts Canada]), we used to sing a song in Spanish that I am pretty sure had the same music than Yellow Submarine, but instead of Yellow Submarine we sang our school troop number, Tropa Dieciséis (Sixteenth Troop). I end my video singing that.

My first conscious encounter with the music of The Beatles was after John Lennon’s death (I was thirteen at that time). Then suddenly their songs were everywhere and the scope of music that I was deliberately listening widened from only classical and instrumental to include rock (Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd and many others).

A little more than a year ago I grabbed a songbook I have, looking for something I could play, and looked at the tab for this song and, suddenly, thanks to JustinGuitar lessons, I was able to understand how I could play it. After a few unpolished tries I decided to give it a go for adding it to my repertoire. I’ve been 10 months practicing it.

Polishing this song has been for me an excellent exercise for working in my 4/4 beat count while switching between 4 strumming patterns and doing 1st and 4th beat chord changes. At several points I have felt like being level 0 and learning again everything (what was probably happening in some way).

The chord sequence of the verses is 8 chords long and it was not until I wrote the chords for each section without the lyrics that I visualized how the chord sequence repeated through the song. It took me a while to be able to repeat the sequence at least twice without getting lost of where I was in the sequence.

To help me with the practice I created a backing track with GarageBand. Following advice from Toby @TheMadman_tobyjenner after my Pink Panther Theme post, I mainly used a hi-hat on each beat as the rhythm base, and added the other drum kit sounds as I thought better complemented each strumming pattern.

Following advice from my brother, I split the track with the drums in two, and later three tracks, to be able to control the sound of each track (and the instruments on each) individually. I am playing it at 90 b.p.m. that is a tempo I feel comfortable playing and singing at (as per Justin, the original record is around 109 b.p.m.)

For the instrumental, voices and noises interlude I got the idea to whistle in a kind of old war movie style (someway like in the “The Bridge On The River Kwai”).

The hat on my head is a souvenir of visiting the B.A.E. Guayas, school ship of the Ecuadorian Navy, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, in the nineties.

The initial idea The Beatles had for this song was quite different than the final version they came up with:

The Beatles - Yellow Submarine (Songwriting Work Tape / Part 1)


Hello Andres, you did a great job on your strumming, it both sounds and looks consistent and well timed. I have to admit that I enjoyed the whistling a lot :blush:

I noticed tempo was slowier, speeding it up will be only a matter of practice for you now, since you’re nailing it already…this is a reminder to myself as well since I also have to slow down bpm.


Hi Silvia, thank you for watching and commenting. Yes, I can gradually increase the speed and see how it works for me. I was first playing it at 84 b.p.m but when I recorded it to ckeck how it was sounding, I didn’t like the chorus at that speed, so I started to practicing it at 90 b.p.m. that I liked more and was still doable for me.


Nice performance Andrés :+1: :sunglasses: Very interesting background story. Noticed how well your are changing those chords and keeping strumming on time. Getting up to the speed of the original at 108 - 110 pbm doesn’t seem that far away for you.

Awesome you are working with the GarageBand and doing your own backing track and all that jazz! :+1: :sunglasses:
The whistle was a cool idea also.

That was a serious surprise for me. That was hardcore sadness and then it turned into Yellow Submarine with happy feelings that many of us happily sang with joy and a smile on the face.

Great performance and post! Well done :+1: :sunglasses: :pray:

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Hi Kim, thank you for watching and commenting. I’m glad you liked my performance and background story. It’s satisfying when after many hours spent doing tailored practice routines the parts start to fit together and what looked very challenging and impossible starts to feel more fluid and less demanding. I’ll probably go now with little speed increases like 2 each time. It looks The Beatles recorded the song at a lower speed and increased it to rise the pitch of Ringo’s voice. I’m glad also that you found interesting the story about the songwriting of Yellow Submarine. Stories about of how songs are created can be very interesting.

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So true. Yesterday I had a breakthrough, being able to play and remember all the words for my first song and without doing any mistakes and not looking at the sheets I made for myself. - My face was one big smile when I walked home from my creeky practice place. :partying_face: :joy:

Very much indeed. I listen to everything I find on this. - It sound odd in my ears, to record a song at a lower speed and so on. But it is a completely new world and universe to me and there are still so many things I don’t understand about the whole music production part. - But slowly slowly, as the mind only can digest a tiny bit at the time and I am already filled to the brim :joy: :joy:

Watching your progress and now eventually the performance and the creativity you have added into this seemingly simple song, is very inspiring. Also show how vast the music universe is. Endless possibilities.

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Good job, Andres. I especially like the inclusion of the whistling!


Hi Robert @ChasetheDream, thank you for watching and commenting. At this point I am not sure exactly how I came up with the whistling, but most likely I could have been influenced by a version by an Italian symphonic orchestra that starts the first verse with a flute solo and gradually adds the other instruments. Although the lyrics of the submarine crew talk are available I could not find a suitable keyboard sound in GarageBand that I could add to the backing track for the interlude to make the other noises. Then at some point I realized that if the interlude is accompanied like Verse 1 I could whistle Verse 1 and it could fit the song, as the song is said to be a military march parody.

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Nicely played, Andres :clap: I enjoyed your story of how it came to be :+1: well done with arranging backing tracks to accompany you, great work all round :v:

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Nice performance Andrés. Also enjoyed reading the backstory of this one. Do you have a version where you sing the full lyrics of your Cub Scouts song :slight_smile:
The factoid about el gorro Ecuatoriano was also a nice little surprise (my family are from Ambato).

Keep up your good work!

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Hi Lee, thank you for watching and commenting. I’m glad you like it.

Hi Sandro @Dro_1, thank you for watching and commenting. I’m glad you liked my performance and background story.

I don’t remember the rest of the cub scouts song. My father recorded me once when I was a child singing some songs and maybe this one was one of them but I lost track of the cassette. I’ve unsuccessfully tried to find the song using the internet, but writing this I just got the idea of asking my high school classmates in a group chat we have. I still can sing the anthem of my school by heart so any of them may still remember the rest of the lyrics and, even best, try to sing the song. It may be a weird question for them, but let’s see how it works. It can bring up some nice memories for some of them.

Ecuador is the only South American or Central American country I’ve been other than my home country Colombia. I’ve been in Tulcan, Ibarra, Esmeraldas (including Atacames and Muisne beaches), Bahia de Caraquez, Guayaquil (but not Salinas), and Quito. I haven’t been either in Ambato, Manta or Galápagos Islands.