“Better than those guys? Are you crazy?” You may ask. Well, don’t bet on it too hard. Nothing is sacred. Especially not anything about a rock&roll band. So don’t get too uptight. We’re going to check into a couple of things. Things that were overlooked, or happened differently from what could have been done. Also things that may have improved since then. Either because of the advance of technology, or human knowledge. Or just because. Anyway, here’s a list of what you can do. At least if you want to be better than the Fab Four.
How to be better than The Beatles
Play better. Sure, they were pretty good at it. Certainly more than adequate on their instruments. All four of them had their highlights during the band’s era. That doesn’t mean they didn’t have room for improvement. Not to blame them though. It’s natural to not reach your zenith in your 20s. Think about it. George Harrison didn’t even get into slide playing yet. Even though later on, it’s become his signature sound. You want to beat ’em, right? Stop chasing those bitches around. Focus on your playing skills instead.
Write catchier songs. Okay. Out of all these, it’s one of the harder things to achieve. Because they were pretty fukken good at it. In fact, I believe that’s where their genius shone the brightest. Those R&B (Motown, Stax), theater, skiffle, rockabilly, country and who knows, what else influenced tunes truly stood the test of time. If you want to get better than them, you have to up your songcraft. Good luck, bro.
Lyrics – a weak point… maybe
Write deeper lyrics that are more meaningful. Right? Because early Beatles is boy meets girl. Later Beatles is kind of a surreal chaos. Not much in the way of storytelling. Which is not a problem. But they certainly weren’t the band to write about people and their problems the most.
Get away with less studio gimmicks. Lots of innovations and creativity in their recording and mixing technique. Yet today, we have all the computers and digital stuff available. The real virtue has become to have a natural, raw musicianship reflected. Even on your recordings. It’s one area where you can better them. Easily.
Play out more and have better promotion. They were a pretty busy, touring band. Up until 1966. Then it was over. You need to beat that, man. With the help of the internet, you can get around the Earth much quicker than in the 60s. It can be done. The real challenge now is to get noticed. And then get supported. I feel for you, musician of the 2010s. Still, don’t give up.
Get lucky (in the sky with diamonds)
Have a better luck. They were in the right place at the right time. You can check all the boxes above. This last one still won’t happen to everyone. We all want to be that lucky, right? Well, luck is a funny lightning bolt. Don’t wait for the strike, just do your thing. Passionately.