Phil Spector

The producer behind The Ronettes, Tina Turner, and The Beatles

Biography and Guitar Lessons

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River Deep Mountain High


Phil Spector

Phil Spector is acknowledged by journalists and peers as one of the most influential figures in pop music history.

His work includes collaborations with Tina Turner, Leonard Cohen, The Ronettes, The Crystals, Righteous Brothers, The Ramones, The Beatles as well as with John Lennon and George Harrison’s solo careers.

Phil is most known for his recording technique dubbed the “wall of sound”, where he would record several instruments playing the same part.

He would do this using legendary session band the Wrecking Crew, a group of L.A based session musicians that played on countless hits in the 60s and 70s.

Phil’s most recognized hits include River Deep, Mountain High, Da Do Ron Ron, Unchained Melody, Then He Kissed Me, Be My Baby, You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling, The Long And Winding Road, My Sweet Lord, Let It Be, Imagine and Happy Xmas (War Is Over).

Phil Spector’s career begun to slow down in the mid-70s following a near-fatal car accident that would see him having 700 stitches to his face and head.

For the second half of the 70s, he did some work with Leonard Cohen and The Ramones until the 80s came around and Spector became reclusive and inactive.

In, 2003 actress Lana Clarkson died in Spector’s famed mansion. The emergency call quotes Spector as saying, “I think I’ve killed someone”.

He was convicted in 2009 and sentenced to 19 years in jail.

Countless artists have stated Phil Spector’s production techniques as a major influence, including Brian Wilson (Beach Boys), Bruce Springsteen, Brian Eno, My Bloody Valentine, Johnny Franz (Dusty Springfield), ABBA and Meatloaf.

As one of the most important producers of the last century, Phil Spector can be found on many top 10 lists, rubbing shoulders with other greats such as Rick Rubin, George Martin, Mutt Lang, and Quincy Jones.


Guitar Lessons


Be My Baby – Step 1

In this lesson, we start working on Be My Baby, an early Motown smash hit produced by Phil Spector and performed by The Ronettes.

Before we get into building the guitar part, let’s have a listen to the complete song.

Go to Be My Baby step 1.


Be My Baby – Step 2 (Free Preview)

In this lesson, we learn how to play big barre chord shapes as we play the verse for Be My Baby.

As the song is in the key of E, we can take advantage of open strings. This will help when trying to create a wall of sound.

Go to Be My Baby step 2.


Be My Baby – Step 3

In this lesson, we work out what to play the bridge, it too uses big, arpeggiated chord shapes, just like the verse.

Be My Baby really is a great example of classic songwriting. The chord progressions, the structure, it’s like the ABC of how to write a song.

Go to Be My Baby step 3.


Be My Baby – Step 4

Today we work out what to play the chorus. The progression is E – C#m – A – B. That’s a I – VI – IV – V progression.

Let’s learn it all over the neck so we can improvise up our favorite part.

Go to Be My Baby step 4.


Be My Baby – Step 5

Today we play all three sections you’ve learned so far in the verse, the bridge, and the chorus.

Your goal is to improvise up as many different parts as you can.

Go to Be My Baby step 5.


Be My Baby – Step 6

The step from playing chords with a couple of licks here and there to soloing isn’t as far as you may think.

If you swap the chord playing for playing a melody, but keep the licks, you’re soloing!

Go to Be My Baby step 6.


Be My Baby – Step 7

In this lesson, I’ll play the complete song with the band.

Playing along with me is a good way to prepare for playing the song on your own in the final step.

Go to Be My Baby step 7.


Be My Baby – Step 8

Today we finish off our study of Be My Baby as it’s your turn to play the song with the band.

Remember, explore that fret board – The longer you can keep improvising for, the better.

Go to Be My Baby step 8.


Related Pages


Chords and Guitar Lessons

Be My Baby is an early “Wall Of Sound Production” by Phil Spector.

When playing this with a band, we need to create a big sounding guitar part to compensate for the lack of an orchestra.

Go to Be My Baby chords and guitar lesson.


Lyrics

The night we met I knew I, needed you so
And if I had the chance I’d, never let you go
So won’t you say you love me
I’ll make you so proud of me

Go to Be My Baby lyrics.


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