“What Makes This Song Great?” : Rick Beato Videos Look Under The Hood of Classic Songs

I have written previously on how hearing individual instrument parts of a favorite tune can give you a whole new perspective and appreciation of the song (https://roymusicusa.com/2018/04/12/and-now-for-something-completely-different-listening-to-music-before-and-after-isolated-tracks/). Along those lines I want to let everyone know about a great series of videos by musician and producer Rick Beato called What Makes This Song Great?. In each video, Rick breaks down the song, calling your attention to parts that you were probably aware of on a subliminal level (and no, I’m not talking about satanic messages and besides, if I was going to put in a subliminal message, it would not be to worship Satan, it would be to buy twenty more copies of the record). After listening to these videos, you are more aware of the awesome sound of that kick drum or that the bass part switched from electric bass to synth bass in the chorus. I’m not a fan of every song he analyzes but if you’re into music, you can certainly learn something from every song he examines, even ones you don’t like.

Below, I cherry picked my favorites videos or rather my favorite songs that he covered.

What Makes This Song Great? Ep. 2 THE POLICE –


What Makes This Song Great? Ep. 3 Steely Dan –


What Makes This Song Great? Ep. 7 TOM PETTY – 


What Makes This Song Great? Ep.28 DAVID BOWIE – 


What Makes This Song Great? Ep.36 YES – 


Rick Beato is a You Tube educator par excellence. He has put out videos on music theory, composition film scoring, guitar and a host of other music geek friendly topics. You should definetly check out his website (https://rickbeato.com/) and his You Tube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/pegzch/featured).

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Posted in Classic Rock, Music Appreciation and Analysis
3 comments on ““What Makes This Song Great?” : Rick Beato Videos Look Under The Hood of Classic Songs
  1. Craig Morrison says:

    Not being one to usually pursue such reductionistic analysis of the creative arts (dissect a joke and you may no longer find a laugh), my career as a psychologist perhaps being inconsistent with that statement, I nonetheless was curious.  Watched a bit of the Steely Dan video. Would watch more, but I’m too impatient (or lack sufficient interest). What I appreciated, moreso than just the analysis and synthesis, was the way the video helps such a common listener as myself remember that there are individual players, each creating a “feel” which brings forth their instruments’ contribution to the whole, and that, alone, has a soul, together creating the song.

    Never hurts to go where the mind doesn’t usually go. Just be sure to come back, maybe enriched by the journey.

  2. RoyMusicUSA says:

    Excellent point about the importance of the individual player and the feel they brought to the song as a whole. In my experience as a musician (and as a bassist in particular), I’ve noticed that there is a special skill to playing your part with the exact feel that would work best for that song with those musicians at that specific time. Keep in mind that Steely Dan were using the cream of L.A. studio musicians. These musicians had that skill in spades.

  3. […] of the James Bond Theme. I have previously written about Rick’s amazing YouTube channel (https://roymusicusa.com/2018/07/26/what-makes-this-song-great-rick-beato-videos-look-under-the-hood-&#8230😉 which is a goldmine of information for those who want to know how music works (my […]

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