Today we’re talking with Scott Freiman, the creator of Deconstructing the Beatles, a series of uniquely revealing multimedia presentations about the composition and production techniques of the Beatles. Scott has spoken about the Beatles to sold-out audiences, on college campuses and for companies around the USA. He skilfully draws on original multitrack recordings to reveal exactly how the songs we know and love were put together, drawing out new and fascinating insights about the Beatles and their music.

Scott is also a professional composer and distilled some of the songwriting lessons he’d learned from the Fab Four into a terrific online course, “Learn the Songwriting Secrets of The Beatles” which we found to be a great resource even for those who have no aspirations to write songs themselves but just want to understand music better.

As a composer himself he said that what the Deconstructing the Beatles project really showed him was how much work went into this music that we know and love. Just how creative the Beatles were and how that creative process happened, step by step – not just individually but collaboratively.

That’s what we dig into in this interview: If these songs didn’t magically spring into being overnight, what were the elements that made the band so unusually able to consistently write incredible songs that have stood the test of time. Scott has fantastic insight and there’s a ton to learn here for song writers, composers and for musicians and music fans as well.

We talk about:

  • The development and growth the Beatles had already gone through as musicians before their recording career began
  • How his training as an editor has influenced how Scott sees their music and how the Beatles themselves combined editing with experimentation
  • One specific technique you can listen for in any music but which the Beatles utilised in new and unusual ways.

There’s some really instructive and inspiring ideas in this conversation that we know you’ll benefit from in your own music making and music listening. And it will make you hungry to go watch Scott’s full presentations and maybe check out his songwriting course.

You’re tuned in to Beatles Month at Musical U.

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You'll love The Beatles even more after you hear this interview with expert Scott Freiman! He draws new and fascinating insights on their music.



After watching Scott’s presentations I knew this would be a fun conversation, and I hope it gave you a good taste of what he’s been able to glean and share from studying the band and their original recordings in such detail. Let’s recap.

Scott started early in music as a classical pianist but decided he didn’t have the passion for becoming a professional performer. He did major in music though and always enjoyed analysing and picking apart classical pieces to understand what made them work. He’d taught himself some rock and pop along the way including the Beatles, and explored composing for film and editing video and audio. That gave him a particular perspective and skillset as an editor which he then brought to a passion project about Strawberry Fields Forever and Sergeant Pepper which grew into his larger ongoing project, Deconstructing the Beatles.

He describes it as a way of getting a new appreciation for the creative process, from the writing to arranging, through various versions and transitions, to become a final product. He takes the story of an album or a particular time period of The Beatles, and shows how they were evolving as musicians.

I asked him about his “Birth of the Beatles” project and what he’d learned about where the Beatles came from. He said that Lennon and McCartney clearly were unusually creative and had personalities that primed them for succeeding. But that the other big part of it was their ears – they listened to everything. During their time in Hamburg they’d often have to whip up new songs at the last minute which pushed them to explore beyond the obvious pop hits into B-sides, different styles, less mainstream sounds. They put in the so-called “ten thousand hours” to become true experts, and in a way which nurtured their ears and grew their artistic palette.

That got them to the point of being ready to meet and start collaborating with George Martin, and he then filled in another side of things, the knowledge of classical, arranging, and studio recording, which set them up to take off the way they did.

Scott also noted that although the ideas for songs might have come in an instant, there’s extensive documentation and stories and clear recorded examples that show these songs we all know and love didn’t appear magically overnight – they were crafted, carefully, step by step. He said they were really good at this crafting process and collaborating for it – and that came from the extensive experience of listening widely and of performing for an audience.

The painstaking process of experimenting and editing was something that they did right from the beginning, even if we might have thought it only applied to their more obviously experimental and ground-breaking later work.

One notable thing about this was that it was collaborative, the band were able to work together, discuss possibilities and inspire each other to new creative heights, something you can actually hear happening step by step in the old archive recordings Scott has listened to.

He said that digging into what’s going on in the songs and seeing how they developed and become more unusual, remarkable, interesting and effective – there are lots of ideas and nuances and techniques that a song writer or composer can learn from. But it isn’t that they had deep textbook knowledge of music theory to know what all those possibilities were. It was a matter of knowing they wanted to do something different, and experimenting to see what sounded good.

This was something they did throughout their career, continually reinventing themselves. Scott pointed to just a handful of artists like David Bowie, Radiohead, or Queen who’ve also done this, it’s very unusual to be so continually willing to go in a very fresh and different direction musically. It was like a whole new band with every record, and that amount of change in that short a time is perhaps what makes them so amazing.

They found inspiration everywhere, be it a poster, the newspaper, a TV commercial – and that’s just one of a number of things that we can learn by hearing the stories behind the songs. Not least, it also humanises them and can reassure us as musicians and artists ourselves that we too can achieve incredible things.

We talked about how playing with the listener’s expectations is central to what makes music effective, including creating tension and release. And the Beatles managed to do this in remarkable and unusual ways, such as holding on to a dominant chord longer than we’d expect before finally releasing like in “Day Tripper”, having a repeated pattern of vocals before returning to the refrain like in “She Loves You”, or inserting a moment’s pause right before concluding the song like in “I want to hold your hand”.

This concept of tension and release is a great one for you to take away to your own active listening of music, whether it’s The Beatles or anything else. If you’ve never done active listening before we’ll have a link in the shownotes to our episode which walks you through it. And you can be continually asking yourself: at what points is the music creating tension? When does it get released? This can happen in small ways or big ways, briefly or over a longer period. It can be brash and obvious – or really quite subtle. And see if you can hear, even if you don’t know the words for it, what it is in the music that’s creating that tension and releasing it.

If you’ve enjoyed hearing Scott share these ideas, techniques and behind-the-scenes details of The Beatles’ music, then the good news is there’s a ton more goodness waiting for you, including a lot more storytelling than we went into here. Scott’s presentations combine the interesting nitty-gritty of what was done with the compelling behind-the-scenes tales of how or why it was done, and I can’t recommend his presentations highly enough. You can check those out at and we’ll have links to that and more in the shownotes to this episode at

Scott has kindly provided a great discount code exclusively for you in our Musical U audience so please check out the shownotes for the details of that.

Thanks for joining me for this episode in Beatles Month, and I’ll see you on our next one when I’ll be talking with Matt Blick of Beatles Songwriting Academy about the many musical lessons we can learn from studying the songwriting of the Beatles.

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