Musician vocabulary: Paul McCartney in Nirvana reunion

Read the text about Paul McCartney and learn some useful vocabulary about musicians.

Sir Paul McCartney, or Macca as he is known, is one of Britain’s most famous musicians. He is probably best known for being the bassist in The Beatles. He also co-wrote most of their songs with John Lennon.

Macca is a gifted multi-instrumentalist. He can be heard playing a large range of different instruments on his records. Although he often uses a backing band when playing live. Most of the time he is the lead singer and the lead guitarist but you may also see him as a rhythm guitarist during performances. In some videos he’s even the drummer. There were rumours that he wasn’t happy with The Beatles drummer so he recorded the drumming tracks himself.

McCartney is without a doubt an amazing songwriter. He wrote a great number of Beatles classics like Yesterday and Hey Jude where he performed as the keyboard player. Since The Beatles broke up McCartney has had a successful solo career. He has also played in groups like Wings and played alongside other British greats like Eric Clapton, Sting and Elton John.

Macca’s latest performance saw him front a Nirvana reunion. During the song he played lead guitar and sang.

Musician vocabulary

the person who plays the bass guitar
to write something with another person
to be able to play several musical instruments
backing band
a group which plays your songs with you live
lead singer
the main singer in a band
lead guitarist
the guitarist who plays the solos
rhythm guitarist
the guitarist who plays the main tune of the song
the person in the band who plays the drums
a person who creates new songs
keyboard player
the person in the band who uses the piano
solo career
when a musician works on their own and not as part of a band
played alongside
perform with
to front
to be the singer of a band/the main focus
when a band broke up and gets back together

Watch this to learn about Macca’s career

Interesting Paul McCartney facts

The Guinness book of World Records calls McCartney the “most successful composer and recording artist of all time”

Macca has made millions from his music and is one of the richest people in the UK.

“Yesterday” is officially the most covered song in the world.

He made a deal with John Lennon when they were teens to share the credit for all their songs but he actually wrote about half of them

According to some, Paul split up The Beatles

Macca wrote the song Hey Jude for John Lennon’s son when his parents got divorced

Questions for Comments Section

1. Who is your favourite musician / group / singer / songwriter?
2. Is Paul McCartney too old to still be playing music live in concert?
3. Who was the best songwriter, John Lennon or Paul McCartney?
4. Was music better in the past, or is the music of today just as good?

(Give reasons to explain your answers)

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