Fred Armisen Covers "Blackbird" by The Beatles (2009)

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Paul McCartney explained on Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road, aired in 2005, that the guitar accompaniment for "Blackbird" was inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach's Bourrée in E minor, often played on the classical guitar. As teenagers, he and George Harrison tried to learn Bourrée as a "show off" piece. The Bourrée is distinguished by melody and bass notes played simultaneously on the upper and lower strings. McCartney adapted a segment of the Bourrée (reharmonised into the original's relative major key of G) as the opening of "Blackbird", and carried the musical idea throughout the song.

Comments from Youtube

Mega Sauce : It takes a lot of talent to deliberately do a bad cover and make it funny without people thinking it's serious

Nacho Man Randy Sandwich : it seems like he knows how to play it, but just isn't....

Lynn Turman : This is the jazz version.

Adrian Mann : Its the little details he puts in, "Take these broken eyes"! LOL!

pavanatanaya : Plays guitar like a drummer

bluzshadez : Fred Armisen is one of the best drummers in the world.

Amit Ben-Hur : I don't know whether you have to be incredibly talented to do it or incredibly untalented.

Rolling Ormond : Yoko wrote this version so John called it genius.

Slick Ratchet : at least he's trying

blueconversechucks : I was falling asleep when I was watching this and I had a mini dream that Fred Armisen stole my guitar

Tyler Cross : This is pure avant-garde.

N 9-1 : Sounds like the intro to Fight Fire With Fire by Metallica

Bear Shit : Why is it that Fred is good at everything he does?

Mark C : ...all he needed was the click track ....

Ezra Poynter : The look of concern on Fallon's face (0:44) ... priceless!


A.J Davidz : Anyone have tabs?

ktpinnacle : I tried not to learn something new today, and there you go blowing it for me . . . .

Ban Fasso : If guitars have souls from the energy we leave within them, that one's was just raped down to sub-default

NonStopRocker : I have no doubt in my mind Fred can nail it note for note, when hes not going for laughs

nerdcity : he's a comedic genius

Jonny Roxx : “This is actually kind of a serious thing...” As a trained musician, I laughed my butt off at this. One of the funniest intentionally bad performances I’ve seen. Even though I knew better, just for a moment I thought he was actually trying to play correctly. The timing and delivery are hilarious. Even funnier are all the comments about how difficult/easy this is to play. Peace. JR

Donkey Kong : It's funny because he was actually playing Stairway to Heaven

GiacomoJimmi : Beatles by way of Beefheart.

a te : Still better than Bieber

ClueSign : This is exactly what I sounded like learning this and thinking I was so cool. Fred is a genius.

Anya : Lol he missed the the Broken Wings part that was supposed to come before the eyes😂

MrTayloreh : Thats the guitar from Pet Sounds.

Martin Brady : Fan-boy Jimmy Fallon et al are the ruination of good music.

Yishai Lerner : A true jazz master.

bravetherainbow : Paul McCartney Shreds - His Worst Performance Ever

FungusMossGnosis : Better Than The Beatles: Fred is The Shaggs of comedian musicians.

Rich Mitts : Take these broken eyes and learn to see 😂🤣😂🤣

Jeffrey Hensiek : His glasses have been growing exponentially every year.

Mrius86 : You have to be really good to play this.

econ : Take these broken eyes and learn to see

sparksoffyou : Aka every college party around 2:13 am. “Great. Todd brought his guitar. Great. He’s singing Blackbird. Money on what’s next? Oasis? Weezer?”

Tae Young Ahn : He is actually an accomplished classical guitarist

Thirteen : One of the most overplayed songs in any guitar shot

Carter Elliott : Looks like Paul Simon, plays like a third-grader. How hilarious!

Kylan Hillman : What a genius reharmonization

adam sanchez : Jimmy Fallon has been ruining our lives since 2009? I had no idea he’s been on that long

Doug H. in VA : it's not funny as a send-up. it's weak and worn-thin sarcasm. the joke is over before he starts.

Peter Kane : Fred Armisen is freaking hilarious. Like everything he does is just so funny. Like when he stood up when everyone was clapping that shit was a riot. The dude has talent!

Rickertsred : So unfunny. I cringed through it, and felt sorry for him.

Michael Booth : He's playing all the right notes just not necessarily in the right order.

E.A. Hawley : Nailed it! Wow...

Doctor KILLEE : These chords would be from a Radiohead song

yung poe : I love Rivers Cuomo