You can play the game with any guitar or bass controller that was made for The Beatles: Rock Band, Rock Band, or Rock Band 2, as well as most Guitar Hero peripherals. In fact we’ve even created a compatibility chart to help you figure out exactly which hardware works with the game. The illustration below shows the controls for the limited edition Höfner bass, but all controllers have the same basic set of controls.


  • Note: Tilt the controller neck upwards or press BACK (Xbox 360) / - (Wii) / SELECT (PS3) to go into Beatlemania.
  • All compatible guitar controllers have five color-coded fret buttons (Green, Red, Yellow, Blue, and Orange) located on the neck, and a white strum bar centered on the body. When a song begins, you’ll see a series of colored notes come streaming toward you on the note track. To play along, press and hold the fret buttons that correspond with the colored notes. When the notes cross the target at the bottom of the screen, move the strum bar up or down to play them. You need to hold the fret button and move the strum bar to successfully play the note. You’ll know you hit the note because you’ll hear it play correctly in the song and stars will burst from the colored note as it crosses over the target.

On Screen


  • If you see several notes of the same color in a row, hold down the corresponding fret button and strum only when the note passes the target.
  • When playing chords, you’ll need to play more than one note at the same time. Just press the correct fret buttons simultaneously and strum when appropriate.
  • Occasionally you’ll see a note with a tail after it; these are called sustains. Strum the initial note and then hold it for the duration of the sustain to increase your score.
  • You may also encounter notes that don’t span the entire track lane. These denote hammer-on or pull-off notes. These are notes that require your fretting hand to be on the correct colored buttons, but do not necessitate a strum, effectively allowing you to play one handed for these types of notes. Don’t worry though: you can strum them just the same, it’s entirely up to you.

Whammy Bar

  • To use the whammy bar, press it in towards the guitar, then pull it back up and repeat. Whammying during sustained Energy notes can help fill your Energy Meter faster so you can trigger Beatlemania, but you can also play through a song just fine without it.


  • As you play through a song, you’ll build up Energy, which helps you increase your score. Your Energy Meter is visible just below the target area on the note track. Build up your Energy Meter to at least half-full, and you can send the crowd into Beatlemania. Once in Beatlemania, you can feed off the crowd’s energy, rack up some serious points, and even save your bandmate!
  • To build up your Energy, play the special glowing note phrases perfectly to fill up your Energy Meter.
  • You can use your Energy to trigger Beatlemania by tilting your guitar neck upward or press BACK (Xbox 360) / - (Wii) / SELECT (PS3).
  • Tip: If you see a special long glowing note, press the whammy bar in and out to fill up your Energy Meter at an even faster rate.

The Performance Meter

  • The performance meter is the vertical bar along the left of the screen. You can tell how well your band is performing based on the location of the instrument icons that slide up and down its surface. Play too many wrong notes and your icon will slip into the red – if it drops to the bottom, your song will end early.
  • Note: If you play in Easy difficulty, or if you’ve turned on No-Fail Mode, then you can reach the bottom of the Performance Meter without penalty.

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ESRB rating ©2009 Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. The Beatles: Rock Band developed by Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. The Beatles is a trademark of Apple Corps Ltd. ‘Apple’ and the ‘Apple logo’ are exclusively licensed to Apple Corps Ltd. Harmonix, Rock Band, Rock Band 2 and all related titles and logos are trademarks of Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. Software cover photo from the private collection of BRUCE A. KARSH. Guitar Hero is a registered trademark of Activision Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

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