“What You’re Doing” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their album Beatles for Sale, released in December 1964. It was written by Paul McCartney, although credited to Lennon–McCartney. The song was one of eight original compositions on Beatles for Sale. In North America, where Capitol Records typically altered the content of the band’s albums, “What You’re Doing” instead appeared on the 1965 US release Beatles VI.
Throughout the song, McCartney adds to the rhyme scheme by combining a single, two-syllable word with two one-syllable words (i.e. “Look what you’re doing, I’m feeling blue and lonely … You got me runnin’, and there’s no fun in it …”). He used the same technique on “She’s a Woman”, which was also recorded during the Beatles for Sale sessions.
The track features a guitar riff played by George Harrison on his Rickenbacker 12-string electric guitar. The sound was influential on the Byrds, who crafted their sound partly on the Beatles’ use of the Rickenbacker, and Harrison in turn adopted influences from the Byrds in his 1965 song “If I Needed Someone”.
Paul McCartney – double-tracked lead vocal, bass
John Lennon – harmony vocal, acoustic rhythm guitar
George Harrison – harmony vocal, twelve-string lead guitar
Ringo Starr – drums
George Martin – piano