Paul McCartney is often viewed as the most musically talented and John the more gifted writer. My view is that they were all excellent musicians with different skill sets. John's guitar playing is often overlooked because he was a great singer and composer who happened also to be the Beatles rhythm guitar player.
Everybody knows "Free As A Bird", where the other three Beatles played along with a prerecorded track of John"s after his death. The recording is only interesting historically or what could have been. The problem was the group was playing to him and not with him. What the track did prove was how necessary his musical and physical presence was.
My awareness of his guitar skill came years after I first heard the Beatles. "All My Loving" was on the radio when it hit me. The recording has an irresistible groove thanks to John's hair-raising guitar part. He plays strummed triplets throughout the songs verses with his only relief coming in the bridge and during George's solo.
His guitar abilities shine on two of his best songs. "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away and Norwegian Wood share a 6/8 meter, which is not easy to play. The songs are performed with minimal or no accompaniment, yet the groove is unmistakable.
I choose to remember the smiling, energetic guitarist with the Rickenbacker 325 who inspired us denizens of the rhythm section to always play for the band.