Early to mid 1950s (pre 1957)
General individual photos

This is just a few general early photos of The Beatles. The criteria here is that they are holding musical instruments. Very few of these type of photos have been made available to the public and, strangely, there seem to be no early photos of John with a musical instrument. I will swear that I've seen an early photo of Ringo with a drum but I was unable to locate it for this project.

Ringo is seen here at his home at 10 Admiral Grove with his mother, Elsie.
Based on Ringo's apparent VERY young age, this photo might be
the earliest photo of any of The Beatles holding an instrument.
Hunter Davies dates it late 1948 to early 1949.

George at home (25 Upton Green) with his first Egmond guitar in 1956.

According to author Bob Spitz, the fellow with George is friend Arthur Kelly (the same fellow who is seen in this photo) and that the date is 1957.
Hunter Davies also dates it 1957. The date might indicate it's a photo of George's first band, The Rebels, which also included George's brother, Peter.
However, I've also seen it dated 1956 and that the other fellow is early guitar teacher, Len Houghton. But I think it looks like Arthur Kelly who would remain a friend, at least, well into the 1960s. In addition, I'm inclined to think this photo was taken the same day as the photo to the left.

Paul at the 20 Forthlin McCartney family home with his first guitar
(a Zenith Model 17) which he traded a trumpet for. The photo was
probably taken in late 1956 or early 1957.

In one of his books, Mike McCartney states that this photo was taken
in 1956 at the McCartney home. It's certainly the Frothlin house but
research has raised questions about the date. It would be assumed
that Mike's information is accurate however, Paul's hair style would
suggest a later date. See an alternate cropped copy - here.

George outside 25 Upton Green.
This photo looks like it might actually date post 1957.

Paul with his cousin, Bett and her son Ted.
One source seems to indicate that this photo was taken in late
August-early September 1957 at Butlins Holiday Camp in Filey, Yorkshire.
See an alternate copy - here