No single chord has been subjected to more study than what we hear heralding the beginning of the Beatles’ “Hard Days Night.” Attempts to deconstruct and replicate this chord is rock’s equivalent to cracking the mystery of cold fusion or building a perpetual motion machine. Everyone seems to have a solution/opinion. Go ahead. Google it.
The latest theory comes from Dr. Kevin Houston, a British mathematician. He believes (guitarist take note) that George Harrison played a simple F add9 on his 12-string electric Rickenbacker while pressing the bottom E string at the first fret using his thumb curled around the neck. He says this technique is common to self-taught guitarists.
He also says that John Lennon played the same chord on an acoustic guitar at the same time. If you listen to the stereo version of “Hard Days Night,” you can hear Harrison in one speaker and Lennon in the other.
This is quite a bit different from the theory put forward by Dr. Jason Brown of Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. He says that there are missing notes on the guitar chord and that they’re actually filled in by George Martin playing on the piano. (Listening carefully: a piano is in there somewhere.)
Me? I like Randy Bachman’s elequent explanation from his CBC show that was first posted here back in December. To review: