Opening chord to “Hard Day’s Night”

December 14, 2011

We have a very hip Dean in the Arts at UCLA. Dean Waterman shared this great YouTube clip on his FaceBook wall. Randy Bachmann reveals how that opening chord to “Hard Day’s Night” was put together. I took out my 12-string guitar and couldn’t get that F-chord with the G’s on top and bottom to work. (Note in my transcription of the chord, you have to include all the octave doublings in the 12 string guitar. All the instruments sound an octave lower.)

I wish I could have seen how Randy did it. My guess is that because it’s a Rickenbacker guitar, the neck is thin and narrow, so the thumb could rap around the opposite side of the next to cover the G and C in the bass. But on my Taylor, it’s damn near impossible, and I know that the Martins would be even more difficult. So what Randy ISN’T telling us here, is that the 12-string chord can ONLY be played on a Rickenbacker 12-string. This is the same guitar, by the way, that the Byrds’ Roger McGuinn used in most of the early Byrds music.

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