Bait for Beatle Bots!

Authentic and un-retouched historic photo.

Okay, I’ve received this link in the last 24 hours from pretty much everyone I know who’s every held a guitar pick.

Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman claims to have cracked the half-century mystery of the polychord that jump-starts the Beatles’ “Hard Day’s Night.” And I believe he’s nailed it. Enjoy, Beatle bee-yotches!

My favorite Beatle chord is the psychedelic feedback fest that launches “It’s All Too Much.” My fave solo is the screamer on “Taxman,” played by . . .  Paul.

Hey, just for fun: Here, hastily scrawled on a bar napkin, is a one-guitar, no-bass approximation of the “Hard Day’s Night” chord that manages to cram in most of the pitches. No one in the group actually plays it, but it sounds pretty cool when you whack it hard. If your fans scream loudly enough, they’ll never notice the difference! Check it out:Tune your low E to D (that’s the Paul part), barre across the upper five strings, and grab the G on the fourth string with your ring finger.


One-guitar approximation of the famous polychord.

11 comments to Bait for Beatle Bots!

  • Nuno Carmona

    I agree with the “It’s all too much” chord. My favorite solo is the one from “Good Mourning”. Is it George who plays it?

  • Catfish Jones

    It is Paul playing the solo on Good Morning Good Morning.

  • William Hardin

    A few years back, The Journal of the American Mathematical Society had an article (I believe it was the cover story) on this exact chord.  The chord was analyzed using fourier series, and the exact notes were determined (If I recall correctly, it was determined that it could not have been played by a single guitar-or at least one available at the time).  Those interested should seek our their nearest R01 University, and dredge up the article, from the mathematics stacks.  A word of warning, the article will be very difficult reading.

    • joe

      That would seem to support Randy Bachman’s “findings.” Leave it to the Canadian rock-and-roller to crack the case that bedeviled musicians and mathematicians alike!

  • William Hardin

    I’m sorry, It is the Notices of the American Mathematical Society, Not the Journal of the American Mathematical Society.

  • el reclusa

    Sounds close enough for me…
    This reminds me of another oddball chord- the one that ends Ryan Adams’ “To Be Young (is to be sad, is to be high)”, which has a similar feel.  I once had my instructor at the time figure it out for me, it’d been driving me crazy getting so close but not quite there.  Of course I lost the piece of paper it was scribbled on, and haven’t bothered to try figuring it out again since- I remember the fingering was scrunchy and weird, but it’s a very pleasantly tangy chord.  Too bad Adams kinda went downhill after the first couple of solo records- Heartbreaker was really, really good…

  • e |-----3------|
    B |-----3------|
    G |-----5------|
    D |-----3------|
    A |-----5------|
    E |-----3------|

    G 7sus4 – close enough for me.

  • Guitar Shoulder

    I don’t hear it. Sounds like a regular sus4 to me. D in root, fine. But no seventh. Try top 4 strings, g on 1st string, c on 2nd, and 3rd and 4th strings open. That’s what I’m talkin about.

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