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tkitna

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Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« on: April 01, 2011, 04:00:59 PM »

A Hard Day’s Night

The first great Beatles album in my opinion. I cant think of too much I don’t like about this album, but I havent started listening to it yet, so here it go's.


1. A Hard Day’s Night -  I was watching Elton John on Jimmy Fallon last night and he said that ‘Bennie And The Jets’ was the only song people could pick out just from the opening chord. Wrong! The guitar strum at the beginning of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ might be the most recognizable chord in music history. What a great song. One of the first things I noticed was how cool the bongos are. The cowbell is super cool too. The rhythm section is nice. Guitars sound great. Awesome solo. Love the background vocals (especially Paul). 1:53 mark I like Johns ‘Ungh’ when he comes back in. 2:05 the voices arent together. Sounds messed up. The ending is great also, with the repeating guitar. Sounds like a dream/psych type ending.

2. I Should Have Known Better - The harmonica actually sounds good here, but at the 0:05 mark it suddenly stops. I think it’s a studio mistake because at the 0:07 mark the fade out is abrupt. It just quits. Oh well. Love the guitar strums at the 0:38 mark. Acoustic guitar sounds good (as will be the theme on this album). Johns voice is good as usual. Guitar solo is weak in my opinion. There’s something in the background that’s being used as a space filler, but I’m not sure what it is. Cowbell maybe? Decent song, but nothing great.

3. If I Fell - I never used to like this song a whole lot, but its grown on me over the years. Some of the Beatles finest harmonies can be found here. They sound great. I dig George’s guitar tone. 0:57 the background vocals are loose, but I think the drawn out pause was done on purpose. No biggie. Love Pauls voice. 1:44 Paul laughs and loses it. George Martin should have redone that part.

4. I’m Happy Just To Dance With You - I love Georges voice here. What a great song for him. I’m on the fence with the conga or whatever it is that plods along. Something is needed, but I’m not sure this was the best choice. Love the ’Ohh’s’ in the backgound (Paul and John). I dig the electric guitar sound. 1:47 mark Ringo skips a fill and just goes with the bass drum. Very cool.

5. And I Love Her - One of my favorite Beatle songs. First off, Pauls voice is awesome. Great, great acoustic guitar sound. Like the claves and bongos. George has a fantastic solo here. So clean and precise. Love the bass sound too.

6. Tell Me Why - Never dug this tune. Probably my least favorite on the album. Theres an echo to the song throughout. Remasters or studio? I do like the piano in the background. Speaking of backgrounds, the vocals are everywhere. They need tightened up bad on this song. Ringo has a nice shuffle throughout. 1:25 I have guitar written on my notes, but I think I was interrupted by my wife and forgot what I had to say. 1:32 is perhaps the worst falsetto in popular music history. Awful. This song just doesn’t seem like a lot of time was spent on it.

7. Cant Buy Me Love - Here’s another song like ’All My Loving’, I know its good and people love it, but I’ve never been such a huge fan of it. I don’t dislike it, I just don’t love it. The acoustic guitar is nice. Love the hi hat noise. Dig the guitar strums at the 0:47 mark. 0:52 Pauls ’Nooo’ is too cool. Really like the guitar solo. One layered on top of another. Neat. Bass sounds good. 1:55 John’s ’Mmm’ in the background is cool too.

8. Any Time At All - I always associate this song as ’It Wont Be longs’ half sister some how. They just remind me of each other for no apparent reason. Love hearing Pauls background voice on the 2nd ‘Anytime At All’. The organ keeping the beat is neat. Johns raspy voice adds to the song. 1:02 mark George’s background vocal continues and brings Johns voice back in. This is nothing short of awesome. It’s the following part - ‘When you need a shoulder to cry on’. Great. Not a fan of the guitar/organ solo together. 1:59 the vocals here sound screwed up. Not together, but I’m not certain.

9. I’ll Cry Instead - Not much to say about this one. Its an alright song. Like the tambourine. It adds a lot of space. Bass is cool. Like Georges guitar tone. Eh, not anything else to really add.

10. Things We Said Today - Love this song. My favorite version is on ‘Live At Hollywood Bowl’ where they rock out during the breaks. I also love the version on ‘Tripping The Live Fantastic’. Paul does a great job there. Anyways, back to the original. 0:17 Paul and I think Georges voice together sounds awesome. It might have been John, but it sounds like George to me. Happens again at the 2:06 mark. 0:34 George strums the guitar and adds a little fancy to it, if you know what I mean. Sounds great. 0:59 love the tambourine and piano. 1:27 the last ‘On’ is shaky when singing ‘On and On’. All in all, I really love the song. It has a dark/brooding character to it in my opinion.

11. When I Get Home - Ringo’s slight delay on the last beats while bringing the song in really makes it for me. Rhythm guitar sounds good. Love Johns raspy voice again. Backgrounds are tight together even on the higher parts which is good. 1:31 voices not together. 1:34 Ringo doesn’t play a fill. Was he being tasteful or did he make a mistake? I would have added one, but then again, I’m not Ringo Starr.

12. You Cant Do That - Another song I’m not thrilled about. I think its filler at best. You have cowbell, bongo’s, and Ringo on the kit to fill in space on this rather shallow tune. Guitar at the beginning sounds corny. I do like Paul and George’s background vocals. I was ready to rip apart the guitar solo, but he did a solid job. He didn’t mess it up, but I’m just not crazy about it. Song has a great ending though.

13. I’ll Be Back - Acoustic guitar sounds great. George does great throughout the entire song with his playing. Love Johns voice. Background vocals are strong. Not a whole lot more to add. I think this is a pretty neutral song. I really believe this was intended filler, but it somehow turned out better than that.

nyfan(41)

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2011, 04:58:20 PM »

good post!
ok, track by track i'm, pretty on page with what you've said...
-

 A Hard Day’s Night -   Johns ‘Ungh’ when he comes back in.
my favorite . .
because it's superimposed with paul's 'yeah' after he sings the middle part (holding me tight, tight) . . kind of passes off the vocals to john like a relay baton
maybe my favorite moment on any beatles record !

i should have known better - i dont like the high harmonica mix... i think the main note in the chorus is held too long.... but i love the melody on "and when i tell you that i love youuu etc..." so im 50/50

3. If I Fell - 1:44 Paul laughs and loses it. George Martin should have redone that part.
couldn't disagree with you more. without a doubt the best part of the song.
this song is so beautiful . . everyone who hears it is moved by the melody and impressed by the harmony . . and somehow it never made it into the cannon of beatles classics like the songs on the red and blue compilations... hmm
maybe it's skilled but corny. i guess that's why paul cracked up

happy just to dance with you
the backing vocals are like two big brothers helping their little brother
to me the accents and rhythm 'hits' in this song are what make it good

and i love her - instant classic. probably one of the best 5 songs paul ever wrote.
actually can stand with songs like fur elise and greensleeves - the kind of song they played for kings in olden times

6. Tell Me Why - Never dug this tune.
same here. for me it's because i don't care about whatever story john is trying to tell
someone cried... someone lied.... tell him what and he'll apologize . . someone's on bended knee... he really cant help it he's so in love
... so what exactly happened?.. better yet- who cares!

can't buy me love
fun and forced. like a hired birthday clown that tells the kids they're having a good time. yippie paul. george's solo kept this from being your cheesiest song ever
luckily the last song on side A.... because i can't look you in the face after this fake hooplah. devoid of sincerity
--------
side two anytime at all
is there a better song that contrasts the sounds of john and paul's voices
the instrumental break really builds up too
-
i'll cry instead
clever pop song . .  the beatles had so much music under their belts, it's no surprise
but...
here we see the lennon bitter venom show itself amid the tears
'you better hide all the girls, im gonna break their hearts all around the world, yeah im gonna break em in 2... and show you what your lovin man can do'
that's real fire ^
and leading up to that . .
"dont wanna cry when there's people there, i get shy when they start to stare, gonna lock myself away"
tough exterior and vulnerable inside of the teenage protaganist -> john lennon was an awesome introspective lyricist long before 'help'

things we said today
ahead of it's time. 10 out of 10

when i get home
awesome song. one of my favorites
crazy harmonies in the build up . . what is that soul satisfying chord interval? - whooaaa iiiiiiiiii - - as the drums get louder then release -> that makes my adrenaline rush !
to have lyrics that are delivered so 'from the gut' -> but also include the word 'trivialities'......
could elvis even define or spell that word?
-

you cant do that
a direct order in the lyrics! with music that bolsters the command
wow, this smart rough sensitive talented singer really sounds like a jerk
would paul even have the backbone to boss his woman around like this?.... or maybe paul's just not as insecure
-
either way.... with the couplet of greeen and seeen.... john's wordsmithery continues to emerge
and awesome guitars

i'll be back
so much going on here. almost like a troubadour song from days of old
great harmonies, lyrics and middle part.... not the most memorable melody regardless. i always 'forget how it goes'
--------------------------------------

album highlights -> title track cant miss. and i love her / things we said today -> paul delivers. glimpses of john's creative intelligence straining to emerge in the pop format





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7 of 13

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 09:56:59 PM »

2. I Should Have Known Better
the tuneful and crunchy hamonicawork makes this song happen, john lets it all hang out here.
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2011, 12:49:48 AM »

Those of you who remember what movie theaters were like before the advent of "movieplex" know what I mean.  Fortunately we still have a few theaters like that around.  Well that's where I first heard and saw The Beatles do many of these songs.  What an impact that had on me in 1964 at The Loews Meadows Theater with its giant screen and stereo sound system...





The opening chord of A Hard Day's Night accompanied the opening scene pictured above and was the first sound heard in the film.  Even today, it's hard for me to listen to these songs and even play some of them without thinking of the film.  They're like music videos for me.

A Hard Day's Night is brilliant, from that opening chord to George's outro on his 12-string Rick.  But I like Paul's delivery of the bridge the most and, as nyfan mentioned, I enjoy the way Paul hands the lead vocal back to John for the verse.  George's guitar solo is magnificent.  It's only a brief few measures but remains memorable.  He really made his Rickenbacker 360/12 sing!

Take a bow lads...



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nyfan(41)

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2011, 12:52:08 AM »

What an impact that had on me ... with its giant screen
interesting
in some interviews, it seems like john and paul had some life-transforming experiences in movie theaters too (.. 20 flight rock, elvis)
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Kangaroo Kev

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2011, 01:52:40 AM »

Here my opinion of the songs on the album;

A class songs
Hard Days Night, I Should Have Known Better, If I Fell, And I Love Her, Things We Said Today, Cant Buy Me Love

B Class songs
Anytime At All, You Cant Do That, I'll Be Back

C class songs
Im Happy Just To Dance With You, Tell Me Why, When I Get Home
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Mr Mustard

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2011, 02:34:02 AM »

A Hard Day's Night... it always has been one of my top three or four Beatles albums. It's so good that whenever I hear it I remember why I didn't think Please Please Me or With The Beatles were out and out masterpieces... because this piece of sublime beauty leaves both of its predecessors in the shade.

It has to be one of the most innocently joyous and romantic albums ever made.

A Hard Day's Night - like the film and the whole album it heads - is a fabulous encapsulation of the pure, refreshingly undiluted joy of Beatlemania... from that scintillating famous opening chord, via those adrenalin pumping alternate lead vocals bouncing back and forth between John and Paul through George's ongoing inspirational guitar work right down to Ringo's goofy title - a breathtaking swirl of youthful, exhilarating joie de vivre. I absolutely LOVE the trapped-in-a-timeloop spangly guitar fade out...I always wanted it to keep going!

I Should Have Known Better hits all the right buttons for me. One of my favourites on the album. I know it's probably prime filler material yet it somehow achieves a feeling of being a near perfect "Beatley" Beatles song if you know what I mean - irresistibly catchy, touchingly romantic, uncomplicated, the chug along harmonica adds real spice to the overall feelgood rhythm of this uplifting, happy number. Great - just the way simple, early, happy, singalong moptop music should sound!

If I Fell - now here's a beautiful song which showcases the wonderful vocal harmony between John and Paul. The way Lennon effortlessly slips gears between his deep duetting beneath Paul to his upfront, higher register "I must be sure.." and "Would love to love you..." is remarkably assured and reminiscent to me at least of 'This Boy'. John is brimming with confidence throughout this whole record. This song in particular attempts to span an impressive vocal range; and even when Paul's voice cracks it somehow adds to the warmth and vulnerability for me. A great piece of songwriting demonstrating Lennon's guarded side and the touchingly coy trepidation of young love.

I'm Happy Just To Dance With You is terrific, it really draws George into the spotlight (John's deliberate intention) and gives him a great platform to deliver his curiously compelling, descending vocal style. So what if the lyrics are throwaway stuff? The track has a relentless driving beat with confident back up vocals from John and Paul keeping its head above water - nevertheless Harrison sardonically makes this his own.

And I Love Her - quite simply a timeless classic. And I do mean timeless... I like the way nyfan compares this to Fur Elise and Greensleeves - I completely agree, it is an immortal song. On an album undoubtedly dominated by John Lennon (ten of the thirteen tracks are really his) it is to Paul's credit that the three tunes he contributed are all easily on a par with Lennon at his melodic best. The guitar work is crisply beautiful, the lyrics achingly romantic, the vocals dreamily pure. One of the best songs Paul had ever written, or ever would.

Tell Me Why...if side one of the LP had to have a filler then this must surely be it - yet the party mood is by now so firmly underway that it seems churlish to deny the fun that this feisty little number - basically all four Beatles in a mob-handed, bouncy knees-up - brings to the proceedings. It was clearly a quick knock-off by Lennon, who somehow managed to wrap weak and whingeing lyrics up in a cheery, upbeat melody...Ringo's pugnacious drumming combined with the sheer united vocal attack by John, Paul and George brings enough momentum with it to carry this off. I never could really tell what the warbled falsetto was saying!

Can't Buy Me Love - a confident slice of independence from Paul - who goes out on a limb with solo vocal throughout. Terrific choice for a single and featuring a fantastic solo from George, a real highlight in my opinion. Like A Hard Day's Night it embodies much of the zest and energy of The Beatles' burgeoning confidence by this point in their career. I'm no music expert but Can't Buy Me Love has an almost jazzy feel to it at times. A worthy bookend to side one, which ends on a high note.

Side two opens with Any Time At All - another favourite album track of mine. Delivered in full on attack mode by John this is a great party number. A minor quibble, but unlike tkitna I don't like Paul's second, higher 'Any time at all' - jars a bit for me. However, great call by tkitna linking this song to 'It Won't Be Long' - how had I never realised this before now? It surely is indeed that earlier song's companion piece - great point there tkitna!

Next up I'll Cry Instead introduces a distinctly C&W type beat to the album. A very short track and apparently considered for featuring within the film but vetoed by Dick Lester who wasn't keen on it. Not one of my favourites either, but charming enough with a bubbly tune which at the same time deftly showcases John's talent for waspish sentiment and lyrical spite.

Things We Said Today is Paul's third offering and another highlight for me. Haunting lyrics and melody with that jagged guitar ripple (by John?) and wistful word play, this hints at the darker side of romance - there is an almost ominous, brooding quality to this track which the more upbeat break in the clouds ("Me I'm just the lucky kind..." not so keen on that part) fails to dispel - and I am pleased at that, because its the air of yearning and melancholy which gives this number so much gravity and beauty I think. Shiveringly good.

When I Get Home - the throwaway for me. Still good, of course - I like the "whooaaahh-oh iiiii" opening, and there isn't a bad track on this LP anyway in my opinion, with no very obvious weak links unlike the previous two albums - yet this was filler. Unlike Tell Me Why, this is too slow and plodding to steamroller its way through and the shift to a slightly boogie-woogie middle bit fails to redeem it for me. OK but nothing special.

You Can't Do That features another bitter lyric from a rather paranoid, wounded John - there is an almost mysogynistic undercurrent here, compounded by gutsy backing commands belted out by George and Paul. Quite a bluesy feel to it I always thought, with a bit of bite. Who plays the guitar lead/solo? It has a choppy Lennonesque stamp to it but George is obviously in there? A spiky track altogether. Hate the cowbell on this one.

I'll Be Back - hidden gem time again. A hauntingly elegiac piece with a mature grasp of lyricism. It's up there with If I Fell in my opinion. I believe it was in the 1980 Playboy interview that John tantalisingly referred to this number (I think) as the type of song he no longer wrote, but probably could if he set his mind to it again.  I don't know if it's true but I once read that the song was John's lament for his relationship with his father - and if you listen to the lyrics with that in mind it does lend an extra dimension of poignancy to the track. A rather melancholy farewell to a sparklingly gorgeous album, their first entirely penned by Lennon & McCartney of course - and how ironic that this should be the case just as John and Paul begin to spread their wings and write much more independently of one another.

It always niggled me that there were only thirteen (not the customary fourteen) tracks.
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tkitna

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2011, 03:28:04 AM »

Aww, this is fantastic stuff here. I'm enjoying the crap out of this. I'm loving reading all your replies. Love the reviews from Mr. M, Nyfan, Nimrod, HG, 7 of 13, etc,,. Good reading and ironically, we all seem to have the same opinions on most of it. It must just be that damn good.

This album truly is great. John kind of dominated the record, but nobody could ignore Pauls songs either. He had some strong ones here. George played with a confidence here not seen before and Ringo was solid and had his hands in quite a few instruments throughout. They hit their stride.

The favorite or best Beatle album debate always seems to happen somewhere. Abbey Road, Sgt. Peppers, Revolver, and The White Album always seem to get the attention. I remind people not to dismiss this record. You would need to scrape for weaknesses here and there arent many.

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2011, 03:45:48 AM »

interesting
in some interviews, it seems like john and paul had some life-transforming experiences in movie theaters too (.. 20 flight rock, elvis)

My parents had me take my 9 year old sister to see the movie.  And for a second time a couple of weeks later.  That theater was just like the concert theater at the end of the movie with hundreds of screaming and crying girls all over the place. 
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2011, 04:24:35 AM »

If I Fell - As are all of you, I'm impressed with John and Paul's two part harmony.  Paul is singing the higher lead patterns and John periodically departs to the lower registers in this ballad.  I think their voices were two octaves apart in the phrase "love was in vain."  Paul's range was stretched to the limit, but the result was beautiful.

I've always liked how John's solo intro shares nothing in regard to style with the main body of this song.  They would do that again several more times in the future.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 05:59:35 AM by Hello Goodbye »
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2011, 05:09:15 AM »

A Hard Day's Night - Takes 1 and 2...

The Beatles: Unreleased outtakes bloopers rare tracks 6 cd



Takes 6 and 7...

A Hard Day's Night (Take 6, & 7) / The Beatles



They'll get it right  ;)
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Ovi

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2011, 10:32:46 AM »

I love this album, too.I agree with all of your opinions so far...

Album Masterpiece : A Hard Day's Night (in my top 10 Beatles songs)
Highlights : If I Fell, Can't Buy Me Love, Things We Said Today, You Can't Do That, I'll Be Back (amazing closing track).
Fine Songs : I Should Have Known Better, And I Love Her (a little overrated in my opinion, never liked the lyrics that much), I'm Happy Just To Dance With You, Tell Me Why, I'll Cry Instead.
Pretty Weak Songs, yet Not Bad : Any Time At All, When I Get Home.
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Kangaroo Kev

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2011, 01:01:41 AM »

Quote
1. A Hard Day’s Night -  I was watching Elton John on Jimmy Fallon last night and he said that ‘Bennie And The Jets’ was the only song people could pick out just from the opening chord. Wrong! The guitar strum at the beginning of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ might be the most recognizable chord in music history.

anybody worked that chord out yet ?  ha2ha
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2011, 01:17:57 AM »

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nyfan(41)

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2011, 02:11:32 AM »

Maybe the answer is here:  http://www.beatlesbible.com/features/hard-days-night-chord/

-
where do you GET this stuff ?  ha2ha
summary -
george plays an F add 9

while paul plays a D bass note (but probably vibrates his open A string as well)
-
with the next chord in the song being G... this opening chord would probably be best described as a D7sus4-

here's where it gets weirder - apparantly george martin is playing something on piano over the chord as is john
.... and theres so much resonating vibration in the room hitting everyone's strings -> it's just undefinable magic
-
the author says it's often transcribed for solo guitar as G7sus4 . . which sounds right and is easy to finger
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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2011, 02:31:11 AM »

This is from Rob Taylor's Beatles To A Tee instructional DVD series...

Analysis of 'The Chord!'



The Beatles a hard days night (Digital Remaster 2009) [High Definition] HD
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Kangaroo Kev

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2011, 02:43:37 AM »

edited
« Last Edit: April 03, 2011, 02:52:27 AM by nimrod »
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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2011, 03:38:52 AM »

I play the F add 9.  On my 12-string, it sounds right.

By the way, Rob Taylor's Beatles To A Tee DVD series is excellent.  You can read more about it here:  http://www.to-a-tee.tv/


Beatles To A Tee 3 clips!


Beatles To A Tee 4 video clips!
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7 of 13

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2011, 07:47:21 PM »

i found the buskers choice, that G7sus4 by accident one day,
but that Fadd9 or as harrison put it "It is F with a G on top" does sound the tiniest bit sweeter.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2011, 10:00:42 PM by 7 of 13 »
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Re: Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2011, 01:46:39 AM »

G7sus4 sounds good too...

The Beatles : A Hard Day's Night : Intro Chord !!



There are several variations of Fadd9:  http://www.guitarchords247.com/guitar/323.html

Here is one of the variations...

How to Play F(Add9) Chord on Guitar



But I play it as George Harrison described, an "F with a G on top", as shown in the Rob Taylor video.

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