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View Full Version : The keys used in A Hard Days Night by the Beatles



zztush
12-22-2016, 10:54 PM
We have talked about favorite keys of uku, guitar, violin and viola in Ukulele-guitar-viola-and-violin thread (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?124675-Ukulele-guitar-viola-and-violin). I wanted to check which keys are used by the Beatles. I choose A hard day's night, because it is one of my favorite albums and I can sing all of the songs. I use "The complete Songs of The Beatles" by Sony Magazines. I played all of the songs on my uku and checked the keys. The results are shown below.

https://s30.postimg.org/4vtqvfsqp/d02700df858999bd91128c653cd06483.jpg (https://postimg.org/image/hn7x1y2il/)free image hosting (https://postimage.org/index.php?lang=chinese_simplified)


A Hard Day's Night G
I Should Have Known Better G
If I Fell D
I'm Happy Just To Dance With You E
And I Love Her E
Tell Me Why D
Can't Buy Me Love C
Any Time At All D
I'll Cry Instead G
Things We Said Today Am
When I Get Home C
You Can't Do That G
I'll Be Back A

They are all written by Lennon and McCartney. And I Love Her, Can't Buy Me Love and Things We Said Today are Paul's songs. Other's are all John's songs.

The keys are all sharp keys except for C. They are all guitar's favorable ones shown below. F key is hard to play on guitar and there is no F key on this album either. On the other hand, E is easy on guitar.

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Ukulele is C instrument. C, G and F are very easy on it (blue circle on the figure below). We just need to transpose them into C, F or G. And it doesn't mean that sharp keys (red circle) are difficult play on ukulele. If you have already graduated ukulele boot camp, you don't need to transpose and you can play them in original keys.

Booli
12-23-2016, 12:05 AM
For those that are unwilling to use the Circle Of Fifths to understand transposing, and/or relative minor keys ,etc...

- One can also use a capo on the uke to transpose up.

- Many Beatles tunes are represented in Keys of C,F,G in Jim Beloff's 'The Daily Ukulele' as well.

- Also, many software programs ,like iReal Band on the iPad, you can transpose up or down 7 semitones each way and it will give you the chord names, and diagrams for uke, guitar, piano as well as actually PLAY the accompaniment in drums, bass, etc as a backing track for you to practice along. iReal Band also has thousands of songs that you can dload right into the app for free. I've used it a lot to practice with.

- also scorpexuke.com and doctoruke.com have Beatles tunes in different keys, and some sites like uke-chords.com and ultimate-guitar-tab.com let you transpose on the fly....

It seems to me that lots of folks start to get comatose if the words 'MUSIC' and 'THEORY' are used in the same paragraph, which is a shame, since knowing the Circle Of Fifths is a like Rosetta Stone for unlocking so many concepts in understanding music more completely.

jollyboy
12-23-2016, 06:27 AM
At this moment, I am smugly strumming my baritone (it is, after all, just like a small guitar :p)...

Edit: I actually thought this was going to be a thread about A Hard Day's Night's infamous opening chord.

zztush
12-23-2016, 11:27 AM
Thank you very much for the reply, Jellyboy!

Fadd9     G  C  G
   It's been a hard day's night,

The infamous opening chord is still not sure but it might be Fadd9. uku is easy, guitar is very hard to play.

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chiefnoda
12-23-2016, 12:47 PM
FYI

The chord is

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwfH9oAiPH0

Cheers
Chief

Rrgramps
12-23-2016, 04:14 PM
That album brings back old and fond memories. 1964, I was 16, and in a rock band when we gravitated from instrumental (Ventures) to vocals, and we played about every Beatles song, as well as those of other '60's rock bands. That was the most fun, and we actually got paid pretty well for the times.

The album jacket looks like an original vintage vinyl album. My turntable and stereo equipment are long gone, in favor of cds, then mp3's. But I'm really itching to try vinyl again and get another turntable or record player, and find "A Hard Day's Night" to play along with. I probably would play the original key though, except for some vocals that they sang which were a strain because they are so high.

I've been told that the Liverpool Cavern Club's crowd was so loud that the Beatles played in keys that could be heard above the din. Not sure about that.

zztush
12-23-2016, 04:22 PM
Hi, Trent! I watched the movie "A Hard Days Night" more than 3 times in theater. There were many people who watched it more than 10 times in that era. Funny thing is that many people took photos in theater and call "Paul!, John!!, Goeroge!, Ringo!" to the movie.

Booli
12-23-2016, 11:18 PM
That album brings back old and fond memories. 1964, I was 16, and in a rock band when we gravitated from instrumental (Ventures) to vocals, and we played about every Beatles song, as well as those of other '60's rock bands. That was the most fun, and we actually got paid pretty well for the times.

The album jacket looks like an original vintage vinyl album. My turntable and stereo equipment are long gone, in favor of cds, then mp3's. But I'm really itching to try vinyl again and get another turntable or record player, and find "A Hard Day's Night" to play along with. I probably would play the original key though, except for some vocals that they sang which were a strain because they are so high.

I've been told that the Liverpool Cavern Club's crowd was so loud that the Beatles played in keys that could be heard above the din. Not sure about that.

I've been seeing a sort of retro-audiophile kinda thing happening over the past few years, and due to supply-and-demand, it seems you can get one of the older style all-in-one briefcase-styled record players, with built-in speakers for about $70, brand name Crosley comes to mind, dont recall where I saw them for sale right now, but if you wanted to get back into vinyl, it seems to me that if you got one of these players, with a good diamond-tip stylus cartridge (ortofon, stanton or similar)...with one of these, you dont need a whole setup with an amplifier/tuner and speakers...

It wont be a hi-fi setup, but it would be small and efficient for vinyl, and garage sales, estate sales, Craigslist and ebay are overflowing with old vinyl that is likely going to be pretty cheap nowadays...

Rrgramps
12-23-2016, 11:51 PM
Hi, Trent! I watched the movie "A Hard Days Night" more than 3 times in theater. There were many people who watched it more than 10 times in that era. Funny thing is that many people took photos in theater and call "Paul!, John!!, Goeroge!, Ringo!" to the movie.

LOL. That was a long time ago. Where were you then? (I see you you are in Japan, now).

Those Beatles songs though, were easy for us, after starting out with the Venture's instrumentals like "Walk, Don't Run," which used F-shaped barre chords, from A-G-F, then an open E. For us ukulele converts, that becomes B-flat shaped, movable chords.

zztush
12-24-2016, 01:12 AM
Hi, Trent! I was in Adelaide in South Australia. The Beatles visited once in Adelaide in 1964 but I was not there at that time. My ex-wife has seen George Harrison in 1993 at the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide.

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I'll Be Back (The Beatles)
A        G          F
You Know if you break my heart I'll go
  E        A
But I'll be back again

Yes, A G F E work like "Walk Don't run". Thanks Trent!

Hi, Jellyboy. Buy a guitar and play "I'll be back" with me!

jollyboy
12-24-2016, 03:34 AM
The infamous opening chord is still not sure but it might be Fadd9. uku is easy, guitar is very hard to play.


Fadd9's not too hard on a baritone uke. You need to use your pinky, but it's doable. It's a nice chord too.



I've been told that the Liverpool Cavern Club's crowd was so loud that the Beatles played in keys that could be heard above the din. Not sure about that.

My uncle saw the Beatles play live in Birmingham (England). I remember him telling me that from the moment they came on stage to the moment they left, the front twelve rows of the audience (all female) screamed at the top of their lungs continually. And he didn't get to hear a single note the band played.

I've been a huge fan for as long as I can remember. Apparently, when I was six years old (I don't actually remember this) my "party piece" was to sing Hey Jude all the way through. That must have been a real treat for my family :p



Hi, Jellyboy. Buy a guitar and play "I'll be back" with me!

Hi zztop - I can play it just fine on my bari :cool: :)

Booli
12-24-2016, 03:54 AM
...Hi, Jellyboy. Buy a guitar and play "I'll be back" with me!

Since having become a ukulele player, and coming from 35 yrs of previously playing guitar, I now find guitar to be over-rated, and most guitar-only players quite snobbish towards ukulele players, like they are in some elite club and us ukulele players need to be reminded of our toys with 4 strings...while obediently walking ten steps behind with a downcast gaze...

However, I am glad not to be guitarded any more.

The Beatles can be played just fine on ukulele, and Jim Beloff's 'The Daily Ukulele' has quite a few Beatles songs, as well as also the 'leap year' version and the baritone version.

Rrgramps
12-24-2016, 12:02 PM
Me to, and for 50 years, I didn't take ukuleles seriously. Now I wonder why. It's pleasant sounding, easy-peasy to play, and portable.

zztush
12-24-2016, 01:41 PM
Hi zztop - I can play it just fine on my bari :cool: :)

Happy Christmas, jollyboy!

Yes, I am Tush by ZZtop! Yeah!

https://s24.postimg.org/fuyjyar79/tush.png (https://postimg.org/image/ajjndl54h/)adult image host (https://postimage.org/)

Tush by ZZtop
   G
I been up, I been down.
             C
Take my word, my way around.
        G
I aint askin for much.
    D           C
I said, lord, take me downtown,
            G   C C# D
Im just lookin for some tush.

Key is G. We've just learn movable chord of Bb shape (marked red) by Trent. We can play it just fine on our bari.