How to play A Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles

In this lesson we will take a quick look at one of The Beatles' catchiest songs, "A Hard Day's Night".

Written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon-McCartney, and being released in the middle of Beatlemania in 1964, it of course shot to the top of the charts around the world.

For the most part we are going to be concentrating on the chords that John Lennon is playing throughout the song. George Harrison generally played different voicings of those same chords, but if you are going to be learning how to play A Hard Day's Night to play by yourself, John Lennon's chords are probably the way to go.

The song kicks off with that very unorthodox chord voicing that has confused guitarists from day one. It is actually a combination of many things, but the chord I will show you at the beginning of the lesson is a great reproduction of that sound.

From there we basically have two guitar parts. The chorus, which makes up most of the song, and the B section or bridge that happens twice in the song.

This songs is a great one for beginner level guitarists. The chords themselves, except for perhaps the B minor barre chord, are very basic, and there is even a couple of 7th chords thrown in for good measure.

Once you get the chords together, it will be pretty easy to follow along with the melody since it is so catchy. It will tell you where to play each chord. A great ear training exercise!

I will also be covering George Harrison's guitar solo in the lesson. It is a doubled part on the recording, but in this lesson we will learn what he would have played live with just one guitar.

It is a cool lick to practice with repeated hammer-ons that create a nice and exciting effect.

So have fun with this Beatles classic, it will certainly put a smile of everyone's face as soon as you start playing. 🙂


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How to play A Hard Day's Night - The Beatles


  1. Sean on April 28, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Carl, luv your Beatle tune selection. Please consider adding Drive My Car. Its got some nice licks. Ive tried getting the intro down, Im close but not there. Could use your help (lol). You rock man!

    • Carl Brown on April 29, 2015 at 10:06 am

      I will certainly check it out! Eventually I plan on having pretty much every Beatles song on the site. Wish me luck! Haha…

  2. Bob Schultz on May 9, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    I am pretty new to this and could use a tab to help me follow. Appreciate your lesson and look forward to trying others.

  3. Sean on May 13, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Hey Carl, thx again, Im already enjoying jamming to one of my favorite Beatle songs. Now Ive got another request–but not Beatles– and we’ll need to kick it up a notch. I can remember as a young boy in the 70s my older brother blasting Chicago’s 25 or 6 to 4 throughout the house and me playing air guitar in the mirror to Terry Kaths monumental classic rock lead riffs. Damn that things rocks! Back then it was just a fantasy to play it, now Im ready to tackle it for real–with your help of course (lol). Ive toyed with it and can see he spends alot of time in A pentatonic minor, but he also varies it with another (A natural minor?) which i cant nail yet. While theres a couple decent covers on youtube, i havent found a decent instruction yet. You could be the first! I realize this one will take a little more time, but I bet your many students would love this song, and who knows you might even gain a couple more students?! lol. Thx again Carl, and as always–you rock man!

  4. Sean on June 10, 2015 at 1:42 am

    Hey Carl, havent heard back from you yet on my Chicago request for 25 or 6 to 4 (last post)…are you still debating it? lol. I sure hope you decide to do it. I think youd have by far the best lesson online. Take care

    • Carl Brown on June 10, 2015 at 9:41 am

      Hey Sean, I probably won’t be able to get to it soon without a lot of other users also requesting it. Anyone else wanna see a lesson for this song?

  5. Sean on June 12, 2015 at 12:04 am

    Damn, Im sorry to hear that. While it is an older song, I thought sure there were enough classic rock veterans out there who would have had that on there Top 10-70’s classic rock lead riffs list! Its on mine for sure! lol.

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