Guitarists argue the chord Prince Harry is fretting in a new Netflix trailer is, in fact, a complex jazz voicing

Harry plays the unknown chord on his Martin guitar
(Image credit: Netflix)

Best of 2022: UK newspaper The Metro (opens in new tab) has highlighted a recent image of Prince Harry playing guitar saying it suggests that the former Royal “has some practising to do”.

The photograph, of Harry sat next to Meghan Markle, guitar in hand, has been released to promote his forthcoming Netflix documentary Harry and Meghan.

The Metro took the trouble to ask several players to try to emulate it, describing the results as “a mangled collection of notes” and “quite appalling”.

“All I’ll say is he must be a jazzer,” says the paper’s go-to blues guitarist, Luke. “He’s not fretting the top string so he’s playing either an Am7b5 or a chord beyond my limited knowledge, if he’s playing the open E string on the top.”

The resulting sound is, admittedly, amusing and not easy on the ear, but the article relies on a fair bit of musical exposition, particularly given we have no idea of the tuning. Who’s to say what he’s actually playing? Even in standard, he’s only one fret off an A7 and, besides, he’s a self-admitted learner. 

Indeed, the spirit of the piece seems to say more about the UK press’s relationship with Harry and his family than it does about his actual guitar playing.

It could be worse, of course. Harry is several steps ahead of the models in the recent Cider Clothing ad, who seem to believe the guitar should be held by the headstock, or former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who likes to play behind the capo...

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Meanwhile, Harry’s new hobby does look like good news for Martin guitars, as the Prince plays the ever-popular LX1 Little Martin in the clip. A signature guitar by Royal Appointment would be quite the coup...

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Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.