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"The Alex Lifeson Chord” - and Why It's John Petrucci's Favorite

John Petrucci (left) and Alex Lifeson
(Image credit: Rayon RIchards/Future (Petrucci), Fin Costello/Redferns/Getty Images (Lifeson) )

A few years back, John Petrucci went out for a drive with the folks from Cosmo Music (opens in new tab). In the resulting Rockstars in Cars video, the Dream Theater guitarist talked about his favorite solo to play live, his mix of technical and emotional guitar playing, and more.

Best question in the video: “Desert island chord: You got one chord you can play forever. What is it?”

“It’s the opening chord from Hemispheres by Rush,” Petrucci replies. “It’s the F sharp major with the added 4th and the flat 7. That should really be named ‘the Alex Lifeson Chord,’ because he invented that.”

(Image credit: Future)

Hemispheres was Rush’s sixth studio album and featured “Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres” as its opening track. The chord is shown above, while the video of the track can be seen below, along with the full Rockstars in Cars video.

Christopher Scapelliti
Christopher Scapelliti

Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player (opens in new tab) magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World (opens in new tab), a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.