Beatles2020 logo></p>
<div id=

Paul McCartney Guitar Technique: Yesterday

Paul likely used a bar chord for the F# minor -
but eventually changed to this chord fingering
By 1975, or earlier, Paul was using the version of the F#m "bar-chord" shown here

In summing up Paul McCartney British musicologist Ian MacDonald stated:

"by nature drawn to music's formal aspects yet wholly untutored ... [he] produced technically 'finished' work almost entirely by instinct, his harmonic judgement based mainly on perfect pitch and an acute pair of ears ... [A] natural melodist - a creator of tunes capable of existing apart from their harmony".
Yesterday title

Verse:

Yesterday verse

Chorus:

Yesterday chorus

Ending:

Yesterday ending

CHORD CHART BY BEATLES2020.US©

Performance Notes


As a stylistic innovator on the acoustic guitar, and as one of the few who could seemingly define and defy the default limitations of the instrument - Paul McCartney's deceptively simple guitar accompanyment for Yesterday was not only unique but could - esp. due to it's orchestral quality - stand on it's own musically. There are a number of factors working together which need to be considered in trying to re-create McCartney's signature sound:

Video & Video Tutorials

Warsaw 2013 (Epiphone) - One of best videos to sudy Paul's technique

1997 (L.H. guitar) - Also good version for studying McCartney's technique

Australia 1975 (Ovation guitar) - using alternate up/down strums

1965 - Over 30 million views (reverse-strung Epiphone R.H. guitar)

Guitar Tutorial: How to Really Play Yesterday Like the Beatles
How to Really Play Yesterday Like the Beatles

Yesterday guitar tutorial
Yesterday guitar tutorial

Guitar tutorial: Tuning, Intro & Chorus
Guitar tutorial: Tuning, Intro & Chorus

Yesterday Tutorial: How Paul played guitar
How Paul played guitar - Yesterday

Stevie Riks excellent rendition/spoof
Stevie Riks performs Yesterday