Yesterday – Paul McCartney

Here is a guitar version of this Beatles standard composed in 1965 : Yesterday.

I have already mentioned here my discovery of the Beatles. Yesterday is obviously part of the must-see and I wanted to propose an interpretation. If the tune is credited Lennon/McCartney, there is no doubt that it is a single Paul song. In fact, it is the first Beatles song played and recorded by only one of its members.

Why this song.

In addition to being a 20th century standard, I love playing this guitar part. There’s in this song a digest of everything I like to find in a pop song. Indeed, the melodic sense, the harmony or the lyrics, everything seems obvious of simplicity. I know that some people will say that it is the success of the song that gives this feeling of evidence. I do not support that argument. From my point of view, it’s completely the opposite.


On the original version, the song is in F major. I think it is important to mention here that despite the melancholy and nostalgic sensations of the song, we are in a major scale. Indeed, it is common to wrongly simplify the majorminor difference as being equivalent to joyfulsad.

In this idea, I love the introduction which does not give any indication on scale. Indeed, the song starts with the first degree chord, F on the original version, but without the third. Before the melody starts, we have no indication whether we are in F major or in F minor. This omit third agreement has a very rock sound.

Another important element, Paul McCartney detune his guitar one tone below for the original recording. That way, he finds himself in G position.
For my part, I put the capo in 3rd case and I play in B flat major. This choice, of course, is to adapt the tone to my range of voices.

Yesterday Desktop

Score and tablature.

If you like, score and tablature are available in pdf format just below this text.
This is a non-commercial sharing.