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Playing Yesterday on guitar
15 February 2010
3.11pm
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PeterWeatherby
A Park in the Dark
Ed Sullivan Show
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Always loved this song.  Always had a bit of a hard time playing it, though, because it's in F, so playing it "straight" on the guitar means using lots of ham-fisted bar chords throughout.  And it never seemed to have that nice, bassy resonance that I heard on the album.

And then the Anthology discs came out, and there was "Yesterday ", but with all the pre-recording banter.  Paul says, presumably to George, "It'll be in F ... for you."  That's when I realized that he was playing it in G, but with his guitar tuned down an entire step: DGCFAD

The chords usually run like this:

Verse: F - Em7 - A7 - Dm - Bb - C - F - Dm - G7 - Bb - F

Bridge: Em7 - A7 - Dm (descending) - Gm - C - F

In the new, dropped tuning, the chords all go up a full step, the voicings naturally change, and everything fits into place:

Verse: G - F#m7 - B7 - Em - C - D - G - Em - A7 - C - G

Bridge: F#m7 - B7 - Em (descending) - Am - D - G

Not a bit like Cagney.

15 February 2010
3.28pm
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mjb
Carnegie Hall
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PeterWeatherby said:

And then the Anthology discs came out, and there was "Yesterday ", but with all the pre-recording banter.  Paul says, presumably to George, "It'll be in F ... for you."  That's when I realized that he was playing it in G, but with his guitar tuned down an entire step: DGCFAD

Ah-hah, that's what he meant.  Always wondered why it was "F for YOU" Embarassed

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"

15 February 2010
4.20pm
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PeterWeatherby
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mjb said:
Ah-hah, that's what he meant.  Always wondered why it was "F for YOU" Embarassed


Yeah, come to think of it, Paul says it flat-out: "It'll be in F, for you ... I'm in G."

Ding!  Light-bulb goes on for me, and suddenly the entire song is easier to play (and sounds better, too).

Not a bit like Cagney.

15 February 2010
4.24pm
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Joe
Pepperland
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Thanks for that! I never knew. I've always tried playing it in F. I presumed the "...for you" comment was due to the string instruments being in a different key, but on reflection I don't think they are.

Do you think he played an open or barred G chord? Barred seems more likely if he then dropped a semitone for the F#m7.

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15 February 2010
4.36pm
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PeterWeatherby
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Joe said:

Do you think he played an open or barred G chord? Barred seems more likely if he then dropped a semitone for the F#m7.


Open, actually, in more ways than one.  "Open" voicing, but it's also an "open 5th" chord, so you don't get to hear the 3rd (the B natural).  It's formed like so:

DGCFAD

-----------

3x0033

And the following F#m7 sounds like it's voiced this way (with the thumb fretting the bass note):

DGCFAD

-----------

2x222x

Everything else sounds pretty standard from there on, except for the closing chords (where he's singing the "mmm" bit), which he only plays on the upper two strings:

xxxx33 ---> xxxx23 ---> xxxx13 ---> xxxx33

The following people thank PeterWeatherby for this post:

Beatlebug

Not a bit like Cagney.

15 February 2010
5.36pm
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Joe
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Wow, thanks for that. You're able to hear these things much more clearly than I can. I just bash away at the chords...

Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes
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16 February 2010
4.39am
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Ronnie Hanoi
The Mitten State!
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I have a Beatles acoustic tab book. This song is definitely tuned down a whole step. You can pick it out pretty clearly just on the first chord, it's an F, but there's much more life to it than just a barre chord.

16 February 2010
10.21am
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mjb
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On line guitar lessons from Peter - I love it!

Be carefull though as you'll end up transcribing every song for us all Laugh

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"

16 February 2010
2.04pm
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PeterWeatherby
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mjb said:

On line guitar lessons from Peter - I love it!

Be carefull though as you'll end up transcribing every song for us all Laugh


I can only do the bits I already know. Smile

Not a bit like Cagney.

9 March 2010
11.03pm
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mjb
Carnegie Hall
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PeterWeatherby said:

mjb said:

On line guitar lessons from Peter - I love it!

Be carefull though as you'll end up transcribing every song for us all Laugh


I can only do the bits I already know. Smile


Surely you're learning all the time? 

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"

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