Yesterday Guitar Lesson

Yesterday by The Beatles (Fingerstyle Guitar Lesson)

This is the full guitar lesson for Yesterday by The Beatles.

Yesterday appears on The Beatles' 1965 album 'Help' and was written by Paul McCartney; a truly beautiful song that we can all relate to in one way or another. Although most of the chords are reasonably straightforward Yesterday does have its challenges.

The trickiest part about this song is getting the technique right; McCartney has an incredibly unorthodox style of playing and it can really catch you out if you've not done it before.

Alright, let's pick up our guitars and learn how to play Yesterday!

Song Details:

  • Key - F major 
  • Tempo - 92 bpm
  • Difficulty - intermediate
  • Tuning - D G C F A D

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Yesterday Guitar Lesson

McCartney tuned all the strings of his guitar down a whole tone giving you the notes of D G C F A D. If you want to play it in the original key be sure to put your guitar into this tuning. Despite the dropped tuning, for simplicity I have kept the chord names the same as if the guitar was still in standard tuning. 

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Let me know what you thought of the lesson in the comments section below. Say what you found hard/easy, what level you're at and what your fingerpicking goals are. 

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  1. tuning your guitar to open g left a comment on 18th September 2018 at 10:15 am

    I went over this internet site and I believe you have a lot of good information, saved to my bookmarks (:.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 18th September 2018 at 10:33 am

      Glad you’re enjoying it!

  2. Gene left a comment on 1st August 2019 at 1:07 am

    so i do like the Beatles. and since i just saw the movie ‘Yesterday’ i need to learn to play.
    looked over many videos for learning, yours looks to be the best fit for me. sounds the most like the real song.
    so thanks!

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 5th August 2019 at 11:15 am

      Thanks Gene, really pleased you like the lesson.

  3. Andy left a comment on 31st March 2020 at 10:35 pm

    Have you thought about a full finger-style arrangement of Yesterday. Not up to doing it myself but would love to be able to play it as definitely can’t sing it. Love your site some really good arrangements.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 3rd April 2020 at 2:58 pm

      Possibly at some point. All Beatles’ songs seem to work great as arrangements. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Jimmy left a comment on 29th September 2020 at 10:18 pm

    What happened to the tabs? Do we have to pay for the membership to see it? I don’t mind if we do though.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 29th September 2020 at 10:28 pm

      Hi Jimmy, yeah I’ve taken all the free tabs down due to copyright laws. For more information on why, this video by Gareth Evans explains the issues: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F63x345mCA
      The music will be transcribed in the coming weeks and then available via Musicnotes as for all other songs.
      Thanks, Chris

      • Jimmy left a comment on 2nd October 2020 at 8:04 pm

        Ok thanks! That’s ridiculous because we’re spending our time, energy, and money to learn how to play a song, and it’s against the copyright laws?!?! Ridiculous. I’m looking forward to your videos and tabs via Musicnotes!!!

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