Yesterday chords and lyrics by The Beatles

Song Details

The Beatles

Writer: Paul McCartney     Credited: Lennon/McCartney

Album: Help!

Producer: George Martin

Recorded: EMI Studios in London on th 14th June, 1965

Released: UK - 6th Aug, 1965

Genre: Pop Rock

Song Features: Key of F Major in 4/4 time at 96 bpm (♩)
Chords: F, Em, Em7, A7, Dm, Dm7, B♭, C, C7, G7, Gm
  • F: xx3211 / 133211 (B)
  • Em: 022000
  • Em7: 020000 / 022030
  • A7: x03030
  • Dm: x00231
  • Dm7: x00211
  • B♭: x13331 (B)
  • C: x32010
  • C7 x32310
  • G7: 320001
  • Gm: 355333 (B)
  • chord charts below...
The Song

Yesterday was written by Paul McCartney for the Beatles album 'Help', which was released in 1965. He lamented over its production and inclusion on the album, as he felt it wasn’t really their style of music.

The song was originally released in The USA where it topped the American charts. Matt Monro did a cover version of the song, and it reached the UK Top 10 about three months after the release of the album by the The Beatles. It is interesting to note that Yesterday is one the most covered songs of all time with over 2200 cover versions.

Yesterday was the first song by the Beatles that relied on one band member (Paul) to perform alone with a string quartet. The song itself won many awards such as Best Song of the 20th Century, and Number 1 Pop Song of all Time by Rolling Stone Magazine.

Yesterday remains a very popular song today, and rates highly in the Top 10 most popular songs recorded by the Beatles.

Official Website: paulmccartney.com

Official Website: thebeatles.com


Charts

Yesterday by The Beatles

Intro: 4/4
   |      F      |      F      |

    F             Em7      A7                 Dm        Dm7
1. Yes-ter-day___ All my  trou-bles seemed so far a-way
 Bb        C7                      F
   Now it looks as though they're here to stay
   C   Dm7     G7        Bb     F
   Oh  I   be-lieve  in  Yes - ter - day

    F         Em7         A7             Dm     Dm7
2. Sud-den-ly___ I'm not half the man I used to be
 Bb          C7               F
   There's a sha-dow hang-ing ov-er me
   C   Dm7         G7       Bb   F
   Oh  Yes - ter - day came sud-den-ly


        Em7  A7   Dm   C   Bb    Dm        Gm       C7        F
Chorus: Why  she  had  to  go___ I  don't know she would-n't say
        Em   A7    Dm    C     Bb      Dm     Gm      C7       F 
        I   said  some-thing  wrong___ Now I long for yes-ter-day


    F          Em7          A7            Dm     Dm7
3. Yes-ter-day___ Love was such an eas-y game to play
 Bb       C7              F
   Now I need a place to hide a-way
   C  Dm7      G7     Bb     F
   Oh  I  be-lieve in Yes - ter - day


        Em7  A7   Dm   C   Bb    Dm        Gm       C7        F
Chorus: Why  she  had  to  go___ I  don't know she would-n't say
        Em   A7    Dm    C     Bb      Dm     Gm      C7       F 
        I   said  some-thing  wrong___ Now I long for yes-ter-day...


    F            Em7          A7            Dm          Dm7
4. Yes-ter-day___   Love was such an ea-sy game to play
 Bb       C7              F
   Now I need a place to hide a-way
   C  Dm7      G7     Bb     F
   Oh  I  be-lieve in Yes - ter - day
                               
   |          G7         |   Bb     F        | 
    Mm - mm - mm -  mm       Mm  -  mm-mm...   

F Major

Red numbers: Finger positions/notes played
A column of 1's: Barre 1st finger over marked strings
Unmarked strings: Play open 
x: Don't play string
(?): optional notes: if you don't play them still play the open strings 
The numbers inside the green brackets represent the fingers used to play each note

Right-Handed Guitarist
          F                Em                Em7                A                A7
  e |-1-|---|---|   e |---|---|---|   e |---|---|---|   e |---|---|---|   e |---|---|---|
  B |-1-|---|---|   B |---|---|---|   B |---|---|(4)|   B |---|-3-|---|   B |---|-3-|---|
  G |-1-|-2-|---|   G |---|---|---|   G |---|---|---|   G |---|-2-|---|   G |---|---|---|
  D |-1-|---|-4-|   D |---|-2-|---|   D |---|(2)|---|   D |---|-1-|---|   D |---|-1-|---|
  A |-1-|---|-3-|   A |---|-1-|---|   A |---|-1-|---|   A |---|---|---|   A |---|---|---|
  E |-1-|---|---|   E |---|---|---|   E |---|---|---|   E |---|---|---|x  E |---|---|---|x
Frets 1   2   3         1   2   3         1   2   3         1   2   3         1   2   3


         C                 C7                Bb                 G                Gm               
  e |---|---|---|   e |---|---|---|   e |-1-|---|---|   e |---|---|-3-|   e |-1-|---|---|
  B |-1-|---|---|   B |-1-|---|---|   B |-1-|---|-4-|   B |---|---|---|   B |-1-|---|---|
  G |---|---|---|   G |---|---|-4-|   G |-1-|---|-3-|   G |---|---|---|   G |-1-|---|---|
  D |---|-2-|---|   D |---|-2-|---|   D |-1-|---|-2-|   D |---|---|---|   D |-1-|---|-4-|
  A |---|---|-3-|   A |---|---|-3-|   A |-1-|---|---|   A |---|-1-|---|   A |-1-|---|-3-|
  E |---|---|---|x  E |---|---|---|x  E |---|---|---|x  E |---|---|-2-|   E |-1-|---|---|
Frets 1   2   3         1   2   3         1   2   3         1   2   3         3   4   5

Left-Handed Guitarist 
       F                Em                Em7                A                A7
 |---|---|-1-| e   |---|---|---| e   |---|---|---| e   |---|---|---| e   |---|---|---| e
 |---|---|-1-| B   |---|---|---| B   |(4)|---|---| B   |---|-3-|---| B   |---|-3-|---| B
 |---|-2-|-1-| G   |---|---|---| G   |---|---|---| G   |---|-2-|---| G   |---|---|---| G 
 |-4-|---|-1-| D   |---|-2-|---| D   |---|(2)|---| D   |---|-1-|---| D   |---|-1-|---| D
 |-3-|---|-1-| A   |---|-1-|---| A   |---|-1-|---| A   |---|---|---| A   |---|---|---| A
 |---|---|-1-| E   |---|---|---| E   |---|---|---| E  x|---|---|---| E  x|---|---|---| E
   3   2   1         3   2   1         3   2   1         3   2   1         3   2   1   Frets
   
       C                C7                Bb                 G                Gm
 |---|---|---| e   |---|---|---| e   |---|---|-1-| e   |-3-|---|---| e   |---|---|-1-| e
 |---|---|-1-| B   |---|---|-1-| B   |-4-|---|-1-| B   |---|---|---| B   |---|---|-1-| B
 |---|---|---| G   |-4-|---|---| G   |-3-|---|-1-| G   |---|---|---| G   |---|---|-1-| G
 |---|-2-|---| D   |---|-2-|---| D   |-2-|---|-1-| D   |---|---|---| D   |-4-|---|-1-| D
 |-3-|---|---| A   |-3-|---|---| A   |---|---|-1-| A   |---|-1-|---| A   |-3-|---|-1-| A
x|---|---|---| E  x|---|---|---| E  x|---|---|---| E   |-2-|---|---| E   |---|---|-1-| E
   3   2   1         3   2   1         3   2   1         3   2   1         5   4   3   Frets

Notes

  • Level Of Ease: Moderate - need to know some barre chords
  • Song Key: F Major (1 flat - B♭)
  • Standard chord progression for F major: F - Gm - Am- B♭- C - Dm - Edim

    Note that most of these chords are used along with other usable chord extensions in that particular key, i.e., Em7, Dm7, A7, and C7.
  • You don't have to play the Dm7 if you find the chord changes a little busy. You may want to play a C bass note instead (3rd fret, 5th string).
  • The C chord over the 'Oh' on the 4th line of each verse can interrupt the flow of the song if you are playing solo. It sounds fine if you don't play it... the choice is yours.
  • The same applies to the chorus where you can play a Dm over the 'Had to go I don't', leading up to the Gm on 'know', instead of the chord changes for each word... it still sounds fine.
  • I have included all chord changes for those of you that want to play it as it was recorded, or thereabouts.
  • If you are fingerpicking, and the chords don't sound as clean as you would like, you can use a capo on the 5th fret and play in the key of C Major. This may sound a little too high overall as the song is low pitched with a sombre feel.
  • Alternatively, you can detune the whole guitar by 1 tone, and play in the key of G Major. This means you will need to de-tune each string by 1 whole tone. Audibly, it will still sound in the key of F Major. This way, you only have 1 barre chord to play - F#m7 which is easy to play, sounds 'clean' and fits in well. It may be good practice to try this, and much easier to play.
  • Use the Free Music Service below for all key transpositions

Free Music Service Button  For all key transpositions including optional chord charts, highlight & copy the song sheet above and click on the button... more.
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