Play McCartney’s Fingerpicking Pattern from “Yesterday”

Here’s another way to use monotonic-bass picking. Try plucking a bass note with the thumb followed by three eighth notes in the fingers.

Here’s another way to use monotonic-bass picking. Try plucking a bass note with the thumb followed by three eighth notes in the fingers. Example 7 shows this pattern in a progression similar to what Paul McCartney used on the Beatles’ timeless hit “Yesterday.”

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Pluck the notes with your fingers by precisely plucking the three strings together with your middle, index, and ring fingers. To sound more like McCartney, you can also start with all three fingers a bit higher off the strings and bring them down so that they all brush the treble strings at the same time. The imprecise nature of this approach means you won’t always hit the same strings—sometimes you’ll hit fewer than three strings and sometimes you’ll hit more—but the net result is a somewhat scrappier sound that may be more desirable in some settings.

Excerpted from Acoustic Rock Essentials

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Andrew DuBrock
Andrew DuBrock

Singer-songwriter Andrew DuBrock was the music editor for Acoustic Guitar from 1999 to 2007 and wrote the popular book + video guide Acoustic Rock Basics.

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