YESTERDAYS jazz guitar chord melody


by Jerome Kern

Yesterdays is amongst the most popular tunes in our “Great American Songbook”. It was composed by Jerome Kern in 1933 for the Broadway show Roberta. Lyrics by Otto Harbach. It’s important not to confuse this one with the Beatles classic! (-:

I truly love this piece. It sounds great as a ballad, a medium or even an up-tempo swing. Jazz musicians always find new creative ways to deal with a simple, effective song. Improvising on it is always nice because it goes back and forth between two poles: the “daunting” Dm sounding catchy melody at the beginning, then the simple (yet sometimes challenging) cycling of dom7 chords… careful with that!

Their can be more or less chords in the form depending at what tempo you play it at. It also depends largely on the players! Seek out your favorite versions and try to get what chords are being used… Personally, I often play the melody by itself (no chords) an octave lower. Wes does it like that. Find your own way of playing the tune and remember: Listen, listen, listen!


Yesterdays: Chord Melody

Yesterdays : Jazz Guitar Chord Melody

Now the chord melody for this tune is available in THREE different versions to accomodate all levels of players:

All PDF’s include the leadsheet (standard notation), the chord melody arrangement (in TABS) and a last sheet with basic chord shapes for comping. Enjoy!


Audio Demonstration: EASY Chord Melody

Here’s the mp3 demo for the EASY level chord melody PDF above …


Suggested Listening

Check out Wes’ complete Riverside recordings (Yesterdays is on the first of 12 CDs!). The same version can be found on 1963 Boss Guitaralbum. Also see this Wes Montgomery LIVE video on this tune:

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