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That nasty diminished chord in "You Won't See Me"


For a couple of lads from Liverpool who never studied music or had formal lessons, The Beatles certainly wrote more than their fair share of complex chord progressions that involve some tangled voicings. In the bridge of "You Won't See Me," Paul McCartney uses this progression over the lyrics "time after time, you refuse to even listen":


Most guitarists can handle a D minor chord. Take your pick:


But what about a D diminished? A bit of basic music theory might help here. This is a D minor chord:


To make it a diminished chord, we have to take that A note and make it an A flat:


Alright, so how to voice this chord so that it both sounds good and is relatively easy to finger?

Here are two options. First, using barred chords:


This option sounds good, and is has the benefit of being able to slide that B minor right into the D minor with no finger changes, but the D diminished chord is awfully cramped. It's hard to get to that fingering quickly and accurately. Go for it if you find it easy enough, but there is a slightly more relaxed voicing that uses more open strings:


This is my preferred method. It's so much easier to play during a jam session that has gone on late into the night and featured several adult beverages.

1 comment:

  1. Great website! Thank you for all the work you've put into this. I was wondering how best to go about fingering this chord. I decided to look on the internet to see what others are doing, which is how I came across your site. I like to play this song with a capo on the second fret, which unfortunately prevents me from using the second option for fingering the diminished chord.

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