Yesterday Today Image


This is a fun song, and it is based on wondering what might have happened if the Beatles, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Jimi Hendrix, and the Rolling Stones played different parts of a simple rock and roll song. If you listen to "Yesterday Today" through ear buds on an Apple® iPod®, it will be easy to hear the rhythm guitars in the left channel, with the lead guitars wandering from left to right, and "Sweet Little Sixteen" style guitar accents in the top center.

This song has one set of stereo drumkit tracks, and the individual drums and cymbals are spread over both channels. The bass guitar is mostly in the right channel, but a subtle echo is heard in the left channel. The rhythm guitar chords are easy to play very quickly, which is the only way to get the classic Beatles rhythm guitar sound, but they are not very commonly used chords. John Lennon's rhythm guitar strumming was very precise and astonishingly rapid at times, easily being in the range of one strum each 50 to 75 milliseconds (approximately 20 strums per second at times). One of the rhythm guitars played on this song is a Rickenbacker®, of course, but there also are Gibson® Les Paul Canary Catalina and Fender® Telecaster® rhythm guitars on "Yesterday Today".

The rhythm guitars are heavily compressed, although otherwise unaltered tonally, which gives them clarity and punch. And if you listen carefully, you will note that the rhythm guitars in the left channel are in close proximity to the snare drum, which is a technique that adds more punch to the rhythm section. While listening carefully, you will notice that many of the cymbals have long sustains, and this is mostly due to adding rivets to them, which transforms them into sizzle cymbals, as well as introducing a damping action that removes much of the midrange frequencies, hence gives them more of a splashing sound.

Although the drumkit has a dual-action double hi-hat rig, with one pair of larger top-sizzled hi-hat cymbals that come together when the foot pedal is pressed downward and a second pair of fully-sizzled mini-splash cymbals that come together when the food pedal is released, the perception of a Beatles style partially open hi-hat sound actually comes from a single crash cymbal which has sizzles around the edges and a strap of jingle bells riveted to the top, running across the middle of the cymbal, with the origin of this unusual way to get a partially open hi-hat sound from a single cymbal being the consequence of the recording studio, which is a floating sound isolation room within a room within a room with multiple layers of randomly-sized multidimensional Helmholtz resonating panels, being approximately 7' by 12' by 7' (width, length, height), simply not having enough space horizontally to put the hi-hat rig in the standard location of a hi-hat rig. There was enough room for a very tall cymbal stand, so the key to this strategy was devising a way to make a single cymbal sound like a pair of partially open hi-hat cymbals.

If you listen very very carefully to the melodic clock sequence at the end of the song, there is an auditory illusion which occurs when the echo guitar begins playing. The notes of the melodic clock arpeggio do not change but they are perceived temporarily as being higher in pitch because the echo guitar phrase begins on a different starting note (but within the same scale).

[1st Verse]

The moon is shining,
On a starry night,
The flavor of the morning,
Will bring the Sun's bright light . . .

[2nd Verse]

After midnight,
Becomes a new day,
Somewhere, somehow,
You'll see a rainbow . . .

Yesterday today . . .

[Lead Guitar]

Yesterday today . . .

Sometimes it seems like every day's the same . . .
But over and over, in unexpected ways,
Something changes . . .

Yesterday today. . .

[3rd Verse]

The moon is shining,
On a starlit night . . .
The flavor of the morning
Will bring the Sun's bright light . . .

Yesterday today . . . Yesterday today . . .

[Panning Echo Lead Guitar] ~[Melodic Clock Interlude] ~ [Panning Echo Lead Guitar]

The Surf Whammys: Inside You, Outside Too

Click on "The Surf Whammys: Inside You, Outside Too" to read the lyrics for "Inside You, Outside Too".

The Surf Whammys

(click on the cover image to listen to the streaming audio preview)


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