Learn inspiring guitar chords from Paul McCartney's solo and Wings career

Photo of WINGS and Paul McCARTNEY, in Wings, performing on TV show, playing acoustic guitar, on Mike Yarwood Christmas Special
(Image credit: David Redfern/Redferns)

Paul McCartney, best known for his work as part of The Beatles, has written a huge array of songs in different genres throughout his career. While he is best known as a bass player, over the years Macca has dabbled in the guitar too.

There have been plenty of occasions where he has grabbed his trusty six-string on stage and in the studio and in this lesson we’re going to check out four chords from some of his solo work.



(Image credit: Future)

In the intro to the song Junk, we have this variation on a C#7 chord. This is a tricky voicing to play but in the context of the song is part of a descending chromatic bass line. 

McCartney is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist so it wouldn’t be surprising to discover that this voicing may have come about from playing a piano style progression on guitar.

The root note in this chord is actually on the B string so if you’re transposing this as a dominant 7 voicing, that is your target note.



(Image credit: Future)

In the Wings song Band On The Run, this Fmaj7/C chord makes an appearance. This is a regular F maj7 chord with a C added in the bass.

In the verse of this song, this chord is alternated with the C chord as part of the main strumming rhythm. In this use case, it makes it an easy chord change to make because the chords have similar shapes.



(Image credit: Future)

During the intro of Ebony And Ivory this Bm/A chord makes an appearance. The original is played with a capo on the 2nd fret. 

This chord is based off a standard 5 string B Minor barre, but you will release the index finger on the A string and play that open.

The A note is the b7 of the B Minor scale, so this chord can also function as a Min7 chord.



(Image credit: Future)

This E7 chord from the song Every Night is a very interesting voicing. This one can be tricky to play at first. You may also recognise the sound of this chord from the intro of the Beatles track I Saw Her Standing There.

Think of this chord in two parts, the first part is an E5 power chord where you will play the open Low E and the 2nd fret on the A and D with your index finger barring both.

The other part is in the shape of a D7 chord. You’ll be using your remaining three fingers to play this chord shape on the 3rd and 4th frets. 

Leigh Fuge

Leigh Fuge is a guitar player and content creator with a love for all things '80s. When he’s not creating gear demos for his Youtube channel he’s teaching students via his online guitar course Right Notes Music Tuition. Off camera he spends most of his time travelling around the UK performing at functions and corporate events.  www.instagram.com/leighfugeguitar