Ain’t No Sunshine

Learn how to play Ain’t No Sunshine on one acoustic guitar!

Ain’t No Sunshine’ was originally written and performed by Bill Withers.

Starting its life as a B-side in 1971 to his first single Harlem, it didn’t take DJ’s long to flip it over and start playing it day and night.

Since then Bill has had a string of hits and many other singers have covered ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’, so much so it has become a modern standard.

When you take the beginner course, we play several exercises and even other songs before we learn ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’.

Here’s a video lesson focusing on the left hand and all chords used in the song.


Chord progression

The progression could be seen as a variation on an 8 bar minor blues. An 8 bar minor blues, in the same key, would be this:

| Am | Am | Am | Am |
| Em | Dm | Am | Am |

To spice things up, ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ add an Em and G, like this:

| Am7 (Em G) | Am7 | Am7 (Em G) | Am7 |
| Em | Dm7 | Am7 (Em G) | Am7 |

The Em and G’s function is to simply bring us back to Am again.

In this video lesson, you can closely examine the finger style technique used in the arrangement. Look for what strings are actually played from each chord shape.

To get more help, turn to the beginner course.


Chord extensions

Am7 might sound like a complicated chord to play, but all you do is remove your ring finger and let the open G string ring.

The Am7 chord also finds another b7 on the top string in the video lesson.
Am-to-Am7
Dm7 is built in just the same way as Am7, simply replace the root with a b7.

The root is found on the second string in a normal Dm shape, for Dm7 you move this down two frets and replace it with a b7. Dm-to-Dm7
To get the full lesson including chords and the exact finger style pattern displayed with complete TAB, sign up for the beginner course.

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