Sunny Afternoon Chords

Learn how to play Sunny Afternoon on one acoustic guitar!

‘Sunny Afternoon’ is a single from British Invasion pop/rock 60s band The Kinks.

Along side The BeatlesThe Rolling Stones and the Who they shaped popular music as we know it.

In ’Sunny Afternoon’ we get the classic minor Verse, major Chorus again.

However, this time it’s from Am to A major, rather than Am and C major (parallel keys) which is what most hits use (see Roxanne and Dreadlock Holiday)

Using a capo on fret five we play the song in Dm, but think in Am.

Sunny Afternoon chord progression

‘Sunny Afternoon’ use a bass line to create a looped pattern for the Intro/Chorus Tag, these are the chords:

Am Am/G | Am/F# Am/F |
E E/D | E7/C E7/B | x2

The Verse use more conventional chords at first before the descending bass line idea is used over the E chord again, like this:

Am | G | C | G |
E E/D | E7/C E7/B | x2
Am | A |

The Chorus move to the key of A and has a bVII chord in it (G). The C (bIIIx) and E7 act as a turnaround to get back to A, still hinting the key of Am.


A | A | D7 | D7 | G | G7 | C | E7 |
Am | D7 | Am | D7 G | C | E7 |

The last time you play C and E7 these could be seen as chord I and IIIx form the key of C/Am, very clever!

Sunny Afternoon in the guitar course

In the Intermediate Guitar Course we get to the bottom of all ‘Sunny Afternoon’ has to offer.

First we look at the progression and work out what every movement mean and does for the other parts.

We also look at how to notate a shuffled rhythm like this.

Finally you get a complete TAB chart detailing exactly how the song is played in the video lesson.

See you on the other side!