Over The Rainbow

Over The Rainbow

Chords and finger style arrangement

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Over The Rainbow chords and finger style arrangement


Originally featured in the blockbuster movie ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ and written by Harold Arlen, the gorgeous ‘Over The Rainbow’ was voted #1 song of the last century by several prolific organizations.

Spy Tunes recorded the Eva Cassidy version of the song which didn’t become famous until after her death.

In Eva’s version, there is an intricate picking pattern and elaborate chord extensions which gently move the listener from one chord to the next. This creates a similar effect to that of the original orchestral arrangement.

This video lesson is a replica of Eva’s arrangement.

Chord progression

The chord movement of the chorus includes some classic variations such as I7 and IVm but it is the extensions that crave most of our attention.

It is actually in a different key but using a capo, think of it like this:

| Gadd9 | Em I Bm7 | G7 |

| C | Cm7 | Gadd9 | G7 Am7 G/B |

| C | Cm7 | Gadd9 G/F# | Em |

|Am7 D7 | D7sus4 D/F# | Gadd9 | Am7 D/F# |

There are plenty of movements to discuss in that section. To go deep, take the advanced course where we pick the arrangement apart, including full TAB for every section of the song.

Eva Cassidy’s guitar style

Eva Cassidy’s guitar style is heavily inspired by classical guitar techniques. A gentle and floating right-hand technique is preferable.

Using almost counterpoint movements, we never feel as if anything sudden happens in the arrangement. This approach relaxes the listener and moves the focus to the elaborate vocal melody.

Take the advanced course and you get four lessons on how to play and arrange like Eva does in ‘Over The Rainbow’.

Related Pages

Over The Rainbow – Lyrics

Over The RainbowSomewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There’s a land that I’ve heard of once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true

For complete lyrics, go to Over The Rainbow lyrics.

Doris Day

doris-day-thumbHaving achieved success as a big band singer, film actress, recording artist, and radio and television performer, Doris Day became one of America’s best-loved entertainers of the 50s.

Among her most famed vocal performances are ‘Dream A Little Dream Of Me’, ‘Que Sera, Sera’ and ‘Over The Rainbow’.

To find out more, go to Doris Day biography.

Eva Cassidy

eva-cassidy-thumbEva Cassidy was an American guitar player and vocalist who didn’t reach fame until after she passed away on November 2nd ’96.

An amateur recording of Eva playing ‘Over The Rainbow’ in her local pub was played on Top of the Pops 2, a TV show in the UK on December 13th ’00. 4 years after she was gone.

To find out more, go to Eva Cassidy biography.

Harold Arlen

harold-arlen-thumbHarold Arlen wrote over four hundred songs. His 1938 song ‘Over The Rainbow’ was voted the twentieth century’s #1 song by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Nobody has had more songs represented in the ‘Great American Songbook’ than Harold Arlen.

To find out more, go to Harold Arlen biography.

Judy Garland

judy-graland-thumbJudy Garland shot to worldwide fame when she sang ‘Over The Rainbow’ in the 1939 Blockbuster ‘The Wizard of Oz’ at only sixteen years old.

Amazingly, she had made an astonishing twelve films prior to ‘The Wizard Of Oz’.

In 1999, the American Film Institute placed her at #8 of greatest female stars in the history of American cinema.

To find out more, go to Judy Garland biography.


Learning how to play guitar is best done through playing and learning from songs.

The advanced songs require you to learn 7th note chords and modal scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fretboard.

To see all lessons in the advanced course, go to Advanced Guitar Course


These are pretty advanced exercises. You’ll be playing 7th note chords, arpeggios and modes all over the neck.

But don’t fret – As you’ve already mapped out the fretboard with pentatonic scales and barre chords, extending the concept is actually really simple.

Preview the exercises from the course here: Advanced Guitar Lessons


Learn how to play famous advanced songs.

‘Angels’, ‘Baby Won’t You Please Come Home’, ‘Blackbird’, ‘Cannonball’, ‘Close To You’, ‘Creepin’ In’, ‘Don’t Wait Too Long’, ‘I Shot The Sheriff’, ‘Over The Rainbow’, ‘Roxanne’, ‘Scarborough Fair’, ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’, ‘Take Me To The River’, ‘Tears In Heaven’, and ‘Wish You Were Here’.

To preview each song, go to Advanced Acoustic Songs

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Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.

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