Learn How To Play Ain’t No Sunshine
Chords and Guitar Lessons
Watch This Video
Complete song – Acoustic guitar and vocals
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, many other singers have covered Ain’t No Sunshine, so much so it has become a modern standard.
When you take the beginner course, Ain’t No Sunshine is the last song you’ll learn.
I’ll first show you all the details for this arrangement as well as alternative parts. But why stop there? You could play not only this but also learn how to create a part that works with mine, effectively enabling you to play with me and the singer.
Learning how to create guitar parts is a great path to learning how to write music. And what better chords to practice with than those from Ain’t No Sunshine?
The progression could be seen as a variation on 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.
Am7 might sound like a complicated chord to play, but all you do is remove a finger and let the open G string ring. The Am7 chord also finds another b7 on the top string.
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.
In The Course
This may be the last song we learn in the course, but it’s the first proper song we play finger style.
To prepare you for finger style playing, we first learn three practice songs.
When you can play all three, you will have no problem playing Ain’t No Sunshine as I do in the video and more.
Beginner Guitar Song
The Beginner Guitar Song is a nice meditative little loop that you can play for ten to twenty minutes or so without getting bored.
Go to Beginner guitar song.
Finger style Etude 1
There are some basic rules like this when playing finger style guitar. Let’s investigate and practice them.
Go to Finger style etude 1.
Finger style Etude 2
Remember, it is always best to practice using a metronome, playing the examples at different tempos.
Go to Finger style etude 2.
Ain’t No Sunshine – Step 1 (Free Preview)
This is a modern standard, expect it to come up in many jam sessions and gigs.
Go to Ain’t No Sunshine step 1.
Ain’t No Sunshine – Step 2
As this can be done using the same two patterns on a loop, it’s easy!
Go to Ain’t No Sunshine step 2.
Ain’t No Sunshine – Step 3
In this final step, we look at some alternative parts you could use when playing the song with me and the singer.
Go to Ain’t No Sunshine step 3.
Go to Ain’t No Sunshine lyrics.
Some of his best-known songs include Ain’t No Sunshine, Use Me, Lovely Day, Lean on Me, Grandma’s Hands, and Just The Two Of Us.
Go to Bill Withers biography.
Not only will learning songs help you with switching between chords and improve your rhythm playing. Songs also hold the key to how music works theoretically.
Go to Beginner guitar course.
Beginner Acoustic Songs
Go to Beginner acoustic songs.
What exercises should you practice to warm-up and improve your technique? How do you understand and change the key of a song?
Go to Beginner guitar exercises.
Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.
Go to Monthly subscription.