Learn How To Play Sunny Afternoon
Chords and Guitar Lessons
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In the course & Complete song
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 (relative keys) which is what most hits go for (see Roxanne and Dreadlock Holiday).
Using a capo on fret five, we effectively play the song in the key of Dm but think in Am.
Sunny Afternoon uses a bass line to create a looped pattern for the intro/chorus tag, these are the chords for when a capo is placed on fret five.
| Am Am/G | Am/F# Am/F | E E/D | E7/C E7/B | x2
The verse uses 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 moves to the key of A and has a bVII chord in it (G). The C (bIIIx) and E7 chords act as a turnaround to get back to A.
| A | A | D7 | D7 | G | G7 | C | E7 |
| Am | D7 | Am | D7 G | C | E7 |
Sunny Afternoon – Step 1
To achieve this we play the sweeping exercise using 12/8, shuffle, and swing rhythms.
Go to Sunny Afternoon Step 1.
Sunny Afternoon – Step 2
Not only is it difficult to fret the descending bassline, but there’s also plenty of muting going on as well.
Go to Sunny Afternoon Step 2.
Sunny Afternoon – Step 3
There’s also plenty of songwriting tricks here to learn from if you’d like to write hits yourself.
Go to Sunny Afternoon Step 3.
Sunny Afternoon – Step 4
Practice along to the loop, aiming to get it exactly as the TAB display before you start coming up with variations.
Go to Sunny Afternoon Step 4.
Sunny Afternoon – Step 5
Use the chart to guide you as you play along with me and the singer.
Go to Sunny Afternoon Step 5.
Sunny Afternoon – Step 6
We do this by removing the capo and play as if in the key of Dm.
Go to Sunny Afternoon Step 6.
Sunny Afternoon – Step 7
We try both big open position chords to support the first guitar as well as small compact jazz style comping. You’ll gain lots from practicing this.
Go to Sunny Afternoon Step 7.
Sunny Afternoon – Step 8
As we’re a band now, maybe it’s time to fire up that tour bus and book us some gigs!
Go to Sunny Afternoon Step 8.
Go to Sunny Afternoon Lyrics.
Among their hits, you find Lola, Sunny Afternoon and You Really Got Me, which fourteen years later would be covered by Van Halen using a much louder amp.
Go to The Kinks Biography.
The intermediate songs require you to learn barre chords and pentatonic scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fretboard.
Go to Intermediate Guitar Course.
Intermediate Acoustic Songs
A Change Is Gonna Come, American Pie, Angie, Babylon, Blowin’ In The Wind, Dreadlock Holiday, Fast Car, Hey There Delilah, I Can’t Stand The Rain, I’m Yours, Kiss Me, Mad World, Red, Starman, Sunny Afternoon, and Whistle For The Choir.
Go to Intermediate Acoustic Songs.
We’ll use this to map out the entire fretboard. Everything becomes easier to visualize once this foundation is laid.
Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.
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