Sunny Afternoon

Sunny Afternoon

Chords and strumming

Preview Video Lesson

Sunny Afternoon chords and strumming


‘Sunny Afternoon’ is a single from British invasion pop/rock 60s band The Kinks. Alongside The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who, The Kinks 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 effectively play the song in the key of Dm but think in Am. In the video lessons, you’ll see how this is done from beginning to end.

Chord progression

‘Sunny Afternoon’ uses 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 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 in the guitar course

In the intermediate guitar course, we get to the bottom of all that ‘Sunny Afternoon’ has to offer.

First, we look at the chord progression and work out what every movement means and what they do for the other parts. Following this, we look at how to notate a shuffled rhythm, as that is what is used in this song.

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

Related Pages

Sunny Afternoon – Lyrics

Sunny AfternoonThe tax man’s taken all my dough
And left me in my stately home
Lazing on a sunny afternoon
And I can’t sail my yacht
He’s taken everythin’ I’ve got

For complete lyrics, go to Sunny Afternoon lyrics.

The Kinks – Biography

the-kinks-thumbCategorized as a British invasion band, along with the other members of the so-called Big Four (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who), The Kinks changed popular music forever.

Among their hits you can find ‘Lola’, ‘Sunny Afternoon’ and ‘You Really Got Me’ which, fourteen years later, would be covered by Van Halen, using a much louder amp.

To find out more, go to The Kinks biography.


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

The intermediate songs require you to learn barre chords and pentatonic scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fretboard.

To see all lessons in the intermediate course, go to Intermediate Guitar Course


All those open position chords you learned in the beginner course now become barre chords and pentatonic scales.

You’ll map out the entire fretboard at this stage. Chord progressions become easier to see once played as barre chords and little licks will start appearing in your playing.

Preview the exercises from the course here: Intermediate Guitar Lessons


Learn how to play famous intermediate songs.

‘1234’, ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’. ‘American Pie’, ‘Angie’, ‘Babylon’, ‘Beautiful’, ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’, ‘Dreadlock Holiday’, ‘Empire State Of Mind’, ‘Fast Car’, ‘Hey There Delilah’, ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’, ‘I’m Yours’, ‘Kiss Me’, ‘Last Request’, ‘Mad World’, ‘Red’, ‘The Scientist’, ‘Starman’, ‘Sunny Afternoon’, and ‘Whistle For The Choir’.

To preview each song, go to Intermediate Acoustic Songs

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