I Wish

I Wish

Chords and strumming

Preview Video Lessons

I Wish chords and strumming


‘I Wish’ is a single from the massively successful album ‘Songs In The Key Of Life’ by the legendary Stevie Wonder.

Spy Tunes’ recorded the song a semitone up from the original. This way open strings can be used for this one guitar arrangement.

The progression of the verse is II – V (Em7 – A) which paints the harmonic landscape of the E  Dorian scale.

The bridge is slightly more complicated as the key has changed and the chords are many. For the chorus, we are back to II – V.

Bridge chords

If the verse and chorus are simply Em7 and A, the bridge is slightly more complex and goes like this:

B7 C#7F#m7 Am6 |

B7 C#7F#m7 B7 |

I would describe this progression as being in the key of E (not E Dorian as the verse) with a few variations.

This would make the B7 chord V7, The C#7 chord VIx7, the F#m7 would be chord IIm7 and the Am6 would be a IVm chord.

The final chord, the B7, could also be extended to a B7#9.

To get all this in the original key, simply move everything down a fret, starting on a Bb7 etc.

Arranging I Wish for one acoustic guitar

The two most important parts to fit into a one guitar arrangement of ‘I Wish’ are:

1. The bass line
2. The syncopated chords

The bass line simply has to be played exactly as the record, it’s perfect as it is and should not be messed with.

In between the bass line, you can move between different shapes of an Em7 and A chord.

In the video lesson, I mainly use the Am shape for the Em7 chord, then move either down to an E shaped A, or up to a C shaped A chord.

Get the full story in the master guitar course.

Related Pages

I Wish – Lyrics

I WishLooking back on when I was a little nappy headed boy
Then my only worry was for Christmas what would be my toy
Even though we sometimes would not get a thing
We were happy with the joy the day would bring
Sneaking out the back door to hang out with those hoodlum friends of mine

For complete lyrics, go to I Wish lyrics.

Stevie Wonder – Biography

stevie-wonder-thumbStevie Wonder is the legend whom most practicing musicians come across, that has a life-changing impact on them.

Stevie’s natural groove and ability to so purely express music are untouched. His vocal phrasing and songwriting is second to none.

To find out more, go to Stevie Wonder 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 intermediate course, go to Master Guitar Course


The master exercises go that extra mile and really hammer home all the concepts. Before you know it, it’ll all link together beautifully.

Building 2nd guitar parts, solo arrangement or even writing – Whatever music you want to create, your fretboard knowledge certainly won’t stand in your way!

Preview the exercises here: Master Guitar Lessons


Learn how to play famous advanced songs.

‘Angel Eyes’, ‘Arthurs’s Theme (The Best That I Can Do)’, ‘Dream A Little Dream Of Me’, ‘I Wish’, ‘Tenderness’, and ‘Why Don’t You Do Right?’.

To preview each song, go to Master Acoustic Songs

Sign Up Now

A monthly subscription with access to all acoustic and electric step by step lessons, each one designed to bring your guitar playing skills to the next level.

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

To sign up now, go to Monthly Subscription