Ain’t No Sunshine chords by Bill Withers

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Ain’t No Sunshine | Chords + Lyrics

Verse 1

| N.C | Am7 Em G5 |
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone,
| Am7 | Am7 Em G5 |
it’s not warm when she’s away.
| Am7 | Em7 |
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, she always gone too long
| Dm7 | Am7 Em G5 |
anytime she goes away.

Verse 2

| Am7 | Am7 Em G5 |
Wonder this time where she’s gone,
| Am7 | Am7 Em G5 |
wonder if she’s gone to stay.
| Am7 | Em7 |
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, and this house just ain’t no home,
| Dm7 | Am7 Em G5 | Am7 |
anytime she goes away.


||: N.C :||
And I know, I know, I know… (x27)
| N.C |
Hey, I oughta leave the young thing alone,
| N.C | Am7 Em G5 |
but ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone.

Verse 3

| Am7 | Am7 Em G5 |
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone,
| Am7 | Am7 Em G5 |
only darkness every day.
| Am7 | Em |
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, this house just ain’t no home,
| Dm7 | Am7 Em G5 |
anytime she goes away.


||: Am7 | Am7 Em G5 :||
Anytime she goes away, anytime she goes away, anytime she goes away.

Ain’t No Sunshine Guitar Lesson | Course Preview

Ain't No Sunshine Analysis + TAB

Starting off with chord VI, which is clearly the home chord of this song, we are in the key of A minor when we play Ain’t No Sunshine’s chords.

This Am chord has been extended, without breaking any harmonic rules, to a minor 7 chord.

In the second half of the two-bar loop, we quickly move from chord III (an Em chord) to chord V (a G chord) before we go back to Am7.

You could see this as a bass line going down to the 5th, then the b7 of an Am chord. So subtle are these changes.

Ain’t No Sunshine is essentially an 8-minor blues. In its simplest form, this would be the progression of an 8-bar minor blues.

| Am | Am | Am | Am |
| Em | Dm | Am | Am |

In Ain’t No Sunshine, we develop this movement with the chords Em – G, which looks like this:

| Am7 (Em G) | Am7 | Am7 (Em G) | Am7 |
| Em | Dm7 | Am7 (Em G) | Am7 |

Here’s TAB for example 1, this is what to play over the main loop and what you hear/see me talk about towards the end of the video above.

Ain't No Sunshine chords and TAB - Verse
Ain’t No Sunshine chords and TAB – Verse

Ain’t No Sunshine was Bill Withers’s first B-side and hit

Starting its life as a B-side in 1971 to his first single Harlem, it didn’t take DJs long to flip it over and start playing Ain’t No Sunshine instead. The following year, it won a Grammy for Best Rhythm and Blues Song.

Bill Withers was fortunate to have one of the best producers around at hand with Booker T. Jones. Jones who had been around for a while and knew the secret to a great recording was having a great band.

His house band for record label Stax, Booker T. & The M.G.’s was hired when recording Ain’t No Sunshine, apart from having Stephen Stills on guitar, rather than Steve Cropper.

Bill’s debut album, Just As I Am, was recorded over just four three-hour sessions, no doubt, this was down to the experience of the producer and his kick-ass band!

Since Bill’s original version hit the airwaves, many other singers have covered the song, so much so it has become a modern standard that you as a musician are expected to know.

First up was Michael Jackson who released it in 1972, enabling the song to chart two years in a row. In 1991 Paul McCartney released his version and two years later Eva Cassidy did the same.

Ain’t No Sunshine has over the years firmly established itself as one of the most memorable songs of all time. Rolling Stone magazine ranked it at #280 on their list of Greatest Songs Of All Time.

Ain’t No Sunshine’s 8 guitar lessons in the course

The final song in the beginner course is played finger-style, which means you first have to work your way through three practice songs.

Once you can play them, Ain’t No Sunshine’s finger-style arrangement will be easy. Finally, we develop a 2nd guitar part and play the song together, like a band.

In total, there are 8 step-by-step lessons for Ain’t No Sunshine available. Here are links to each lesson in the course (members only):

Become a member today and get unlimited access to all my guitar courses, the SEPR practice route, and the eBook Spytunes Method – You can learn guitar!

Ain’t No Sunshine chords | Related pages

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Bill Withers

Bill Withers was an American singer-songwriter who performed and recorded from the late 60s until the mid-80s.

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