Ain’t No Sunshine chords

You can learn how to play Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers!

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 DJs 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 sign up for my guitar courses, Ain’t No Sunshine is the last song you’ll learn in the beginner course.

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?

Ain’t No Sunshine chords and lyrics

Chords for Ain’t No Sunshine – Guitar 1

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

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

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

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

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

Ain’t No Sunshine chord progression

The chord progression could be seen as a variation on an 8-bar minor blues. In the same key, a simple blues would be this.

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

To spice things up, Ain’t No Sunshine extends the Am chord to an Am7 and adds an Em chord as well as a G chord, like this:

||: Am7 Em G5 | Am7 :||

The Em and G’s function is to simply bring us back to Am again.

Ain’t No Sunshine chord extensions

Am7 might sound like a complicated chord to play, but all you do is remove a finger and let the open G string ring.

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.

Em7 is also built by lowering the root to a b7, although we need to change the string to do it, from the top string open to fret 3 on the 2nd string.

G5 is not an extension, on the contrary, it’s a chord without a 3rd.

For the 2nd guitar, more complex CAGED barre chord shapes are used, you’ll find out more about this as you start learning how to play Ain’t No Sunshine in the course.

In the course

This may be the last song we learn in the course, but it’s the first proper song we play finger-picked.

To prepare you for finger-picked 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.

There is also a 2nd guitar part to learn, here we use other chord shapes than guitar 1, we also play these with a pick. Making them different is crucial in order to not have the two parts clash.

Learning how to construct a 2nd guitar like this is very important for your development. If you want to play with other people, you’ll have to do this all the time.

Course preview (Guitar Lesson – Step 4)

In the first video above, starting at 2:01, you find a preview of Ain’t No Sunshine’s guitar lesson, it’s the beginning of step 4 of the course.

Since the song is so simple, there are only 2 examples to practice in this step. Below is the first example in TAB.

Ain’t No Sunshine – 8 Guitar Lessons

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

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

Go to Ain’t No Sunshine – 8 Guitar Lessons.

Ain’t No Sunshine – Lyrics

Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone,
it’s not warm when she’s away.
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone,
she always gone too long anytime she goes away.

Go to Ain’t No Sunshine lyrics.

Bill Withers – Biography

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

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.

Booker T. & The M.G.’s – Biography

Led by piano and organ player Booker T. Jones, the Stax Records house band played behind numerous legendary artists.

Hits include Green Onions, Born Under A Bad Sign, (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay, Ain’t No Sunshine, Soul Man, Hold On I’m Coming, Knock On Wood, and Respect.

Go to Booker T. & The M.G.’s – Biography.

Beginner Acoustic – 9 Songs

Beginner acoustic guitar songs

You can learn how to play these 9 beginner acoustic songs!

Ain’t No Sunshine, The Drugs Don’t Work, Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life), One More Cup Of Coffee, Redemption Song, Rewind, Robin Hood, Talking About A Revolution, and Wonderwall.

Go to Beginner Acoustic Songs.

The professional guitarist Song Book

The greatest asset you as a guitarist can acquire is a repertoire.

If you start with learning all these songs, there’s a good chance you won’t have to learn many more when a gig with a new band appears.

Go to Song Book.


Studying great songs is the best way for a musician to develop, we believe displaying chords and lyrics falls under “fair use in education”.

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Go to Contact.