Ain’t No Sunshine

Learn How To Play Ain’t No Sunshine

Chords and Guitar Lessons

Watch This Video

Complete song – Acoustic guitar and vocals


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 DJ’s 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 take the beginner course, Ain’t No Sunshine is the last song you’ll learn.

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?

Chord progression

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

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

To spice things up, Ain’t No Sunshine add an Em and G, like this:

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

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

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. The Am7 chord also finds another b7 on the top string.

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.

In The Course

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

To prepare you for finger style 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.

Guitar Lessons

Beginner Guitar Song

It’s time to learn our first finger style song.

The Beginner Guitar Song is a nice meditative little loop that you can play for ten to twenty minutes or so without getting bored.

Go to Beginner guitar song.

Finger style Etude 1

Today we learn how to group strings depending on the chord shape.

There are some basic rules like this when playing finger style guitar. Let’s investigate and practice them.

Go to Finger style etude 1.

Finger style Etude 2

Today we look at another Etude.

Remember, it is always best to practice using a metronome, playing the examples at different tempos.

Go to Finger style etude 2.

Ain’t No Sunshine – Step 1 (Free Preview)

Today we start working on the last song of this course as we play Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers.

This is a modern standard, expect it to come up in many jam sessions and gigs.

Go to Ain’t No Sunshine step 1.

Ain’t No Sunshine – Step 2

Let’s play the complete song.

As this can be done using the same two patterns on a loop, it’s easy!

Go to Ain’t No Sunshine step 2.

Ain’t No Sunshine – Step 3

Today we continue to work on Ain’t No Sunshine.

In this final step, we look at some alternative parts you could use when playing the song with me and the singer.

Go to Ain’t No Sunshine step 3.

Related Pages


Ain't No SunshineAin’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

bill-withers-thumbBill Withers is 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.


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

Not only will learning songs help you with switching between chords and improve your rhythm playing. Songs also hold the key to how music works theoretically.

Go to Beginner guitar course.

Beginner Acoustic Songs

You can learn how to play these beginner songs on the acoustic guitar.

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

Go to Beginner acoustic songs.


Beginner Chord ProgressionWhat do you need to know in order to play real songs?

What exercises should you practice to warm-up and improve your technique? How do you understand and change the key of a song?

Go to Beginner guitar exercises.

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

Go to Monthly subscription.