For Once in My Life chords


You can learn how to play For Once in My Life by Stevie Wonder!

If Master Blaster and Sir Duke are benchmark songs in a musician’s education, then For Once In My Life surely is the dissertation.

I did a gig with a keyboard player once who hadn’t played this song before, or at least not for a while. He was an amazing reader and jazz improvisation master.

When we came to the solo, which modulates from F to F#, he read the entire thing, flawlessly.

There is not a sight reading course in this world that will enable you to do this, rather you need decades of gigging, reading, improvising, and fully becoming one with your instrument before you can pull something like that off.

This (very) long journey starts with just being able to play For Once In My Life’s chords form beginning to end.

The next step would be to understand the chord progression as Roman numerals, then play it live many, many times.

Following this, you need to find ways to play the chords in all areas of the neck, learn the solo just like Stevie plays it, and then maybe one day, twenty years from now, you’ll be able to do what the best keyboard player I’ve met did.

If I could only remember his name…


For Once In My Life chords and lyrics


||: F :|| x6

| F Faug | F6 D7b9/F#
For once in my life, I have someone who needs me,
| Gm Gmmaj7 | Gm7 Gmmaj7 |
someone I’ve needed so long.
| Gm Gmmaj7 | Gm7 C7 |
For once, unafraid, I can go where life leads me,
| F Caug | F |
somehow I know I’ll be strong.
| F | Faug | Bbmaj7 | Bb6 |
For once I can touch what my heart used to dream of, long before I knew.
| Am7 | Dm7 |
Ooh, someone warm like you, 
| Gm7 Am7 | Bbmaj7 C7 |
would make my dreams come true. Yeah, yeah, yeah (for once in my life).

| F Faug | F6 F#dim7 |
For once in my life, I won’t let sorrow hurt me,
| Gm9 | C13 |
not like it’s hurt me before (not like it’s hurt me before).
| Gm Gmmaj7 | Gm7 C7 |
For once, I have something I know won’t desert me,
| Fmaj7 F6 | Cm7 F7 |
I’m not alone anymore (I’m not alone anymore).
| F | Faug | Bbmaj7 | G7 |
For once I can say, “This is mine, you can’t take it”, as long as I know I have love, I can make it.
| F/C Dm7 | Gm C11 |
For once in my life, I have someone who needs me.
| F Eb Ab Db | Db C9 |
(Someone who needs me) Hey, hey, hey, hey, yeah.
| Gb E A D | D Db9 |
(Someone who needs me) Oh, I’m in love, baby.

| Gb Gbaug | Gb6 Eb7b9 |
| Abm Abmmaj7 | Abm7 Abmmaj7 |
| Abm Abmmaj7 | Abm7 Db9 |
| Gb Dbaug | Gb |
| Gb | Gbaug | Bmaj7 | B6 |
| Bbm7 | Ebm7 |
| Abm7 Bbm7 | B A Abm11 Db9 |

| Gb Gbaug | Gb6 Gdim7 |
For once in my life (For once in my life), I won’t let sorrow hurt me,
| Abm9 Abm7 | Db13 Db9 |
not like it’s hurt me before (not like it’s hurt me before).
| Abm Abmmaj7 | Abm7 Db9 |
For once, I have something I know won’t desert me,
| Gb Gb6 | Dbm7 Gb7 |
I’m not alone anymore (I’m not alone anymore).
| Gb | Gbaug | Bmaj7 | Ab9 |
For once I can say, “This is mine, you can’t take it”, as long as I know I have love, I can make it.
| Gb/Db Ebm7 | Abm Db11 |
For once in my life, I have someone who needs me.

||: Gb E A D | D Db9 :||
(Someone who needs me) Oh, for once in my life.
(Someone who needs me) Yeah, somebody that needs me.
(Someone who needs me) Oh, baby, for once in my life.


For Once In My Life chord progression

That’s one ambitious title, the chord progression of For Once In My Life! As mentioned, this could be a dissertation.

The chromatic ascending movements in the opening line FFaugF6D7b9/F#, which is later on varied with an F#dim7 at the end, or is this essentially the same thing?

This is followed by the Latin sounding Gm – Gmmaj7Gm7Gmmaj7GmGmmaj7Gm7C7.

It’s all just too much information to sum up here in a few sentences. What I need to do is record an 8 series, step-by-step lesson guide on how to play For Once In My Life.

So I guess I’ll have to put a coming soon disclaimer here… Until then, get to work on playing the chords you see above!


The Professional Guitarist Song Book

As a guitarist, a repertoire is the greatest asset that you can acquire.

Learn these songs and you can progress from being a bedroom player to working with acoustic duos, Jazz trios, Indie/Rock/Party bands as well as large Soul/Motown ensembles.

Go to Song Book.


Copyright + Comments

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

If you are the copyright holder and do not wish to be represented in this way, or want to comment on anything in these lessons, do reach out.

Go to Contact.