Higher Ground chords by Stevie Wonder


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Higher Ground | Chords + Lyrics


Intro

||: Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 | Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 :|| x6

Verse 1

||: Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 | Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 :||
People, keep on learnin’.
Soldiers, keep on warnin’.
| F7 Ab7 Bb7 | F7 Ab7 Bb7 | Ab7 |
World, keep on turnin’.
| Db7 |
‘Cause it won’t be too long.

Instrumental 1

||: Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 | Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 :||

Verse 2

||: Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 | Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 :||
Powers keep on lyin’.
While your people keep on dyin’.
| F7 Ab7 Bb7 | F7 Ab7 Bb7 | Ab7 |
World, keep on turnin’.
| Db7 |
‘Cause it won’t be too long.

Instrumental 2

||: Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 | Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 :||

Bridge 1

||: Ab7 | Eb7 :||
I’m so darn glad He let me try it again.
‘Cause my last time on earth, I lived a whole world of sin.
I’m so glad that I know more than I knew then.
| F7 | Bb7 |
Gonna keep on tryin’, ’til I reach the highest ground.

Instrumental 3

||: Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 | Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 :||

Verse 3

||: Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 | Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 :||
Teachers, keep on teachin’.
Preachers, keep on preachin’.
| F7 Ab7 Bb7 | F7 Ab7 Bb7 | Ab7 |
World, keep on turnin’.
| Db7 |
‘Cause it won’t be too long.

Instrumental 4

||: Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 | Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 :||
Oh no.

Verse 4

||: Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 | Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 :||
Lovers, keep on lovin’.
Believers, keep on believin’.
| F7 Ab7 Bb7 | F7 Ab7 Bb7 | Ab7 |
Sleepers, just stop sleepin’.
| Db7 |
‘Cause it won’t be too long.

Instrumental 5

||: Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 | Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 :||
Oh no.

Bridge 2

||: Ab7 | Eb7 :||
I’m so darn glad He let me try it again.
‘Cause my last time on earth, I lived a whole world of sin.
I’m so glad that I know more than I knew then.
| F7 | Bb7 |
Gonna keep on tryin’, ’til I reach my highest ground.

Outro

||: Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 | Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 :||
Whoo. ‘Til I reach the highest ground, oh no.
No one’s gonna bring me down, oh no.
‘Til I reach the highest ground, mm, hm, mm, hm.
Don’t you let nobody bring you down. Yes you know that.
God is gonna show you highest ground.
He’s the only friend you’ll have around.
‘Cause the rest of the world will bring you down.



Higher Ground Chords: Learn the progressions!


Higher Ground Analysis + TAB

The chords for Higher Ground won’t all make sense if you have your music theory hat on, thinking music is diatonic.

You just have to realize that he’s on a different level from everyone else, you may even say his chords have reached a higher ground!

What Stevie does is blend traditional harmony with blues and jazzy chord substitutions which basically means anything goes! Here’s the main riff:

||: Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 | Eb7 Gb6 Ab7 :||

In the key of Eb, these are chords I – bIII – IV, played a bit like a blues, so all dom7 or 6 chords. Next, we simply move this up a tone, so in a way temporarily change the key to F. The Db7 is a bVIIx (key of Eb), also known as the backdoor dominant, looks like this:

| F7 Ab7 Bb7 | F7 Ab7 Bb7 | Ab7 | Db7 |

The bridge is kind of like going to chord IV of a blues, then back to chord I again. James Brown‘s band does this all the time after James goes: Take it to the bridge!

This is followed by that F7 again before we finally get a chord that isn’t changed, chord V, a Bb7.

||: Ab7 | Eb7 :||
| F7 | Bb7 |

Considering the key of Eb has Ebmaj7Fm7Gm7Abmaj7Bb7Cm7Dm7b5. It is a bit weird to say that Higher Ground is in the key of Eb as only the Bb7 is featured in the song!

It would be much more accurate to say it’s a bit of an odd blues in Eb that temporarily modulates up a tone.

Members get TAB for how to play that keyboard riff on the guitar which is the key to playing Higher Ground, here’s a link to the complete lesson (members only): Higher Ground, guitar lesson with TAB.

Become a member today and get unlimited access to all step-by-step guitar coursesTAB for the songbook, the Self-Eliminating Practice Routine, and the eBook Spytunes Method.

Higher Ground is from one of Stevie Wonder’s best albums!

From one of Stevie Wonder‘s best albums, Innervisions, we find Higher Ground, a tune he apparently wrote and recorded (all instruments) in just three hours.

It may take you longer to learn Higher Ground than it took Stevie to write and record, it definitely did for me!

Released in 1973, it hit the #1 spot in the U.S. When Red Hot Chili Peppers released a cover version in 1989, it was named 2nd best cover of all time by Total Guitar (Jimi Hendrix’s version of All Along The Watchtower was #1).

Other notable tunes on Innervisions are Too High, Living For The City, Golden Lady, All In Love Is Fair, Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing, and He’s Misstra Know-It-All, what an incredible album!

Clearly, Stevie Wonder is a musical genius, the best way to learn from him is to study as many of his songs as possible, aiming to get the chords as right as you can.



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About me

About Me Dan Lundholm T

This article was written by Dan Lundholm, Spytunes guitar guru. Discover more about him and how learning guitar with Spytunes has evolved.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.


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