Higher Ground chords



You can learn how to play Higher Ground by Stevie Wonder!

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

Released in 1973 it was released as a single from the album and hit the #1 spot on the Hot R&B chart in the U.S. In 1989, Red Hot Chili peppers released a cover version, named 2nd best cover of all time by Total Guitar.

Other notable songs 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.

Let’s take a look at the chords and lyrics to see how he put this one together.


Higher Ground chords and lyrics


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

||: 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.

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

||: 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.

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

||: 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.

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

||: 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.

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

||: 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.

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

||: 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.

||: 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 chord progression

Higher Ground is another funky Eb minor pentatonic masterpiece, one of its main tricks being how it blends minor and major.

The main idea is to play an Eb7, with minor pentatonic licks, followed by a Gb6Ab7. For every other bar, add a descending minor pentatonic lick, starting on the b7.

The turnaround moves the pattern up a tone to F7Ab7Bb7. The only difference is there is no 6 chord anymore.

This section is finished off with an Ab7Db7.

Finally, there’s a bridge starting on chord IV, Ab7Eb7 on a loop. This ends with F7Bb7, taking us back to the main riff.

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.

Stevie’s chords won’t all make 100% sense if you have your music theory hat on, you just have to realize that he’s on a different level to everyone else, you may even say his chords have reached a higher ground!


Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder is the legend whom most practicing musicians come across, that has a life-changing impact on them.

Stevie’s natural groove and ability to so purely express music are untouched. His vocal phrasing and songwriting are second to none.

Go to Stevie Wonder – Biography.


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.


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