I Wish chords by Stevie Wonder


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I Wish | Chords + Lyrics (Em and E)


Intro

||: Em7 A :|| x8

Verse 1

||: Em7 A | Em7 A :||
Looking back on when I was a little nappy-headed boy.
Then my only worry was for Christmas what would be my toy.

Bridge 1

| B7 C#7 | F#m7 Am6 |
Even though we sometimes would not get a thing,
| B7 C#7 | F#m7 B7 |
we were happy with the joy the day would bring.

Verse 2

||: Em7 A | Em7 A :||
Sneaking out the back door to hang out with those hoodlum friends of mine.
Greeted at the back door with boy thought I told you not to go outside.

Bridge 2

| B7 C#7 | F#m7 Am6 |
Trying your best to bring the water to your eyes,
| B7 C#7 | F#m7 B7 |
thinking it might stop her from woopin’ your behind.

Chorus 1

||: Em7 A | Em7 A :||
I wish those days could come back once more, why did those days ever have to go.
I wish those days could come back once more, why did those days ever have to go, ’cause I love them so.

Instrumental

||: Em7 A :|| x4
Do do do…

Verse 3

||: Em7 A | Em7 A :||
Brother says he’s telling ’bout you playing doctor with that girl.
Just don’t tell I’ll give you anything you want in this whole wide world.

Bridge 3

| B7 C#7 | F#m7 Am6 |
Mama gives you money for Sunday school,
| B7 C#7 | F#m7 B7 |
you trade yours for candy after church is through.

Verse 4

||: Em7 A | Em7 A :||
Smoking cigarettes and writing something nasty on the wall (you nasty boy).
Teacher sends you to the principal’s office down the hall.

Bridge 4

| B7 C#7 | F#m7 Am6 |
You grow up and learn that kinda thing ain’t right,
| B7 C#7 | F#m7 B7 |
but while you were doing it, it sure felt outta sight.

Chorus 2

||: Em7 A | Em7 A :||
I wish those days could come back once more, why did those days ever have to go.
I wish those days could come back once more, why did those days ever have to go.

Outro

||: Em7 A :|| x8 (chords)
||: Em7 A :|| x8 (horn line)
||: Em7 A :|| x8 (Bassline)



I Wish | Chords + Lyrics (original key)


Intro

||: Ebm7 Ab :|| x8

Verse 1

||: Emb7 Ab | Ebm7 Ab :||
Looking back on when I was a little nappy-headed boy.
Then my only worry was for Christmas what would be my toy.

Bridge 1

| Bb7 C7 | Fm7 Abm6 |
Even though we sometimes would not get a thing,
| Bb7 C7 | Fm7 Bb7 |
we were happy with the joy the day would bring.

Verse 2

||: Emb7 Ab | Ebm7 Ab :||
Sneaking out the back door to hang out with those hoodlum friends of mine.
Greeted at the back door with boy thought I told you not to go outside.

Bridge 2

| Bb7 C7 | Fm7 Abm6 |
Trying your best to bring the water to your eyes,
| Bb7 C7 | Fm7 Bb7 |
thinking it might stop her from woopin’ your behind.

Chorus 1

||: Emb7 Ab | Ebm7 Ab :||
I wish those days could come back once more, why did those days ever have to go.
I wish those days could come back once more, why did those days ever have to go, ’cause I love them so.

Instrumental 1

||: Ebm7 Ab :|| x4
Do do do…

Verse 3

||: Emb7 Ab | Ebm7 Ab :||
Brother says he’s telling ’bout you playing doctor with that girl.
Just don’t tell I’ll give you anything you want in this whole wide world.

Bridge 3

| Bb7 C7 | Fm7 Abm6 |
Mama gives you money for Sunday school,
| Bb7 C7 | Fm7 Bb7 |
you trade yours for candy after church is through.

Verse 4

||: Emb7 Ab | Ebm7 Ab :||
Smoking cigarettes and writing something nasty on the wall (you nasty boy).
Teacher sends you to the principal’s office down the hall.

Bridge 4

| Bb7 C7 | Fm7 Abm6 |
You grow up and learn that kinda thing ain’t right,
| Bb7 C7 | Fm7 Bb7 |
but while you were doing it, it sure felt outta sight.

Chorus 2

||: Emb7 Ab | Ebm7 Ab :||
I wish those days could come back once more, why did those days ever have to go.
I wish those days could come back once more, why did those days ever have to go.

Outro

||: Emb7 Ab :|| x4
||: Emb7 Ab :|| x32 (horn line)



I Wish Chords: Learn the progressions


I Wish guitar lesson + TAB T

Let’s analyze Stevie Wonder‘s masterpiece I Wish.

The progression of the verse is, just like the intro, a II – V, or Em7A7 if you look at my acoustic guitar arrangement, Ebm7 and Ab7 in the original key.

The II – V is #4 on my top 10 chord progression list. This movement paints the harmonic landscape of Dorian.

The bridge is the adventurous part. Sticking with the original key, I would describe this progression as being in the key of Eb (not Eb Dorian as the verse), with two variations, VIx and IVm.

These are the I Wish bridge chords in the original key:

| Bb7 (V) C7 (VIx) |
| Fm7 (II) Abm6 (IVm) |
| Bb7 (V) C7 (VIx) |
| Fm7 (II) Bb7 (V) |

The final chord, the Bb7, could also be extended to a Bb7#9.

I Wish’ chorus has the same chords as the intro and verse.

If you play this song with a band, it would definitely be in the original key, having bass and keyboards makes playing in Ebm not a big deal.

However, playing I Wish on just one acoustic guitar is a different beast, therefore, I changed the key to Em (Dorian) so I can utilize open strings.

The two most important parts to fit into your one acoustic guitar arrangement for I Wish are:

  1. The bass line
  2. The syncopated chords

The bass line has to be played exactly like the record, it’s perfect as it is and should not be messed with.

In between the bass line, you can move between different shapes of an Em7 and A chord. Having these instead of Ebm and Ab makes complete sense as you can use those open strings, also, the horn line for the end section can use open strings.

When it comes to I Wish’s chord shapes, I mainly use the Am shape for the Em7 chord, then move either down to an E-shaped, or, up to a C-shaped A chord.

Here’s some TAB of how I play verse 3 on one acoustic guitar. Notice how I’m mixing the bass line with chord shapes going up and down as well as open strings.

I Wish chords and TAB, verse 3.

I Wish by Stevie Wonder will soon be available as eight step-by-step guitar lessons. Until then, the TAB for what I play in the video is available for members.



I Wish is from one of Stevie Wonder’s four best albums

Released in 1976, I Wish was the lead single from the incredible Songs in the Key of Life. This is peak Stevie. Even though it reached #1 in the U.S. and Canada, sales were modest. I Wish legacy since the release is far greater than the impact it had at the time.

Played by every Motown/Soul band in the world, this is a must for every working musician to know.

On the same album, we find another classic in Sir Duke, also a must on the working guitarist’s repertoire. Songs in the Key of Life was a double album so we get two more immortal Stevie tunes here in As and Isn’t She Lovely.

If you want to buy four Stevie Wonder albums to have your mind blown, you should also purchase Innervisions (1973) look out for Living For The City, Higher Ground, All In Love Is Fair, and He’s Misstra Know It All.

The third must-have Stevie album is Talking Book (1972). Here you’ll find You Are the Sunshine of My Life, Superstition, and I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever).

The fourth and final Stevie Wonder must-have album (you’re buying these on vinyl, right?) is Hotter Than July (1980), must-know tunes here include Master Blaster, Lately, and Happy Birthday.

But yeah, maybe start with learning how to play I Wish!



I Wish Chords | Related Pages


Advanced Acoustic

Among the Advanced Acoustic Songs, you'll find ore tunes like I Wish.

The advanced acoustic tunes use big chord extensions and sometimes, unique and complex chords that incorporate open strings.

Study these in-depth and you will gain a complete understanding of the guitar fretboard, including how to build any scale, arpeggio, or chord.


Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

When you can play I Wish chords, try these five tunes from the songbook.


Stevie Wonder tunes

Stevie Wonder wrote I Wish.

Stevie Wonder is the legend whom most practising musicians come across and who has a life-changing impact on them.

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


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Listen to Stevie Wonder on Spotify.


Motown & Soul

When you can play I Wish, check out these Motown and Soul tunes as well.

Motown & Soul is the best place to start if you want to get better at playing the electric guitar. The harmony is simple and there is room for improvisation.

Learn tunes by The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, and many more.


About me | Dan Lundholm

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson on I Wish chords.

This was a guitar lesson about I Wish chords, by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and learn guitar with Spytunes.

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



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