I Won’t Back Down chords by Tom Petty


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I Won’t Back Down | Chords + Lyrics


Intro

||: E5 D5 | G5 :||

Verse 1

| E5 D5 | G5 |
Well I, won’t back down.
| E5 D5 | G5 |
No I, won’t back down.
| E5 D5 | C5 |
You could stand me up at the gates of Hell.
| E5 D5 | G5 |
But I, won’t back down.

Verse 2

| E5 D5 | G5 |
No I’ll, stand my ground.
| E5 D5 | G5 |
Won’t be, turned around.
| E5 D5 | C5 |
And I’ll keep this world from dragging me down.
| E5 D5 | G5 |
Gonna, stand my ground.
| E5 D5 | G5 G C/G G |
And I, won’t back down.

Chorus 1

| C (G) | D5 (G) |
(I won’t back) Hey baby.
| C (G) | D5 (G) |
There ain’t no easy way out.
| C (G) | D5 | E5 D5 | G |
(I won’t back) Hey I, will stand my ground.
| E5 D5 | G5 |
And I Won’t back down.

Verse 3

| Em D5 | G |
Well, I know what’s right
| Em D5 | G |
I got just one life
| Em D5 | C |
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
| Em D5 | G |
But I’ll stand my ground
| Em D5 | G5 G C/G G |
And I won’t back down

Chorus 2

| C (G) | D5 (G) |
(I won’t back) Hey baby.
| C (G) | D5 (G) |
There ain’t no easy way out.
| C (G) | D5 | E5 D5 | G |
(I won’t back) Hey I, will stand my ground.
| Em D5 | G5 |
(I won’t back down) And I won’t back down.

Solo

| Em D5 | G | Em D5 | G |
| Em D5 | C | Em D5 | G |
| Em D5 | G C/G G |

Outro chorus

| C (G) | D5 (G) |
(I won’t back) Hey baby.
| C (G) | D5 (G) |
There ain’t no easy way out.
| C (G) | D5 | Em D5 | G C/G G |
(I won’t back) Hey I, won’t back down
| C (G) | D5 (G) |
(I won’t back) Hey baby.
| C (G) | D5 (G) |
There ain’t no easy way out.
| C (G) | D5 | Em D5 | G |
(I won’t back) Hey I, will stand my ground.
| Em D5 | G |
(I won’t back down) And I won’t back down.
| Em D5 | G |
(I won’t back down) No I won’t back down.



I Won’t Back Down Chords: Learn the progressions


I Won't Back Down Analysis + TAB

I Won’t Back Down is from Tom Petty‘s 1989 solo album Full Moon Fever.

Cowritten with Jeff Lynne, this tune came during the time Tom had taken a break from the Heartbreakers and formed The Travelling Wilbury’s with Jeff, Roy, George, and Bob.

A master class in simplistic songwriting, this is another 4-chord masterpiece where we have no extensions, instead, we go the other way, to the power chord (5 chord).

The verse is VI – V – I, but during the early verses we don’t play the full chords, just this:

||: E5 D5 | G5 :||

For verse 3 and the solo, we make one tiny change as we play this:

||: Em D5 | G :||

Before the chorus, we open up and play these triads:

| E5 D5 | G5 G C/G G |

The chorus is then using triads, making it all feel more open, the chord in brackets is a passing chord.

||: C (G) | D5 (G) :||

Here’s some TAB displaying the end of the verse, taking us to a chorus.

I Won't Back Down chords and TAB verse leading to chorus

Members get TAB for the complete chorus as this is the most complex part of the tune. Here’s a link to the complete lesson (members only): I Won’t Back Down – 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.


I Won’t Back Down vs. Stay With Me!

In recent years, songs have been accused of having ripped off a previous hit. Blurred Lines was Marvin Gaye‘s Got To Give It Up, Ed Sheeran‘s Thinking Out Loud was Marvin’s Let’s Get It On.

Both these cases went to court, Robin Thicke lost, but Ed won.

Tom Petty has been “borrowed from” a few times. Last Nite (Strokes) is American Girl, Dani California (Red Hot Chili Peppers) is Mary Jane’s Last Dance.

For both those tunes, Petty did let it go. For Sam Smith’s Stay With Me, they settled out of court at 12.5% to Tom. Personally, I think it should have been 12.5% for Sam. I also think Ed should have lost.

It may seem like it’s impossible to write something new these days as there are only so many chord progressions available and to have a hook you must hit the money notes, like the 3rd etc.

I know for a fact that many artists when writing songs these days start with an existing song, then start rewriting it, Robin Thicke and Pharrell even admitted that’s how they wrote Blurred Lines.

This is not a new phenomenon, Charlie Parker did it many times, it’s even got a name, It’s called a contrafact, a new melody to an old progression and form.

Instead of debating if this is OK or not, why don’t you try it, you might get better at writing tunes by doing so. Should something great emerge, you could always be honest about it!

If Sam Smith only has to send Tom Petty 12.5% for blatantly plagiarising I Won’t Back Down, it seems worth it.

You could also consider the concept of being honest and just give a % to whomever you got the idea from. Ed Sheeran did this for his biggest hit, Shape Of You which he got |inspiration” to form TLC’s No Scrubs.



I Won’t Back Down Chords | Related Pages


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There are many more Beginner Acoustic Songs with chords similar to I Won't Back Down.

This collection of beginner acoustic tunes will teach you how to arrange for one acoustic guitar, as well as how to create a supporting part.

Playing songs will help you with switching between open-position chords and give you the context you need to understand how music works theoretically.


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Tom Petty

Tom Petty wrote I Won't Back Down's chords

Tom Petty released most of his albums with his band The Heartbreakers although some solo material appeared as well.

His best-known tunes include American Girl, Free Fallin’, Learning To Fly, Into The Great Wide Open, Don’t Come Around Here No More, and I Won’t Back Down.


Tom Petty on the web

Listen to Tom Petty on Spotify.


Pop & Rock

When you can play I Won't Back Down, try these Pop & Rock tunes as well.

Whenever a tune doesn’t fit into a specific genre, it tends to end up here, in the Pop & Rock section.

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About me

Dan Lundholm wrote this article about I Won't Back Down's chords.

This article on I Won’t Back Down’s chords was written by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and learning 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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