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Ain’t No Sunshine – Chord progression
Today we start working on the last song of this course as we play Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers.
This is a modern standard, expect it to come up in many jam sessions and gigs.
This classic is basically a minor blues. There are a few twists but essentially, it’s a blues.
Starting off with chord VI, which is clearly the home chord of this song, we are in the key of A minor. This chord has been extended, without breaking any harmonic rules, to a minor 7 chord.
At the second half of the two bar loop, we quickly move from chord III (Em) to chord V (G) before we go back to Am7.
You could see this as a bass line going down to the 5th, then the b7 of an Am chord. So subtle are these changes.
In it’s simplest form, this would be the progression of an 8 bar minor blues.
| Am | Am | Am | Am |
| Em | Dm | Am | Am |
With extended chords and the Em – G movement it looks like this:
| Am7 (Em G) | Am7 | Am7 (Em G) | Am7 |
| Em | Dm7 | Am7 (Em G) | Am7 |
Here TAB for the various examples.
Next time, we play the entire song as there is actually nothing more to learn in order to play the song in its full form.
See you then!
Dan (your guitar guru)