Lovely Day chords by Bill Withers


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Lovely Day | Chords + Lyrics

Intro

| Emaj7 | C#m7 | Amaj9 | Amaj9 Cmaj7 Bm7 |
| Emaj7 | C#m7 | Amaj9 | Cmaj7 |

Verse 1

| Emaj7 | C#m7 |
When I wake up in the morning, love,
| Amaj9 | Amaj9 Cmaj7 Bm7 |
and the sunlight hurts my eyes.
| Emaj7 | C#m7 |
And something without warning, love,
| Amaj9 | Cmaj7 |
bears heavy on my mind.

Bridge 1

| C/D | D/E | Am7 | Bm7 |
Then I look at you, and the world’s alright with me.
| C/D | D/E | Am7 | Bm7 |
Just one look at you, and I know it’s gonna be.

Chorus 1

| Emaj7 | C#m7 |
A lovely day (lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day).
| Amaj9 | Cmaj7 Bm7 |
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day).
| Emaj7 | C#m7 |
A lovely day (lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day).
| Amaj9 | Cmaj7 Bm7 |
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day).

Verse 2

| Emaj7 | C#m7 |
When the day that lies ahead of me,
| Amaj9 | Amaj9 Cmaj7 Bm7 |
seems impossible to face.
| Emaj7 | C#m7 |
When someone else instead of me,
| Amaj9 | Cmaj7 |
always seems to know the way.

Bridge 2

| C/D | D/E | Am7 | Bm7 |
Then I look at you, and the world’s alright with me.
| C/D | D/E | Am7 | Bm7 |
Just one look at you, and I know it’s gonna be.

Chorus 2

| Emaj7 | C#m7 |
A lovely day (lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
| Amaj9 | Cmaj7 Bm7 |
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
| Emaj7 | C#m7 |
A lovely day (lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
| Amaj9 | Cmaj7 Bm7 |
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)

Verse 3

| Emaj7 | C#m7 |
When the day that lies ahead of me,
| Amaj9 | Amaj9 Cmaj7 Bm7 |
seems impossible to face.
| Emaj7 | C#m7 |
And when someone else instead of me,
| Amaj9 | Cmaj7 |
always seems to know the way.

Bridge 3

| C/D | D/E | Am7 | Bm7 |
Then I look at you, and the world’s alright with me.
| C/D | D/E | Am7 | Bm7 |
Just one look at you, and I know it’s gonna be.

Chorus 3

| Emaj7 | C#m7 |
A lovely day (lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
| Amaj9 | Cmaj7 Bm7 |
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
| Emaj7 | C#m7 |
A lovely day (lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
| Amaj9 | Cmaj7 Bm7 |
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
| Emaj7 | C#m7 |
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
| Amaj9 | Cmaj7 Bm7 |
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)

Chorus 4

| Emaj7 | C#m7 |
A lovely day (lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
| Amaj9 | Cmaj7 Bm7 |
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
| Emaj7 | C#m7 |
A lovely day (lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
| Amaj9 | Cmaj7 Bm7 |
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
| Emaj7 | C#m7 |
A lovely day (lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
| Amaj9 | Cmaj7 Bm7 |
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
| Emaj7 | C#m7 |
A lovely day (lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
| Amaj9 | Cmaj7 Bm7 |
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
| Emaj7 | C#m7 |
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
| Amaj9 | Cmaj7 Bm7 |
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)


Lovely Day’s chords use modal interchange

Bill Withers‘ Lovely Day uses the chordal party trick of modal interchange, which makes it a fantastic example piece to practice modal improvisations.

The verse progression E (I) C#m7 (VI) – Amaj9 (IV) is from the key of E, we can say this is “in major”, or Ionian. Nothing strange going on there. It’s the last two chords where the magic happens.

In the last bar, we switch to the home being E Aeolian instead of Ionian as the chords are Cmaj7 (IV) – Bm7 (III).

This gives you two options when soloing:

  1. E major (Ionian) for three bars, E minor (Aeolian) for one bar.
  2. E Ionian – C# Aeolian – A Lydian – C Lydian – B Phrygian.

The biggest challenge when improvising over these chords is to not sound like you’re playing all those scales as fast as you can up and down.

The bridge is like a drawn-out version of what happened in that last bar as we now have emigrated to E Aeolian, or “E minor”. Although, and this is very important, we never play Em!

These are the chords for Lovely Day’s bridge:

C/D (IV) – D/E (V) – Am7 – (II) Bm7 (III).

In the playlist above, after Bill’s original version, there are a couple of piano tutorials on how to pay Lovely Day, watch these and you’ll learn even more!