You can learn how to play Sunny Afternoon by The Kinks!

Sunny Afternoon is a single from British invasion pop/rock 60s band The Kinks. Alongside The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who, The Kinks shaped popular music as we know it.

In Sunny Afternoon, we get the classic minor verse, major chorus again. However, this time, it’s from Am to A major, rather than Am and C major (relative keys) which is what most hits go for (see Roxanne and Dreadlock Holiday).

Using a capo on fret five, we effectively play the song in the key of Dm, but think in Am.


Sunny Afternoon uses a bass line to create a looped pattern for the intro/chorus tag, these are the chords for when a capo is placed on fret five.

| Am Am/G | Am/F# Am/F | E E/D | E7/C E7/B | x2

The verse uses more conventional chords at first before the descending bass line idea is used over the E chord again, like this.

| Am | G | C | G | E E/D | E7/C E7/B | x2

| Am | A |

The chorus moves to the key of A and has a bVII chord in it (G). The C (bIIIx) and E7 chords act as a turnaround to get back to Am.

| A | A | D7 | D7 | G | G7 | C | E7 |

| Am | D7 | Am | D7 G | C | E7 |

In the guitar course, we first learn to play it like this, then develop a 2nd guitar part so we can play this song together, with the singer in the final step.

Sunny Afternoon – Guitar Lessons

You can learn how to play Sunny Afternoon by The Kinks!

Step 1 (Triplet feel)Step 2 (Intro/chorus tag)Step 3 (Verse)Step 4 (Chorus)Step 5 (Complete song)Step 6 (2nd guitar part, intro/chorus tag)Step 7 (2nd guitar part, chorus)Step 8 (2nd guitar, play along).

Sunny Afternoon – Lyrics

The tax man’s taken all my dough, and left me in my stately home,
lazing on a sunny afternoon.
And I can’t sail my yacht, he’s taken everythin’ I’ve got,
all I’ve got’s this sunny afternoon.

Go to Sunny Afternoon – Lyrics.

The Kinks – Biography

Categorized as a British invasion band, along with the other members of the so-called Big Four, The Kinks changed popular music forever.

Among their hits, you find Lola, Sunny Afternoon and You Really Got Me, which fourteen years later would be covered by Van Halen, using a much louder amp.

Go to The Kinks – Biography.

Intermediate Acoustic – 16 Songs

Intermediate Acoustic Guitar Songs

You can learn how to play these 16 intermediate acoustic songs!

A Change Is Gonna Come, American Pie, Angie, Babylon, Blowin’ In The Wind, Dreadlock Holiday, Fast Car, Hey There Delilah, I Can’t Stand The Rain, I’m Yours, Kiss Me, Mad World, Red, Starman, Sunny Afternoon, and Whistle For The Choir.

Go to Intermediate Acoustic Songs.