Sunshine Of Your Love chords

You can learn how to play Sunshine Of Your Love by Cream!

My version of Sunshine Of Your Love is a combination of Cream‘s original and Spanky Wilson‘s cover.

Using the main riff as a starting point, the chords have sometimes been extended to a dom7#9.

Spanky’s version uses this and since it is Jimi Hendrix’s signature chord, and Jack Bruce wrote this tune on the back of an early Hendrix gig in London, I thought I’d keep that in.

As you watch me play the song, can you see how the riff uses the Blues scale (a Minor Pentatonic, with an added b5)?

Variations on a 12 Bar

Sunshine Of Your Love is a great example of a tune that can be easily jammed with a band.

Rather than the traditional V to IV movement of your average 12 bar blues, Sunshine Of Your Love stays on the V chord much longer than usual before it returns to chord I. As we stay on this A chord, we also get a C (bVIIx) and G (IV) for extra tension.

To keep the arrangement interesting and build tension, the chords are varied by finding different shapes.

This type of approach is more likely to keep a song alive compared to using muscle memory and strict parts. It also makes it more fun to jam with friends.

Perhaps most importantly, if you always play like this, writing parts for your own songs becomes easier.

Sunshine Of Your Love chords and lyrics

Scale and chord boxes for Sunshine Of Your Love

Since the majority of this song isn’t played using chords, but instead a blues scale riff, I’ve included blues scale boxes above.

In the course, we work on understanding the riff by seeing the intervals as this is what will enable you to move the riff all over the fretboard.

Below you find the entire chord progression. Instead of D and G (verse), play the minor blues scale riff.


||: D blues scale riff :|| x8

Verse 1

||: D blues scale riff :|| x8
It’s getting near dawn, when lights close their tired eyes.
I’ll soon be with you my love, to give you my dawn surprise.
| G riff | G riff | G5 G7 | G riff G7#9 ||: D blues scale riff :|| x4
I’ll be with you darling soon, I’ll be with you when the stars start falling.

Turnaround 1

| A | C/G G |
I’ve been waiting so long,
| A | C G/D |
to be where I’m going,
| A7 | C5 G5 | A5 | A5 | D riff | D riff |
in the sunshine of your love.

The second verse adds a D7#9. The turnaround is not exactly the same as the first. Making subtle changes like this is what brings an arrangement alive.

| A7 | C5 G5 | A5 | C5 G/D | A7 | C G5 | A | A7 A7#9 |

Turnaround 3 (solo) stays on the D longer than the first time. Almost like a new instrumental section.

| A5 | C/G G5 | A5 | C/G G5 |
| A7 | C/G G5 | A | A7 |
||: D riff :|| x4

This is followed by verse 3. The final turnaround (end) repeats more times and stays on A for longer.

| A | C5 G | A | C G |
| A | C5 G | A | C G |
| A | C5 G | A | A7 | A7 | A7#9 | D riff | D riff D7#9 |

Sunshine Of Your Love solo

Eric Clapton‘s solo on the original is fantastic. Using huge bends, he manipulates the minor and major thirds, as well as the bluesy b5 better than most.

In the mid-60s when this was recorded, Eric had been pronounced a God in his native England. Nobody could believe their eyes as he played lightning-fast blues solos to adoring fans on the London live scene.

One of Eric’s secrets was that he swapped his 3rd string for one that was plain, just like the E and B naturally are. This gave him less tension and the possibility to bend further. Today this is of course standard on all electric guitars, at the time it was revolutionary.

As we learn this on the acoustic guitar, we can’t play those huge bends since our acoustic strings are (still) too heavy.

To solve this, the solo has been moved down the neck and instead of massive bends, we switch frets. Somebody should have pointed this out to Eric at the time…

In the advanced acoustic guitar course, four steps are spent on learning the Sunshine Of Your Love solo by starting slowly and nailing every single note until it sounds like Clapton played it.

Sunshine Of Your Love – Guitar Lessons

The most difficult part of playing Sunshine Of Your Love is without a doubt the solo. All those huge bends have to be changed in order to work on the acoustic guitar.

To learn the riff, the turnaround and practicing the blues scale is in comparison super simple.

Go to Sunshine Of Your Love guitar lessons.

Sunshine Of Your Love – Lyrics

It’s getting near dawn, when lights close their tired eyes.
I’ll soon be with you my love, to give you my dawn surprise.
I’ll be with you darling soon,
I’ll be with you when the stars start falling.

Go to Sunshine Of Your Love lyrics.

Cream – Biography

Cream was a 60s British super group that Eric Clapton joined after his time with John Mayhall and The Bluesbreakers.

Cream’s sound could be described as a hybrid of blues, pop, and psychedelic rock. Hits include Crossroads, Sunshine Of Your Love, Strange Brew, and White Room.

Go to Cream biography.

Ella Fitzgerald – Biography

Ella Fitzgerald released 61 studio albums and 25 live albums between 1936 and 1989. Crowned the First Lady Of Song, she is recognized for performing and recording most of the Great American Songbook.

Before this, she pioneered scat-singing in the 40s as a devoted Bebop singer.

Go to Ella Fitzgerald biography.

Eric Clapton – Biography

As well as a member of bands like Derek & The Dominos, The Yardbirds and Cream, Clapton has successfully played sessions for more stars than any other guitar player.

His long career earned him three inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.

Go to Eric Clapton biography.

Spanky Wilson – Biography

Spanky Wilson is an American vocalist best known for her version of Sunshine Of Your Love, by Cream.

Wilson has shared the stage alongside many Soul and Jazz legends, including Marvin Gaye, Sammy Davis Jr., Jimmy McGriff, and Jimmy Smith.

Go to Spanky Wilson biography.

Advanced Acoustic – 10 Songs

You can learn how to play these 10 advanced acoustic songs!

Angels, Blackbird, Cannonball, I Shot The Sheriff, Over The Rainbow, Roxanne, Scarborough Fair, Sunshine Of Your Love, Take Me To The River, and Wish You Were Here.

Go to Advanced Acoustic Songs.