Wish You Were Here chords

You can learn how to play Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd!

It’s hard to imagine a more epic acoustic guitar song than Wish You Were Here by British psychedelic rockers Pink Floyd.

Even the hammer-on licks are classics, repeated many times since. Copied by hundreds of other famous songs in progression, chord shapes, and especially guitar style, it is compulsory to learn Wish You Were Here note for note.

In the advanced acoustic guitar course, we study David Gilmour’s guitar work as well as dive deep into everything that makes Wish You Were Here a hit.

Let’s start with Wish You Were Here’s chords!

Wish You Were Here chords and lyrics

Chords for Wish You Were Here

The chords to Wish You Were Here are simple and form a repetitive progression during the intro/instrumental/outro sections.

Notice how the G is mainly a G5 by muting the 5th string. Only the bass line towards the end of the bar has the 3rd, making it a G chord.

| Em7 | G5 G | Em7 | G5 G | Em7 |
| A7sus4 | Em7 | A7sus4 | G5 | G5 G |
| Em7 | G5 G | Em7 | G5 G | Em7 |
| A7sus4 | Em7 | A7sus4 | G5 |

Here’s the verse 1 chord progression with lyrics.

| C/G | D/F# |
So, so you think you can tell,
| Am | G |
heaven from hell, blue skies from pain.
| D/F# | C |
Can you tell a green field, from a cold steel rail,
| Am | G |
a smile from a veil, do you think you can tell.

Verse 2 has the same chords.

| C/G | D/F# |
Did they get you to trade, your heroes for ghosts?
| Am | G |
Hot ashes for trees, hot air for a cool breeze.
| D/F# | C |
Cold comfort for change, did you exchange,
| Am | G |
a walk-on part in the war, for a lead role in a cage.

Verse 2 is followed by an instrumental section, which is identical to the intro.

The chorus is the same as the verses, this is minimalistic songwriting at its finest!

| C/G | D/F# |
How I wish, how I wish you were here.
| Am | G |
We’re just two lost souls, swimming in a fishbowl, year after year.
| D/F# | C |
Running over the same old ground, what have we found,
| Am | G |
the same old fears, wish you were here.

Finally, the outro is the same as the intro.

The simple variation of switching C and D around drives the song forward, still maintaining that meditative feel.

You’ll learn how to play Wish You Were Here using complete TAB, including the intro licks when you take the course.

Wish You Were Here strumming pattern

The strumming pattern for Wish You Were Here is simple and repetitive. This creates a meditative effect that works well with the longing, lyrical theme, and syncopated vocal melody.

Next time you listen to the original recording, focus on how much attention to detail there is in not just the opening guitar licks, but also in the strumming. It may appear simple, but every nuance has clearly been considered.

This is David Gilmour’s main strength, he makes every note sound as it comes from the very bottom of his heart. He achieves this by paying great attention to detail.

There is so much you can learn from Wish You Were Here. The simple chord progression, the great playing, and the writing really come together in this masterpiece.

In the course, we study how Gilmour adds tiny little chromatic notes to the opening minor pentatonic licks which makes this and all his guitar parts come alive.

There’s a full analysis of every part, including TAB. But that’s merely the starting point, we also move those intro licks to all areas of the fretboard and even play the vocal melody.

Course preview (Guitar Lesson – Step 1)

In the video above, starting at 5:07, you find a preview of Wish You Were Here’s guitar lesson, it’s the beginning of step 1 from the course.

In this step, we discuss why you should play a super simple strumming pattern, rather than one that changes.

The reason for this is that the vocal melody is so syncopated, it needs the foundation of that repetitive strumming pattern.

Below is notation describing the strumming in relation to the vocal melody, notice how they overlap.

Wish You Were Here – Guitar Lessons

In this first series of lessons from the advanced acoustic course, we learn Wish You Were Here step by step.

As this is not too difficult we also work on our minor and major pentatonic scales, play the intro licks and the vocal melody in all shapes.

Go to Wish You Were Here guitar lessons.

Wish You Were Here – Lyrics

So, so you think you can tell, heaven from hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field, from a cold steel rail,
a smile from a veil, do you think you can tell.

Go to Wish You Were Here lyrics.

David Gilmour – Biography

David Gilmour is an English musician, best known as the lead guitarist, primary singer, and one of the main songwriters in the band Pink Floyd.

Known for his melodic ability and fantastic tone, David Gilmour has always been considered one of the truly great British guitar players.

Go to David Gilmour – Biography.

Pink Floyd – Biography

Pink Floyd is an English rock band that sold an estimated seventy-five million albums in the United States alone.

With their laid-back blues-influenced psychedelic rock, they had hits like Another Brick In The Wall, Comfortably Numb, Money, and Wish You Were Here.

Go to Pink Floyd – Biography.

Advanced Acoustic – 18 Songs

You can learn how to play these 18 advanced acoustic songs!

Angel Eyes, Angels, Baby Won’t You Please Come Home, Blackbird, Cannonball, Don’t Wait Too Long, Dream A Little Dream Of Me, I Shot The Sheriff, I Wish, Over The Rainbow, Roxanne, Scarborough Fair, Sunshine Of Your Love, Take Me To The River, Tears In Heaven, Tenderness, Wish You Were Here, and Why Don’t You Do Right.

Go to Advanced Acoustic Songs.


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