Wonderful Tonight chords

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Wonderful Tonight | Chords + Lyrics


||: G | D/F# | C | D :||

Verse 1

| G | D/F# | C | D |
It’s late in the evening, she’s wondering what clothes to wear.
| G | D/F# | C | D |
She puts on her makeup and brushes her long blonde hair.

Chorus 1

| C | D | G D/F# | Em |
And then she asks me “Do I look all right?”.And I say,
| C | D |
“Yes, you look wonderful tonight”.

Instrumental 1

| G | D/F# | C | D |

Verse 2

| G | D/F# | C | D |
We go to a party and everyone turns to see.
| G | D/F# | C | D |
This beautiful lady, who’s walking around with me.

Chorus 2

| C | D | G D/F# | Em |
And then she asks me “Do you feel all right?”.
| C | D | G | D/F# |
And I say, “Yes, I feel wonderful tonight”.

Middle 8

| C | D | G D/F# | Em |
I feel wonderful because I see the love light in your eyes.
| C | D | C | D |
Then the wonder of it all is that you just don’t realize, how much I love you.

Instrumental 2

||: G | D/F# | C | D :||

Verse 3

| G | D/F# | C | D |
It’s time to go home now and I’ve got an aching head.
| G | D/F# | C | D |
So I give her the car keys and she helps me to bed.

Chorus 3

| C | D | G D/F# | Em |
And then I tell her, as I turn out the light.
| C | D | G D/F# | Em |
I say, “My darling you were wonderful tonight”
| C | D |
“Oh, my darling, you were wonderful tonight”


||: G | D/F# | C | D :|| G |

Wonderful Tonight’s chords and progressions

Super simple Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton is minimalistic ballad hit writing at its best. Study the chords and lyrics above carefully to see how he is recycling the same idea repeatedly.

The intro, which is also the verse, instrumental tag for the chorus and even the outro is just I – V/3 – IV – V. In the key of G, this means:

||: G | D/F# | C | D :||

The chorus recycles the idea by starting on chord IV instead, then using G and D/F# in the same bar, only adding an Em chord, like this:

| C | D | G D/F# | Em | C | D |

The middle 8 section, which goes “…I feel wonderful, because…” is the same as the chorus, only adding one more IV – V at the end, like this:

| C | D | G D/F# | Em |
| C | D | C | D |

The final chorus holds one more subtle twist as it repeats the first four bars, like this:

| C | D | G D/F# | Em |
| C | D | G D/F# | Em |
| C | D |

By now it’s time to end as we now have made enough minimal changes to Wonderful Tonight’s chords, adding any more would just ruin it!

Let’s look at the intro/instrumental melody and see if we can learn anything from that too!

Wonderful Tonight’s guitar melody in TAB

In order to be melodic and memorable, a melody needs to hit mainly chord notes, only using other notes to create tension.

Wonderful Tonight’s guitar melody does this exceptionally well, let’s look at it in TAB.

Start by playing the melody like you would play Itsy Bitsy Spider. Don’t add anything, for now, we just focus on the intervals.

  • G – start on the 3rd, and move down to the root via the 2nd (tension).
  • D/F# – start on the 5th, the 6th and 4th are tension notes.
  • C – start on the 3rd, jump to 7, down to 5th via 6th (tension).
  • D – start on the 5th, the rest are tension, b7 is a chord note but it’s still tension.
  • G – start on the 5th.

All chord notes are release notes. The 3rd is the money note. Notice how every bar starts on a release note: 3rd – 5th – 3rd – 5th – 5th.

Next, let’s develop this melody to become better guitar players. First, we slide or hammer on into suitable notes, which look like this using TAB:

Wonderful Tonight chords melody exercise 2
Wonderful Tonight, slide and hammer on exercise

Experiment with sliding to all instead of hammering on as well. When you feel confident, let’s try bending instead.

Wonderful Tonight chords melody exercise 3
Wonderful Tonight, bending exercise

Do ensure all bends are perfectly in tune. Finally, let’s combine all concepts.

Wonderful Tonight chords melody exercise 4
Wonderful Tonight, slide, hammer on, bend, vibrato exercise

In the final example, I combined all concepts and also added vibrato.

On a final note, consider this. Whenever you vibrato without first bending up to the note, you are not actually playing a real vibrato.

This is because you don’t go below the note, a vibrato needs to be below and above the note. If you vibrato without first bending, you are only doing it above the note, not below.

Using a real musical example as we did here with Wonderful Tonight is a much better idea than any bending, vibrato, hammer-on, or sliding exercise as they by nature all are unmusical and mechanical.

Using a real song like this ensures you stay musical. Should you want to get better at understanding the fretboard, play what you saw above in the remaining four CAGED shapes.

Should some of the shapes turn out to be too low on the neck in order for you to bend, change the key!

Wonderful Tonight chords | Related pages

Wonderful Tonight – 5 similar tunes

When you can play Wonderful Tonight's chords, try these five tunes from the song book.

Eric Clapton

Find out more about Eric Clapton, the man who wrote Wonderful Tonight's chords.

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.

Eric Clapton tunes.

Eric Clapton on the web

Listen to Eric Clapton on Spotify.

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