- Chord changes
- Open chords
- Picking patterns
If you love Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton, then you’ve got great musical taste. This is one of those songs that become classics for generations to come, all the better reason to learn it well 🙂 The song won 3 Grammy awards and was at the top of the charts for several weeks.
The song has a very tragic story though, which you should be familiar with. Clapton’s 4-year-old son fell out of the window of their New York City apartment, and the song is about the pain and loss Clapton feels following the tragic accident.
Our Tears in Heaven guitar lesson will teach you how to play the entire song, with the exception of a couple of fill-in parts played by the 2nd and 3rd guitars. The video tutorial is very dense and has a lot of information, so make sure you download the tabs/chords PDF and the Guitar Pro file for Tears in Heaven after logging in.
You’ll start out by learning the intro and the verse, which is actually the main melody of the song, the jingle that everyone is familiar with. You’ll learn a couple of interesting chords and fingerpicking patterns along the way, so make sure you spend enough time on this part of the lesson. Note that the beginning of the verse is exactly the same as the intro.
Next, you’ll learn the chorus to Tears in Heaven, which is made up of chords and a set picking pattern throughout this section of the song. And after the chorus, you’ll learn the bridge as well, which is made up of a few extra chords. Now as I said, there are lots of chords to learn in Tears in Heaven, but I’ll show you how to change from one to the other in the best way possible, so you’ll be able to learn the chord progression quickly. Getting the actual chord changes perfected will take a bit more time, so be patient, keep practicing them, and you’ll get it soon.
Tears in Heaven song details
Tears in Heaven was released by Eric Clapton and co-written by Will Jennings in 1992. It was first released on the soundtrack of the film Rush, then on the classic Unplugged album.
We’ve already discussed the tragic nature of the song, with Conor’s death. Eric Clapton hasn’t played this song live since 2004.
Tears in Heaven song accomplishments
- 362 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
- 3 Grammy awards in 1993 (Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Male Pop Vocal Performance)
- MTV Music Video Award in 1992 (Best Male Video)
- Performed by a large number of artists, including an all-star cast assembled by Ozzy Osbourne (which included Steven Tyler, Pink, Slash, Robbie Williams, and other famous artists), Paul Anka, etc.
Tears in Heaven chart rankings
- US Adult Contemporary (Billboard): #1
- US Billboard Hot 100: #2
- UK Singles (The Official Charts Company): #5
- Australia: #37
- Austria: #10
- Canadian Top Singles: #1
- Canadian Adult Contemporary: #1
- Ireland: #1
- New Zealand: #1
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