Wonderful Tonight Guitar Lesson – Eric Clapton

Genre:

Difficulty: Level I
Length: 16:11


Wonderful Tonight Wikipedia pageWikipedia page
Wonderful Tonight music videoArtist website
Wonderful Tonight music videoMusic video

With our guitar tutorial on Wonderful Tonight, you will learn these guitar skills:
  • arpeggios
  • chord embellishments
  • hammer-ons
  • open chords
  • pull-offs
  • slides

Wonderful Tonight is, well, a wonderful song 😉 You will be able to learn it as an early beginner, even if you just picked up the guitar not long ago. In fact, this was one of the first songs I ever learned, I still remember playing the main riff to one of my friends just a few weeks after I got my first guitar.

Our video tutorial on Wonderful Tonight will cover several sections of the song, including the popular main riff, as well as the chords you could play while someone is singing the lyrics. In fact, if you learn all of the chords, you will be able to play along with the actual song. Try it once you can, it’s awesome!

We’ll start the lesson by learning the intro riff to Wonderful Tonight. It is undoubtedly one of Eric Clapton’s most known riffs, and you, as a guitar player, must know it as well. It is very simple though, I’ll walk you through it step by step.

Next, we’ll learn the chords used in the song. Wonderful Tonight is in the key of G, so the chords will revolve around this key. Nice and simple, no barre chords at all. The verse can be split up into several sections, but the chord progression during each section is nearly identical. I’ll explain it in detail during the video lesson, and make sure you print out the tabs as well after loging in. The chord progression is simple, but the 3 variations they play is a bit confusing at first. But that’s why we have tablature 🙂

Once you know the chords, you can choose how you want to play the through the song. As a beginner, a single strum per chord will do. That’ll already improve your timing and sense of rhythm playing it along with the original song.

After you are comfortable with the chords and changing in between them, have a go at the arpeggios I teach you in the lesson as well. They sound great, and they’ll really improve your muscle memory in your plucking hand as well. Make sure to start out slowly, and use alternate picking to play each note of the arpeggio.

And once you can, have a look at the arpeggio embellishments we’ll learn at the end of the lesson. They’ll add a fine, delicate touch to the arpeggios, making them just a bit more interesting.

Wonderful Tonight song details

Wonderful Tonight was written by Eric Clapton and released in 1977 on his 5th album, Slowhand.

Clapton wrote the song about George Harrison’s (The Beatles) wife, Pattie Boyd. George and Pattie divorced, and Clapton married her in 1979.

The song didn’t reach the top of the charts, it topped out at 16 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1978. Despite this, it is one of the most memorable songs created by Eric Clapton.


If you want to refine the skills you learned in Wonderful Tonight, check out these lessons on songs by clicking these links:
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Download tabs for Wonderful Tonight

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Download backing track for Wonderful Tonight

Wonderful Tonight backing track download link Sorry, the same goes for the backing track. To download the backing track to Wonderful Tonight, please log in and revisit this page.

2 replies
  1. gbsmith
    gbsmith says:

    At 2:30 you say that the 14th fret on the D string is the G root note. This a E note?

    Missing tab for main riff in the tab pdf file. I found it in the Gprotabs database.

    I would like to see Guitar Pro tabs for all your lessons. For this lesson you could have multiple tracks. One for main riff, one for chords, one for arpeggios, others for backup. Using Guitar Pro I can gradually increase my tempo.

    Reply
    • Tom - TheGuitarLesson.com
      Tom - TheGuitarLesson.com says:

      Oh you’re right, I corrected that, and the tablature as well.

      Your idea about using GP6 tabs is good, I may just use that format instead of the PDFs in the future. I’ll think about it all.

      Reply

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