How to Play Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers on Guitar


Introduction and Song Facts

how-to-play-aint-no-sunshine-by-bill-withers-on-guitarIf you have ever watched a talent show in the vein of American Idol, you have most likely heard someone try to channel the soulful sound of Bill Withers’ famous hit “Ain’t no sunshine”. This very famous, yet very simple tune is the topic for today’s article.

Contrary to what the lyrics may suggest, the song wasn’t inspired by the end of a relationship, but rather by Withers’ reaction to the movie “Days of wine and roses”. “Ain’t no sunshine” quickly became a hit and has been covered by several famous singers, most notable of which has been Michael Jackson.

You can learn to play the complete “Ain’t No Sunshine” song with guitar chords, lyrics and a strumming trainer directly in the Uberchord app.

Key of the Song

The key of the original version is A minor and features rather simple chord progressions, making it fairly easy to play.

As far as chord progressions go, The verses is based upon a i – v – III (as defined by the bass). This would give us Aminor (7th in this case), E minor and G7. The chorus features a i – v – iv turnaround in the same key, thus we’d have Amin7 Emin7 Dmin7 in this case.

Don’t let the names of the chords intimidate you. As you can see from the chord diagrams, they are fairly easy to fret.

Chords for Ain’t No Sunshine


Amin7 – Emin – G7


Amin7 – Emin7 – Dmin7

Watch & learn how to play “Ain’t No Sunshine”

This video shows you a way to play it that is more true to the original recording, but also a bit more challenging for the beginner, as it requires you to pluck strings as opposed to strumming all six of them. I suggest you to give it a try. Just because something seems complex doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

Ain’t No Sunshine Lyrics 

Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
it’s not warm when she’s away
ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
and she’s always gone too long any time she goes away
wonder this time where she’s gone
wonder if she’s gone to stay
ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
and this house just ain’t no home anytime she goes away
and I know…

Yeah, I oughta leave the young thing alone
but ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
only darkness every day
ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
and this house just ain’t no home
any time she goes away

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