How to “Play Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton

Check out this free lesson from Guitar Control instructor Jon MacLennan on how to play Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton. Be sure to get the free tabs to go along with this lesson.

Wonderful Tonight
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Hey, how’s it going this is Jon McLennan with Guitar Control, I hope you’re doing fantastic in todays video lesson will be learning on a song called “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton.

Check the image above to follow the chords and tabs for How to Play “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton.

Wonderful Tonight Intro

For the Intro to Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton, I’m going between three chords a g, a, and d over f sharp, d which my thumb is put on the second fret sixth string, and then I have the c chord back to a d over f, so there’s four beats on each chord. We’re going to count one, two, three, four, two, three, four, two, three, four, back so that’s the Intro chord wise, and then there’s a lead that goes on top of that. What I’m going to do is to have a little looper pedal, I’m going to play that first part for you, and I’ll show you how they work together.

One thing, that you might hear on the recording of Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton is arpeggiating, it’s something basically taking those chords and playing different inversions of them, and then picking individual notes. If I was playing by myself I’d probably just play what I’m showing you right now, the full chords and then arpeggiate, by picking eighth notes one, and two, and three, and then play this lead on top.

Let me break that down for you, I’ve gone to the eighth fret or tenth fret on the second string, I’m using my third finger and going to start by bending that note, then goes up and goes down, then you go to the eighth fret and then back up to ten. It’s a nice little kind of BB Kingish Bluesy lick, and then you do it again, but instead of going up to ten you go to nine on the third string. Let’s put them together and then you do the first one again and let it ring, so let’s try it just following the chords.

That’s the first half of Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton and then the second half, goes same variation on the end. What happened is you’d go to the 10 then slide to 12, slide the 13, move your first finger down to the first string, hammer from 10 to 12, and then back to 10. The second half of the phrase goes climbing up, let’s try it all together here, we go halfway and climb one more time, that’s the intro lead. For me it’s coming out of BB’s King School, the way he would play like, over a g blues applied it’s kind of blues flavor but applied over a pop song. After that intro lead we head into the verse, the next part where Clapton comes in singing, the melody.

Basically those first eight bars you’re going to repeat are the chords of the intro so c, d, g, d over f sharp, c, d and then you’re going to tag it with these next couple bars c. That’s when the melody comes and then c, g, d over f sharp, e minor, c, d, back to your intro. Basically that couple bars after the first aid of the verse, I guess we’ve got one, two, three, four, five, six, bars added on to that first part of the verse.

The Verse

Let me play the whole verse of Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton for you, the first chord is going down and then it would be in the song, where he comes one, two, three, four, g, c, d, g, t over f sharp, e minor, c, d, back to the top and we’re back to the riff, so one more time, try it with me again, basically it’s just to recap this whole thing g, d over f sharp, c, d, g, d over f sharp, c, d, that goes twice then you end it with c, d, g, d over f sharp, e minor, c, d, and then back to the intro g, here we go one, two, three, four.

What I’m going to do real quick is, I’m going to do this live for you, I’m going to play through that chord progression and then going to record it in my looper and play the melody on top so you can kind of hear how it all comes together, so here’s the verse one, two, three, four, now that I’ve recorded that in. I’m going to attempt to play the melody on top, you can hear what part would sound if you had a singer or you were singing.

The Bridge

The last section of Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton is the bridge let’s break it down, the last part of the song we have to look at is the bridge and that starts with the melody going and what I’m going to play there is just c, so we’ve got that pickup d like the walk before then you do it c again two, three, and then you’re back to the intro. It’s really one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight. It’s an eight bar bridge, the chords are c, d, g, d over f sharp, e minor, then c, d, c, d, so really this whole song is just four chords, so let’s try the bridge one more time.

I really hope this How to Play “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton video lesson helps you out gets you inspired to keep playing and practicing guitar. Don’t forget to subscribe on our YouTube Channel and we’ll see you in our next video lessons, thanks for watching How to Play “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton.

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