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Wonderful Tonight

Composed by Eric Clapton.


Arr. Shaun Murray.

Form (AABA): There are three sections: The 8-bar intro section (which re-appears as the bridge and
the outro.) The verse (x3) and a middle section which appears after the second verse.

Structure:
Intro/Bridge 1-8.
1st verse 9-22.
Bridge 23-26
2nd verse 9-22
Middle section 27-36
Bridge 37-44
3rd verse 9-22
Coda and final bridge (outro) 45-57.

As you see I've used repeats/ Da Capos for the verses, there are slight differences between all three
(different lyrics obviously means small changes to the syllable count and phrasing) but not enough
to warrant individual scoring.

I've included LH fingerings not prescriptive but if you honour them you'll find the chord shapes
can be held more satisfactorily while the melody moves above. Chord diagrams are shown, as are
lyrics (to verse 1 and chorus). For ease of reading I've scored it for one voice only. The lyrics will
hopefully indicate how long melody notes should be held above the chord.

The timing of my YouTube video is shown at the start of every stave for reference although I
haven't included dynamics/articulation on the score.

Bar 1: here's your opening C chord keep it sustained for the entire bar. Once your final quaver of
the bar is fingered, form the remainder of the G chord around it, allowing that D note to sustain
above it all.
Bar 2: Similarly keep that final (A) quaver sustained over the subsequent F chord. Hum Clapton's
intro in your head as you do it.
Bar 4: You'll find you have to sacrifice the bass note in order to allow your 4th finger to make the
high A.
Bar 9: The lyrics enter. Make sure you keep the bass note sustained at lyric 'late in the...'
Bar 10: Similarly keep the high G (lyric: 2nd syllable of 'evening'). Arrangements such as this are all
about projecting the lyric line over the accompaniment, so make the subsequent arpeggio and slur as
subtle as you can so the listener 'hears' the lyric above the whole texture.
Bar 11: Change the chord shape halfway through the bar there from a 6-string F to a 4-string F
major 7. If you find that a handful you can always play the first chord as a four-stringer: XX3210,
like in bar 15.
Bar 12: Slide the whole shape up two frets for the G sus 4, adding your little finger to the third
string. Again, make the second arpeggio in this bar quieter to leave the listener with the impression
that they're still hearing the lyrics that the first arpeggio suggested.
Bar 13: I've shown the 'double' hammer on sometimes I did it in the YouTube vid, sometimes not
your call.
Bar 17: A difficult movement to the 5th position. You could always play the final quaver of bar 16 as
an open string which would buy you an extra moment to form this F chord. The 5-string chord I
usually strum (with p) but if you think that sounds too aggressive you could pick X8X565 with
pima. Make the final quaver of the bar with your index finger barred in readiness for the G chord at
the start of bar 18. The remaining fingers can be added when needed. Again, note where the lyrics
fall in the whole scheme and accent them accordingly.
Bar 19: Note the movement of the bass line over the next couple of bars.
Bar 21: There's that change of fingering again the the two different F shapes. This time to
honour the descending bass figure you can't really sacrifice that low note in the way suggested at
my note on bar 11.
Bar 23: Here's the bridge section again played just once this time, 4 bars.
Bar 26: Return to bar 9 for the second verse.
Bar 27: This figure takes us into the middle section (after verse 2). Note the work that the little
finger has to do here, dictating the line of the guitar riff while the barred shape is formed beneath it.
Bar 29: The penultimate quaver an open string buys you the time to form the G chord required
for the next bar.
Bar 30: Again, note the bass movement over the next couple of bars.
Bar 33: Ideally we'd have landed on a low 6th string F to complete the bass descent but that of
course is out of the question as we need the 5th fret high A such compromises are inevitable when
arranging for solo guitar! We end up here with a potentially clumsy transition to the 5th position
shape. It's do-able but experiment with the alternative shown, you may prefer it. The arpeggio in the
second half of the bar would then become XX5703.
Bar 35: Note how I've stopped the quaver movement here and made it crotchets I included 'fill-in'
quavers at this point on the YT vid but this is preferred, I think it gives it more poignancy.
Bar 36: Keep the poignancy thing going by playing the second half of this bar without the bass note
supporting it. The first slur shown works equally well with a string bend or a slide.
Bar 37: A slight change to the order of notes (against my YT video) I guess any appearance of 'I
love you' in a lyric needs to be present in the arrangement! The intro/bridge section follows, then
back to bar 9 for the final verse, until the coda sign at bar 22. Advance then to the coda at 45.
Bar 45: Descending bass pattern again.
Bar 48: The vocal line here on the last syllable of the 'wonderful' is slurred from E to D to C.
However we can't obviously slur from the open string E so I've shown a hammer-on from the
second string C. It's just a trick the listener hears a slur being played and he hears the E,D,C high
notes, and is tricked into hearing the slur we're aiming for!
Bar 56: I suggesting effecting a rallentando here to announce the end. Pause also on the high A at
the end of the bar...
Bar 57: ... and some separation between the notes of the final strummed C chord.