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You can play anything, so go play "Goodnight Tonight"


It will be thirty-eight years ago this month that Paul McCartney and Wings released their international hit, "Goodnight Tonight." When I think about this song, I immediately think of four things: the flamenco guitar intro, the virtuoso acoustic guitar solo executed by Laurence Juber, McCartney's excellent bass work, and this:



I don't know either. It was 1979, it was a weird time for everybody.

Although the song appears at first glance to be a very, very simple construction in E major built on the standard I-vi-ii-V progression (the "Heart and Soul" chords, yay!), take a closer look. McCartney painted with a few extra shades on this classic chord progression, and if we're going to get all of the notes in, we're going to have to have nimble fingers:



The B7b9 takes some getting used to. If that particular fingering pattern doesn't suit you, try wrapping your thumb around the fret the low B note and using your other four fingers to fret the top notes:

And just to be completely thorough, here's an alternate voicing of those four chords that I like to throw in every so often for added color (substituting a C#m7 here instead of the C#m9):



Note: the low note in the final chord is fretted with the thumb, not the pinky.

Don't forget the surprise curve ball in the first verse: on the line "it may never be the same again," McCartney switches it up and goes to an E minor chord (with the added seven) instead of E major.

And the flamenco guitar intro? Try this voicing for maximum note clustering and comfort:



Be careful with this tune. It's infectious and you may find it hard to stop playing once you get started.

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