Guitar lesson for
Total Eclipse of the Heart
PDF print-out of this lesson
If you’d like a print-friendly PDF of this lesson for offline use, view my downloads page. You’ll find it there!
Capo 1st fret
If you want to play along with Bonnie Tyler’s recorded version of the song, you’ll need to put a capo on the 1st fret and use all chords and tabs below. You could also not use a capo and use the chords - but note you’ll be in a different key than the album version of this song (which may not be a big deal unless you’re trying to play along with it).
Intro riff, simplified
Put your left hand in the A-minor position, and play the riff as follows. Note that you want to omit the high E-string, and accent the thinnest string (in each strum) to drive the melody notes home.
E ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– B –––––––1––0––––––––––1––0–––––– G –––––––2––2––2–––––––2––2––2––– D –––––2–––––––2–––––2–––––––2––– ...repeat as desired A –––0–––––––––––––0––––––––––––– E ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Am
E –––0––––3––––0––––––––––––––4––––0––––2––––0––––2––––2–––– B –––1––––3––––1––––3––––8––––4––––0––––3––––2––––0––––3–––– G –––2––––0––––0––––3––––8––––5––––0––––2––––0––––2––––2–––– D –––2––––0––––2––––3––––8––––6––––2––––0––––2––––1––––0–––– A –––0––––2––––3––––1––––6––––6––––2–––––––––0––––2––––0–––– E ––––––––3–––––––––––––––––––4––––0–––––––––––––––––––2–––– Am G C Bb Eb Ab Em D A7 B7 D/F#
I keep the strumming pattern quite simple:
D = downstrum U = upstrum D D D U 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
That same pattern, as if spoken out loud, would be this (keep on repeating it):
Down... down, down up down... down, down up down... down, down up down...
Quite simply, there are a lot of sections of this song. Here’s the high-level guide, with chord progression for each section:
"Turnaround, every now & then I get a little bit lonely..." Am . . . Am . . . G . . . G . . . x2 "Turnaround, every now & then I get a little bit nervous..." C . . . C . . . Bb . . . Bb . . . x2 "Turn around, bright eyes..." Eb . . . Ab . . . Ab . . . x2
"I need you now tonight, and I need you more than ever..." G . . . Em . . . C . . . D . . . x3 "Together we can take it to the end of the line..." C . . . D . . . Em . . . A7 . . . x2 "I really need you tonight, forever's gonna start tonight..." G . . . D . G . C . . . D . . .
"Once upon a time I was falling in love..." G . . . Em . . . B7 . . . C . . . "Nothing I can do, a total eclipse of the heart..." Am . . . D . . . G . . . Em . . . C . . . D . . .
Lyrics w/ chords
VERSE Am G Turnaround, every now & then I get a little bit lonely and you're never coming round Am G Turnaround, every now & then I get a little bit tired of listening to the sound of my tears C Bb Turnaround, every now & then I get a little bit nervous that the best of all the years have gone by C Bb Turnaround, every now & then I get a little bit terrified and then I see the look in your eyes Eb Ab Turnaround, bright eyes... but every now and then I fall apart Eb Ab Turnaround, bright eyes... every now and then I fall apart CHORUS G Em C D ...And I need you now tonight, and I need you more than ever G Em C D ...And if you only hold me tight, we'll be holding on forever G Em C D ...And we'll only be making it right, because we'll never be wrong C D Together we can take it to the end of the line Em A7 Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time C D I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark Em A7 We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks G I really need you tonight D/F# G C D Forever's gonna start tonight, forever's gonna start tonight ENDING G Em B7 C Once upon a time I was falling in love, but now I'm only falling apart Am D G Em C D And there's nothing I can do, a total eclipse of the heart G Em B7 C Once upon a time there was light in my life, but now there's only love in the dark Am D G Em C D Nothing I can say, a total eclipse of the heart
Thanks for reading! I hope this helped you. Questions? Comments? Requests? Let me know!
Enjoy my lessons? Buy me a beer!
If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider making a one-time donation to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it).
Subscribe to my YouTube channel
Be sure to never miss a lesson by subscribing on YouTube. I put out 2-3 new videos every week. These include full song lessons, as well as covers, practice tips, behind-the-scenes updates. Thanks!
Recent video lessons:
📝 Print-friendly PDFs now available for all new lessons I make, including all those listed below. Get a free sample »
- Jenny of Oldstones from Game of Thrones
Apr 23, 2019
- Wildflowers by Tom Petty
Apr 20, 2019
- Breezy strumming on E-Bsus4-Asus2 (Warm Up #18)
Apr 18, 2019
- How I composed a fingerstyle guitar arrangement (Practice Log #12)
Apr 13, 2019
- If I Had a Boat by Lyle Lovett
Apr 10, 2019
- Triad exercises w/ A, D, & E (Warm Up #17)
Mar 30, 2019
- Travis picking finger technique (Practice Log #11)
Mar 22, 2019
- Let Him Roll by Guy Clark
Mar 17, 2019
- Plush by Stone Temple Pilots
Mar 15, 2019
- Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Mar 9, 2019
- Adding flourish to C-F-G-Am
Mar 7, 2019
- The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
Mar 3, 2019
- Always Remember Us This Way from A Star is Born
Feb 28, 2019
- Cowboy chords & walking bass lines (Warm Up #16)
Feb 23, 2019
- Improv blues guitar in A-minor
Feb 21, 2019
- St James Infirmary Blues
Feb 16, 2019
- Barre chord strength & Smells Like Teen Spirit (Warm Up #15)
Feb 14, 2019
- Faking open chords in key of D w/ major & minor triads (Warm Up #14)
Feb 10, 2019
Monthly email updates
If you want to keep posted of new lessons over email, sign up for my newsletter. I'll email once a month with a digest of all my new videos. I promise: no spam.