Guitar lesson for

Will You Love Me Tomorrow

by The Shirelles  •  Lesson #309

Video lesson

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Editor’s notes

Hey friends, here’s a guitar lesson showing you how to play a solo acoustic version of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, the classic from The Shirelles / Carole King. This arrangement uses no capo, is in the Key of C (matching the two aforementioned artists), and in all cases is using relatively easy “open” chord shapes – though I do show you some advanced chord voicings you can include at certain parts of the song. I’ll explain the chords, the progressions, and show two different strumming patterns to help you get going.

Timestamps for my video lesson:

I should note, for years now my favorite version of this song is from the YouTuber Arcadian Walnut, whose fingerstyle cover & vocal performance is 100% perfection in my opinion (watch her cover version here). I’m using a chord progression very inspired by what she is playing – with a few small tweaks just to make things fit for my style. To do full honor of her version, I’ve included some additional notes on her fingerpicking approach to this song within my notes for this song.

Original & famous versions of this song

The Shirelles (1960)

The original! Fun fact: this song is the first by a Black all-girl group to reach number one in the United States.

Carole King (1971)

From her album “Tapestry”. Fun fact: even though it was 11 years before she recorded this version for Tapestry, Carole King was one of the original writers of this song (that the Shirelles went on to record), along with her then-husband Gerry Goffin.

Arcadian Walnut (2012)

This is my favorite version. She’s using a capo on the 9th fret. See below for more notes & tabs on this cover.

Lyrics and chords

C                 Am         Dm7    G
...Tonight you're mine, completely
C                Am        Dm7      G                                                    
...You give your love so sweetly
   E           E7          Am                    Am                                 
Tonight... the light... of love is in your eyes
Fmaj7           G          C          C                                                      
...But will you love me tomorrow?

C            Am        Dm7     G
...Is this a lasting treasure
C            Am         Dm7       G
...Or just a moment's pleasure?
    E        E7          Am                  Am
Can I... believe... the magic of your sighs
Fmaj7                G          C         C
......Will you still love me tomorrow?

    F                F           Em     Em
    ...Tonight with words--- unspoken
    F               F            C       C
    ...You say that I'm the only one
    F               F         Em      Em
    ...But will my heart be broken
             Am               Dm7     G    G
    When the night meets the morning sun?

C              Am            Dm7        G
...I'd like to know... that your love
C             Am       Dm7      G
...Is love I can... be sure of
   E          E7         Am            Am
So tell... me now... and I won't ask again
Fmaj7                G          C         C
......Will you still love me tomorrow?

   E          E7         Am            Am
So tell... me now... and I won't ask again
Fmaj7                G          C         C
......Will you still love me tomorrow?

Quick notes on my arrangement

The arrangement I’m using this song is heavily inspired by the acoustic cover posted by YouTuber “Arcadian Walnut” – whose solo guitar fingerstyle version I absolutely love. I don’t presume these are the exact chords (in all cases) played by either The Shirelles or Carole King – even though they do play in they Key of C, just like I am. If you’re a stickler for how the original artist plays the song, this might bother you – just a heads up. Refer to my video lesson… if you like the sound of what I play there, you’re in luck!

Chord shapes

Here are common shapes, as well as alternate voicings, for all chords needed in this song. Use what’s easiest for you! I’m including multiple versions of some chords to give you a few options if you want to mix things up. For the Dm and F chords, note you can generally swap any variant of Dm for any version of F (and vice versa) – either will sound good with the vocal melody notes. Finally, I use the Dm7* and G* chords in the 2nd line of each verse – they work well with the vocal melody in that specific part of the song.

E –––0–––0––– ––1––––1––––0––––5––– –––3––3––– –––1–––1–––0––– –––0–––0–––0–––
B –––1–––1––– ––3––––1––––1––––6––– –––3––3––– –––1–––1–––1––– –––0–––3–––0–––
G –––0–––2––– ––2––––2––––2––––7––– –––0––4––– –––2–––2–––2––– –––1–––1–––0–––
D –––2–––2––– ––0––––0––––0––––0––– –––0––5––– –––3–––3–––3––– –––2–––2–––2–––
A –––3–––0––– ––––––––––––––––––––– –––2–––––– –––3––––––––––– –––2–––2–––2–––
E ––––––––––– ––––––––––––––––––––– –––3–––––– –––1––––––––––– –––0–––0–––0–––
     C   Am     Dm  Dm7  Dm7  Dm7*     G  G*      F   F Fmaj7     E   E7  Em

Chord progressions

This song has an “A” section (the “verse” in my chord sheet) and a “B” section (the “bridge” in my chord sheet), following an “AABA” format when combined. Here’s the chord progressions for each. Four counts per measure!

Verse:        | C       | Am     | Dm7     | G       |
              | C       | Am     | Dm7     | G       |      
              | E       | E7     | Am      | Am      |
              | Fma7    | G      | C       | C       |
Bridge:       | F       | F      | Em      | Em      |
              | F       | F      | C       | C       |
              | F       | F      | Em      | Em      |
              | Am      | Dm7    | G       | G       |


I prefer these two patterns, the first of which is easier – the second of which is a bit more “full” but can be trickier if you’re trying to focus on chord shapes/transitions or remembering the lyrics.

[ See PDF for diagram ]

Arcadian Walnut’s version

Given the fact that hers is my favorite version of this song (ever), and it was my inspiration for the arrangement I created for my lesson – I want to show you how YouTuber “Arcadian Walnut” plays this song.

Note, she’s playing with a capo on the 9th fret (but still use all the chord shapes I show here).

Chord progression she’s using

This is the same one I show in the pages above, except for the fact that she plays a Dm7 instead of an Fmaj7 in the final line of the verse. Everything else is the same as I play it.

Verse:        | C       | Am     | Dm7     | G       |
              | C       | Am     | Dm7     | G       |      
              | E       | E7     | Am      | Am      |
              | Dm7     | G      | C       | C       |
Bridge:       | F       | F      | Em      | Em      |
              | F       | F      | C       | C       |
              | F       | F      | Em      | Em      |
              | Am      | Dm7    | G       | G       |

Chord shapes she’s using

Same as mine, with some exceptions. For one, notice how she’s rarely playing the thinnest string on many of the chords. This is because of the fingerpicking pattern she uses, which I’ll show below. Also, for the Dm7 she usually uses the xx0210 variant, though sometimes she plays it as xx0230. Final note: she is including the 5th string when playing the Dm7 chords – I’ll explain this below too.

E ––––––––––– –––––––––– ––––––– –––1––– –––0–––0–––0–––
B –––1–––1––– ––1––––3–– –––3––– –––1––– –––0–––0–––0–––
G –––0–––2––– ––2––––2–– –––0––– –––2––– –––1–––1–––0–––
D –––2–––2––– ––0––––0–– –––0––– –––3––– –––2–––0–––2–––
A –––3–––0––– –(0)––(0)– –––2––– –––3––– –––2–––2–––2–––
E ––––––––––– –––––––––– –––3––– –––1––– –––0–––0–––0–––
     C   Am    Dm7  Dm7     G       F       E   E7  Em

Fingerpicking pattern she uses

She’s using a consistent fingerstyle pattern for all chords. The only difference is whether the bass note she plays is on the 5th string (C, Am, Dm7) or 6th string (G, F, E, E7, Em). Notice how for all your right-hand fingers EXCEPT your thumb, they’re playing the same strings in the same pattern, always.

E –––––––––––––––––––                       E –––––––––––––––––––                   
B ––––––––––x–––––––– <= right ring         B ––––––––––x–––––––– <= right ring         
G ––––––x–––––x–––x–– <= right middle       G ––––––x–––––x–––x–– <= right middle       
D ––––x–––––––––x–––– <= right index        D ––––x–––––––––x–––– <= right index        
A ––x–––––x–––––––––– <= right thumb        A –––––––––––––––––––
E –––––––––––––––––––                       E ––x–––––x–––––––––– <= right thumb        
    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +                             1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +                        

Example (first 4 chords of the verse):

E –––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–
B ––––––––––1––––––––|––––––––––1––––––––|––––––––––1––––––––|––––––––––3––––––––|–
G ––––––0–––––0–––0––|––––––2–––––2–––2––|––––––2–––––2–––0––|––––––0–––––0–––0––|–
D ––––2–––––––––2––––|––––2–––––––––2––––|––––0–––––––––0––––|––––0–––––––––0––––|–
A ––3–––––3––––––––––|––0–––––0––––––––––|––0–––––0––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–
E –––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|––3–––––3––––––––––|–
    C                   Am                  Dm7                 G
    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    

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