Guitar lesson for

Wish You Were Here

by Pink Floyd  β€’  Lesson #65

Video lesson

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Editor’s notes

In this lesson, I’ll show you how to play the classic Pink Floyd song β€œWish You Were Here”. I’ll show you how to play the intro (with tabs), explain the chords needed, talk about strumming pattern, and more. This is just a fabulous song, great for beginners (I keep this version as easy as possible), but also quite fun for seasoned musicians. Here’s what I cover in the lesson:

Video timestamps:

The more musically astute among you will notice some corners I may have cut in some of the very minor details with the intro riff’s tab. I also am using standard chord shapes for the verse/chorus chords (where I believe Pink Floyd likely plays inversions of these chords, such as C/G and D/F#).

Intro riff

E ––––––––––––––––3––3–3––3–––––––––––––––––3––3–3––3–––
B ––––––––––––––––3––3–3––3–––––––––––––––––3––3–3––3–––
G ––––––––––––––––0––0–0––0––––––––0––––––––0––0–0––0–––
D –––––––––0–2––––2––2–2––2––––––2–––2–0––––0––0–0––0–––  x 2
A –––––0h2––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
E –––3––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
                  Em7                       G   

E ––––––––––––––––3––3–3––3–––––––––––––––––3––3–3––3–––
B ––––––––––––––––3––3–3––3–––––––––––––––––3––3–3––3–––
G ––––––––––––––––0––0–0––0–––––––––––––––––0––0–0––0–––
D –––––––––0–2––––2––2–2––2––––––2–0––––––––2––2–2––2–––  x 2
A –––––0h2–––––––––––––––––––––––––––2–0––––0––0–0––0–––
E –––3––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
                  Em7                       A7sus4

E ––––––––––––––––––3––3–3––3–3–––
B ––––––––––––––––––3––3–3––3–3–––
G ––––––––––––––––––0––0–0––0–0–––
D ––––––––––––––––––0––0–0––0–0–––  x 1, then repeat intro (with solo)
A –––0–0h2–0––––––––2––2–2––2–2–––       or begin the first verse
E ––––––––––––3–––––3––3–3––3–3–––
                    G

Lyrics w/ chords

C                           D
...So, so you think you can tell
            Am                    G
Heaven from hell, blue skies from pain
                     D                       C
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail
               Am                            G
A smile from a veil?  Do you think you can tell

                    C                     D
Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts
              Am                   G
Hot ashes for trees, hot air for a cool breeze
                 D                 C
Cold comfort for change, did you exchange
                      Am                         G
A walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage

    [ play full intro, with solo ]

C                                     D
...How I wish, how I wish you were here
           Am                                     G
We’re just two lost souls swimmin’ in a fish bowl... year after year
D                                   C
...
Running over the same old ground... what have we found
             Am                       G
The same old fears... I wish you were here

    [ repeat intro as desired, with or without solo, end ]

Chords needed

For the intro:

E –––––3–––––3–––––3–––––
B –––––3–––––3–––––3–––––
G –––––0–––––0–––––0–––––
D –––––0–––––2–––––2–––––
A –––––2–––––––––––0–––––
E –––––3–––––––––––––––––
       G    Em7  A7sus4

For the verse:

E –––––3––––0––––2––––0–––––
B –––––3––––1––––3––––1–––––
G –––––0––––0––––2––––2–––––
D –––––0––––2––––0––––2–––––
A –––––2––––3–––––––––0–––––
E –––––3––––––––––––––––––––
       G    C    D    Am       

Strumming pattern

If you’re just getting started with things, I recommend the following simple strum. Do down strums on all 4 counts, but try to accent (give extra oomph) to the β€œ1” and β€œ3” counts. In repetition, this would read as β€œDOWN down DOWN down DOWN down DOWN down…”

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    
D   d   D   d          

From there, you can take things to the next level by doing this β€œdown… down, down up” pattern over and over. See my video lesson for reference! In repetition, this reads as β€œDOWN… down, down up DOWN… down, down up DOWN… down, down up…”

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
D       d   d u        

Finally, there’s an advanced strumming pattern you can do (which I also show in the video lesson). This pattern takes up two full measures. This would be spoken as β€œDOWN… down, down up, up down, down up down up DOWN… down, down up, up down, down up down up.”

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
D       d   d u   u d   d u d u

Hope this helps!

This is a great song, good luck with it, and I hope this helped you.

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