Guitar lesson for

Wish You Were Here

by Pink Floyd  •  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 “Wish 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 “1” and “3” counts. In repetition, this would read as “DOWN 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 “down… down, down up” pattern over and over. See my video lesson for reference! In repetition, this reads as “DOWN… 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 “DOWN… 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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