Wish You Were Here By Pink Floyd – Guitar Lesson (Tabs, Chords)


Wish You Were Here was released in 1975, and it was important for many different reasons. Pink Floyd introduced guest singers on Have a Cigar and Shine on You Crazy Diamond, and of course, one of the most popular songs that bears the same name as the album. 

The song was written by Gilmour and Waters, and the former sang lead vocals on the record. Wish You Were Here starts with a well-known radio shuffle that was recorded in Gilmour’s car, and translates to a beautiful intro by David Gilmour. As you probably know, he played a twelve-string guitar, which gives it a significantly richer sound. After that, a second guitar tune in, which is also played by Gilmour. 

Slowly, the first guitar fades away, and we are left with acoustic guitar and gorgeous singing. Many magazines placed Wish You Were Here on their list of best songs of all time, and it is among the most recognizable ones by Pink Floyd.

Even though the song is slightly different from what we are used to from this incredible British band, the title track of the 1975 album still serves as a great representation of their careers. Of course, one of the main reasons why guitarists love the song is that it is not that hard to learn, and it sounds wonderful.

Tuning And Tempo

The song uses standard tuning, on both guitars. The tempo of the song is 60 bpm. That is why it is an excellent song for beginners.

Guitar Chords

All the chords in this song are open chords. Even if some of them have strange, long, and frightening names they are really easy and well suited for beginners.

In terms of the chords the song is divided into two sections; the intro\outro and the verse. The intro\outro of the song uses the Em7, G, A7sus4 chords, and the verse uses the C, D, Am, G chords. I know it may be tempting to start learning from the start. But, the verse of the song is much easier to learn. So, I recommend starting with it and then move to the intro section.

Strumming Pattern

Once you have memorized and learned all the chords it is time to learn the strumming pattern. The song contains the use of 16th notes, but don’t let it intimidate you, even if you are a beginner. I will break down how you should learn the strumming patterns.

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However, If you don’t know how to count the beats check out the musical notation section in my theory lesson Guitar Music Theory In-Depth Basics

So if you are having a hard time learning any strumming pattern follow the following steps:

  1. Slow down. Slow down even if the song is already slow. It is important to strumming to a correct rhythm.
  2. Strum just the downbeats of the strumming pattern.
  3. Add the upbeats to the strumming pattern.
  4. Incorporate the in-between the downbeat and the upbeat (a.k.a the 16th notes) to the strumming pattern.

If you are still not sure how to play those 16th notes. Just remember this. In each beat, there are four 16th notes. That means that you need to strum four times the guitar at an equal pace each time your foot hits the floor. Or, twice each time your foot moves from down to up (downbeat, upbeat)

Verse

intro & outro

the strumming pattern played on the first 4 chords. Em7, G, Em7, G

the strumming pattern played on the 5th and the 7th chord; Em7.

the strumming pattern played on the 6th and the 8th chord of the intro; A7sus4.

Verse Chord Progression & Strumming Pattern

Wish You Were Here Tabs & Chords & Lyrics

Intro

Solo

This part is played while the other guitar plays the intro once again.

e|----------------------------------------------------------|
B|----------3---5--------3----------------------------------|
G|-----2/4-----------4--------4----2---0--------------------|
D|------------------------------------------0---------0---0-|
A|-----------------------------------------------1/2--------|
E|----------------------------------------------------------|
 
e|----3/5\3-------------------------------------------------|
B|----3/5\3----3/5\3----3----3/5\3--------------------------|
G|-------------2/4\2----0----2/4\2---2p0----2/4-------------|
D|------------------------------------------3/5-------------|
A|----------------------------------------------------------|
E|----------------------------------------------------------|
 
e|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|----------3--------5----5b---3-----3--------------3-----5---------------|
G|----2/4-------4-----------------4----2----4b----------------4b-----2----|
D|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
 
e|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---------3---------5-----5b-----5-------3-------------------------------|
G|----2/4------4----------------------4------2----4b-----2----------------|
D|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Verse

C                           D
So, so you think you can tell
              Am
Heaven from Hell
                   G
Blue skies from pain
                       D
Can you tell a green field
                    C
From a cold steel rail
                Am
A smile from a veil
                       G
Do you think you can tell
                       C
Did they get you to trade
                    D
Your heroes for ghosts
                  Am
Hot ashes for trees
                       G
Hot air for a cool breeze
                    D
Cold comfort for change
               C
Did you exchange?
                      Am
A walk on part in the war
                      G
For a lead role in a cage

Solo

This part is played while the other guitar plays the intro part.

e|--------10-10-------10-10---12-10-10------|
B|---10/12-------10/12-----------------12---|
G|------------------------------------------|
D|------------------------------------------|
A|------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------|
 
e|---------10-10-10-12-10------------------------|
B|---10/12--------------------12p10p8------------|
G|------------------------------------7-7---9-7--|
D|----------------------------------------9------|
A|-----------------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------|
 
e|----------------10-10-10-----------12----------|
B|-----8-10-10/12---------10--12/14----14p12p10--|
G|---9-------------------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------------|
A|-----------------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------|
 
e|---------10---------------------------12---------------|
B|---10/12----12p10p8-10-12-12-8--12/14-----14p12p10--8--|
G|-------------------------------------------------------|
D|-------------------------------------------------------|
A|-------------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------------|

Chorus

C                              D
How I wish, how I wish you were here
            Am                                    G
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl
                 D
Year after year.
                                  C
Running over the same old ground.
                                  Am
What have we found the same old fears
                             G
Wish you were here...

Outro

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Jacob

I have been playing guitar since 2004. As long as I can remember I always had a huge passion for rock music and I extremely enjoy playing it. Helping people on their rock journey is what drives me to keep on playing. Read More About Me

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