Wonderwall Chords: The Ultimate Guide

Oasis has written countless hits – let’s deconstruct their Wonderwall chords and learn how to play this classic tune!

Over 100,000 guitar-learners get our world-class guitar tips & tutorials sent straight to their inbox: Click here to join them

In this free lesson you will learn…

  • How to play each section of Wonderwall
  • A history of the band Oasis
  • Alternative versions of each of the main chords
  • How to play D/F# & A7sus4

Oasis’ Wonderwall Chords Are A Staple Of Guitar Playing

One of the greatest bands of the 1990s, Oasis left us with a monster catalog of great songs to sing and play.

They were heavily influenced by The Beatles, and Oasis’s influence continues today in bands like Coldplay, The Arctic Monkeys, and the Killers.

One thing that makes a band like Oasis great is a rocking catalog of music that is satisfying to play, and at the same time accessible to guitarists of all experience levels.

One of their best examples of this is their classic “Wonderwall.”

The chords are easy to play, the song is interesting, and wherever you go, people will sing it with you!

Wonderwall-Chords

The best thing about this song is the mood. Every element of Oasis’ songwriting goes into setting the unique tone of this song.

  • It’s rocking but contemplative, hopeful and mournful, rough and beautiful. In today’s lesson, you’ll learn everything you need to know to make your own arrangement of Wonderwall.
  • We’ll talk about how the Wonderwall chords work to make an atmosphere, how to strum to maintain Oasis’s understated groove, and what you can do to master this song quickly, even as a beginner.

Let’s dive in with a little background on Oasis and this smash hit!

Wonderwall-Chords

Wonderwall Chords: The Background

Almost everything about the history of Oasis and “Wonderwall” is complicated and interesting.

Oasis member Liam Gallagher first joined a band called Rain.

Liam suggested the name change to “Oasis.” Brother Noel Gallagher joined the band on the condition that he be the band’s sole songwriter and leader.

The key to Oasis’s initial success was the simplicity of its musical arrangements, which left a lot of room for the power of distortion, as well as famously documented personality clashes.

Oasis achieved the height of their worldwide popularity quickly, with the release of their 1994 debut album Definitely, Maybe and their stellar follow-up, What’s the Story, Morning Glory.

  • Wonderwall was one of several hit singles from What’s the Story, Morning Glory, reaching the top 10 in many countries.
  • If you’d like to know more about the Gallagher brothers and Oasis’ story, Business Insider has an interesting profile.

Wonderwall-Chords

“Wonderwall” is one of Oasis’s most enduring hits, and although its release was 25 years ago (making some of us feel aged) it is still very well-known and a popular song for people learning to play the guitar.

The inspiration for this song either was or was not Noel’s ex-wife, depending on when you asked him. In later origin stories, Noel said that the song was about an imaginary friend.

Wonderwall has been covered by some notable people, including Ryan Adams, Paul Anka, and even Jay-Z.

To prepare to learn this song, here’s a reference video of Oasis’s original version.

Oasis – Wonderwall

Now you can learn to play it!

Let’s start by taking a look at the bones of the song, the Wonderwall chords.

Wonderwall-Chords

Learn the 12 EASIEST beginner chords with our famous FREE guide

  Stop struggling. Start making music.

  Learn 12 beginner-friendly versions of every chord.

  This is our most popular guide and it will improve your chord ability quickly.

Wonderwall Chords: The Verse Progression

Wonderwall has three different chord progressions. The first one we’ll tackle is the verse. There’s also something we’ll call a pre-chorus, and then there’s a chorus.

All three parts are pretty simple, but they contain different progressions. Here are the chords you’ll need for the verse.

Em (022000)

 

or

(022033),

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

G (320003)

or

(320033)

D (xx0232)

or

(xx0233)

A7sus4 (x02030)

or

(x02233)

C (x32010)

or

(x32033)

Each of these chords has two options: the familiar and the slightly more interesting.

  • The alternative formulations of the chords all contain something in common: the fretting of the B and E strings at the third fret.
  • Using those alternative shapes will get you the cool, slightly different sound you hear in the recording. We call this a drone or ostinato, notes that stay the same through changing chords.

Wonderwall-Chords

The Wonderwall chords for the verse are essentially the same, except that there’s a unique ending to the first verse that does not happen again in the song.

Here is the chord progression for the first verse.

 

Em  G D  A7sus4

Em  G D  A7sus4

Em  G D  A7sus4

C  D A7sus4  A7sus4

 

Using two verses in a row to begin a song is a pretty common songwriting structure. The slight change in the last line adds a little twist!

In the rest of the verses, the Wonderwall chords follow the cycle of the first verse:

 

Em  G D  A7sus4

 

It’s a simple pattern to remember.

When you use the alternate versions of the chords listed above, your first two fingers do all the work and the chord changes may wind up being even more easy to play.

Wonderwall-Chords

Pro-Tip: As your chord vocabulary expands, you’ll find many alternative versions of chords.

  • Those alternative versions are called voicings.
  • You can personalize your arrangements of all the songs in your songbag by substituting different chord voicings to give them a slightly different character.

Wonderwall Chords: The Pre-Chorus Progression

After the first two verses of Wonderwall chords, the song begins another section. It’s sometimes called a bridge, but we’re going to call it a pre-chorus, because it builds up to the chorus.

This is the section of the song that begins, “And all the roads we have to walk are winding.”

In the recording, those alternative voicings of the chords aren’t used. Here are the chords you’ll need for the pre-chorus:

C (x32010)

D (xx0232),

Em (022000),

G (320003),

A7sus4 (x02030)

This song meanders between the keys of E minor and G major, and while the verse seems to land on the E minor, the pre-chorus shows us a little of both.

Here is the progression of Wonderwall chords for the pre-chorus:

C  D Em  Em

C  D Em  Em

C  D |G D|Em D|

A7sus4  A7sus4 A7sus4  A7sus4

Wonderwall-Chords

One of the prettiest pieces of Wonderwall is the way the chords seem to descend in those split measures, G – D – Em – D – A7sus4.

In the recording, there’s a cello playing the descending line. If you don’t have a cello, you can modify one of the chords to get the job done just as well.

Try playing G – D/F# – Em. To get the D/F#, wrap your thumb around the neck to fret the low E string at the second fret, like this:

D/F# (200232)

That modification creates a line of notes on the E string as you move through the Wonderwall chords.

  • Try to emphasize the low E string as you strum, and you’ll hear the descent from G to F# to E.
  • You’ll no doubt run out of room to descend, but you don’t need to go any lower than E!

Wonderwall-Chords

Get our best guitar tips & videos
Where should we send it?
Enter your email address to learn our best guitar tips and tricks today!