In this Into The Great Wide Open guitar lesson video, I will show you how to play all the chords to this classic released in 1991 by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
I will be demonstrating all the chords played on acoustic guitar by Tom Petty and not the electric guitar layers or solo.
There are some interesting chords in this one. First off, the song's verse sections are in a minor key which is not all that common for a popular rock song that dominated the charts when it was released.
This opening verse progression is based around an open position E minor chord, but the there is a moving melody line within it which can make the chords be analyzed as E min, Emin/maj7, E min7, E min6.
That progression might sound a bit confusing, so do't worry about the chord names. It is simply an E minor chord with a descending chromatic line over it. It is pretty easy to play as well!
The hardest part of the song will probably be the second half of the verse section that employs an A minor bass chord with a moving bass line under it. That bass line was partially played by Tom Petty with his thumb grabbing the note of the low E string. I will give you a couple of options to play it if that technique is a bit uncomfortable for you.
Most of the song uses a simple 8th note strumming pattern with the occasional 16th note burst. I will work you through all of those patterns as well.
One last thing, starting in the second verse Tom Petty begins to arpeggiate the first half of the verse in order to bring that descending melody out a bit more and fill up the sound. It is a very simple arpeggio pattern that is actually easier to play than the original strummed version. 🙂
I hope you guys enjoy learning this great tune!
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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Into The Great Wide Open Guitar Lesson