In this Tonight, Tonight guitar lesson video, I will show you how to play all of the guitar chords to this hit by The Smashing Pumpkins off of their Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness album.
You will need to tune your guitar down one half-step to (Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb) in order to follow along with this lesson and the original recording.
When it comes to guitar chords, Billy Corgan keeps it pretty simple in "Tonight, Tonight". He uses only open chords throughout the entire song with just a couple of extra things thrown in. One of those things includes using the thumb to play a bass note on the low 6th string. This can be a difficult technique for some guitarists, but since it is used in so much rock music, it would be a worthwhile technique to master.
One thing you can do to help facilitate that thumb move is to play the chord on top, in this case it is a D major chord, then simply bend the inside of wrist upward in the direction of your face. Just a little bit of bend will help your thumb stretch over the fretboard to play the 2nd fret on the low E string.
With the relatively easy chords to deal with, one of the most challenge elements of playing "Tonight, Tonight" is the picking hand rhythm. It requires you to do a lot of quick 16th note bursts in many parts of the song. Because of that, you will want to keep a nice and relaxed picking hand wrist throughout the entire song.
Another picking challenge is the arpeggio picked verse. The great thing here is that even though we have a nice challenge in the picking hand, the fret hand never has to play more than one single note. It makes for a cool hypnotic effect that is fun to play once you get it together.
In any case, "Tonight, Tonight" is a great song and should be a welcome addition to any guitarist's repertoire. Have fun!
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Tonight, Tonight Guitar Lesson - The Smashing Pumpkins