Over the Rainbow guitar lesson

Over the Rainbow (Eva Cassidy) Guitar Lesson

Over the Rainbow is a song known across the world and was first written in 1939 by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg for the film The Wizard of Oz. 

Many people have covered this iconic song but one of the most beautiful and best-known versions is Eva Cassidy's. It's this one that we're going to be learning here.

Whilst it's not a highly advanced song to play, there is a lot going on and it's certainly not for beginners. There are many chords to navigate your way through and it can be quite difficult to remember them all. There's also a lot of arpeggiating of barre chords so it's a great test of how good yours are. 

Let's start learning how to play Over the Rainbow.

Song Details:

  • Key - G major
  • Capo - 1st fret
  • Tuning - standard 
  • Tempo - 90 bpm
  • Difficulty - intermediate 

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Over the Rainbow Acoustic Guitar Instrumental Cover

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Over the Rainbow Guitar Lesson (Intro/Chorus)

In this first lesson we learn how to play the intro and the chorus of Over the Rainbow. The chords are pretty straightforward for the introduction but they get a little more demanding in the chorus where barre chords are required.  

How to play the Bridge

The beginning of the bridge is very similar to the intro - the first two bars are in fact identical. After that, there are a few new chords to navigate your way through but nothing that's any harder than what we've already covered.

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The Instrumental Section

The instrumental section of Over the Rainbow comes in after the first bridge and is actually pretty hard. Here, you're moving higher up the fretboard and there are some tricky parts to watch out for. You may find bars 11 and 12 especially difficult on the G - G/F# - Em chords, as there's a lot going on. 

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How to Play the Outro of Over the Rainbow 

Finally we have the outro and there are just a couple of new chords to learn. Watch out for the Bm/A# chord, this can be a little demanding to grip and requires some strength in the fretting hand.

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Over the Rainbow Song Structure:

Intro, Chorus, Bridge, Instrumental, Bridge, Chorus, Outro 

If you enjoyed this lesson and are keen to learn more, then any of these song lessons will be a great next step for you: Time After Time (Eva Cassidy) Classical Gas (Mason Williams), Mister Sandman (Chet Atkins), Never Going Back Again (Fleetwood Mac), Neon (John Mayer).

Alternatively you can browse the whole song catalog: Song Lesson Library

Let me know what you thought of the lesson in the comments section below. Say what you found hard/easy, what level you're at and what your fingerpicking goals are. 

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