What a Wonderful World Guitar Lesson

What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong (Fingerstyle Guitar Lesson)

This is the full fingerstyle guitar lesson for What A Wonderful World.

What a Wonderful World was written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss, and was first recorded by Louis Armstrong in 1967. The song reached the number one spot in the UK and has gone on to be greatly loved in many countries across the world. 

For this lesson we'll be learning a fingerstyle arrangement of What a Wonderful World. It's not an overly complicated rendition but you'll likely have some challenges when learning it. One of the struggles you might run into is getting the melody line to be completely accurate; Armstrong's timing is impeccable and it can be very hard indeed to get each note to line up just right. Just aim to get it as close as you can and for the melody to still sound good. 

Alright, let's pick up our guitars and learn how to play What A Wonderful World!

Song Details:

  • Key - C major
  • Tuning - standard
  • Tempo - 72 bpm
  • Difficulty - intermediate

Want to be a truly great player?

Get HUNDREDS of fingerstyle video lessons for an incredible 40% OFF!

Take advantage of this brilliant offer and learn absolutely everything you need to know about fingerpicking.

Get 25% off tabs when you join the mailing list

What A Wonderful World Guitar Lesson

OK let's get into the lesson. I'd recommend learning the chord progression first and then start to add in the fingerpicking and the melody once you've learnt it off by heart. As always, focus on accuracy over speed and gradually bring it up to tempo once you're really sure that everything's lined up and that you're playing it all correctly.

New to fingerpicking? Want to learn more?

Learn all the essential techniques you'll ever need.

Begin your fingerstyle adventure today and become the player you've always wanted to be. 

How to Play the Bridge

Perhaps slightly easier than the verse, but there are some tricky chord movements to get used to in the bridge.

Want to learn more fingerstyle songs?

How to Play The Outro

After the bridge you play one more verse, which then leads into the outro.

Already mastered the basics?

Develop your fingerpicking skills and musicality. This is the perfect course to take you through to becoming an advanced player.

Join the course today and take your fingerstyle playing up a gear!

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. 

Recent Song Lessons

  1. Eric left a comment on 13th November 2018 at 8:22 pm

    Thanks – love this arrangement!

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 13th November 2018 at 10:34 pm

      Thank you, really glad you like it.

  2. Soham Shah left a comment on 6th January 2019 at 3:23 pm

    I dont have any queries but I really want to thank you from the deepest of my heart for making such wonderful lessons in such an organised way and that too for free, You sir truly are a legend. I am planning to do all 60 by the end of this year and thank you so much once again

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 9th January 2019 at 9:56 am

      Thank you very much Soham, I’m really pleased you like the lessons. Keep up the practise!

  3. Dimitri left a comment on 25th August 2019 at 5:27 pm

    Hey Chris, could you explain how to do Finger roll in this arrangement, because I’ve been struggling with that since weeks and still no progress :/ thank you sir!

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 26th August 2019 at 11:18 am

      Hi Dimitri, what finger roll are you talking about exactly? I can’t remember any rolls as such in this song.

      • Dimitri left a comment on 26th August 2019 at 4:47 pm

        These are the G7 and C chords in the end of the verse and the Am chord in the bridge, I just strum them but you are playing them differently in the video.

  4. Dimitri left a comment on 28th August 2019 at 3:43 pm

    These are the G7 and C chords in the end of the verse and the Am chord in the bridge, I just strum them but you are playing them differently in the video.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 28th August 2019 at 3:49 pm

      I’m just kind of rolling my fingers across the strings one after the other. You certainly don’t have to do it.

  5. norberto de jesus filho left a comment on 17th December 2019 at 1:14 pm

    What a Wonderful World…such a beautiful song and a beautiful music arrangement….

    I am already your student and admirer.

    I am really very happy because I am finally able to play this beautiful song…..not as good as you but still very beautiful.

    But, I’ve been struggling with Ab Chord …..Could you please help me by suggesting another chord replacing that other one?

    Thanks a lot

    Norberto de Jesus Filho
    Rua Flórida 1901 apto 51 CG
    São Paulo/Brasil

  6. norberto de jesus filho left a comment on 17th December 2019 at 1:18 pm

    I’ve been struggling with Ab Chord …..Could you please help me by suggesting another chord replacing that other one?

    Thanks a lot

    Norberto de Jesus Filho
    Rua Flórida 1901 apto 51 CG
    norbertojfilho@gmail.com
    São Paulo/Brasil

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 21st December 2019 at 12:48 pm

      Just stick with it I’d say, don’t look for short cuts and ways to make it easier. It’ll make it all the better when you do master it. You can do it, just give it time.

  7. Matt left a comment on 29th June 2020 at 5:22 pm

    Thanks much!! I started guitar late -in my 50s, with 2 badly broken fingers on my left hand. But I don’t aspire to be perfect and I frame “practicing” as just playing. One can’t help but get better if you just stick with it and enjoy the process. I mostly like just improvising non-songs, but have learned finger picking versions of Wish You Were Here, Dust in The Wind, (S and G’s) Book End’s Theme, Scarborough Fair, Here Comes The Sun and Norwegian Wood. Now I look forward to learning this –one of my very faves ever. Thanks much for this clear tutorial. Best to you.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 3rd July 2020 at 9:47 am

      Thanks a lot Matt, I’m really pleased to hear that you like my tutorial. All the best.

  8. Matt left a comment on 1st August 2020 at 7:34 am

    I love learning this. Thanks much! I don’t like excuses but due to an old injury to my pinkie and ring finger, I simply cannot stretch them enough to play the “A7” chord as shown at 9:15. I instead use my index finger to hold down the 2-3-4 strings on the first fret as suggested, but then pluck the open A string instead of the low E 4th fret. It doesn’t sound terrible, but I wonder about an even better solution…?

    Anyway, thanks again. It’s a great song.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 6th August 2020 at 11:44 am

      Hey Matt, glad you like the lesson. I’d recommend taking out the open A string and just play strings 2 3 4 on the first fret. The A note is not in the chord and will create strong dissonance.

  9. Marko left a comment on 28th September 2020 at 4:15 pm

    so where is tab? i dont see it

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 29th September 2020 at 10:26 pm

      Hi Marko, the tab has been removed due to copyright. For more information on why, this video by Gareth Evans explains the issues: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F63x345mCA
      The music will be transcribed in the coming months and then available via Musicnotes as for all other songs.
      Thanks, Chris

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *