Song Lesson – Lilac Wine by Jeff Buckley (chords & video lesson link)

Mar 29, 2024 | Learning Guitar, Online Guitar Lessons, Song Lessons | 0 comments

When I first heard Jeff Buckley’s version of Lilac Wine on the Grace album it was a moment I’ll never forget. Sparse, haunting, visceral, stunning melody, very humble guitar creating an atmosphere, not at all overplayed. Truly captivating. A story beautifully told…

Today will be a journey through the chords of this song.  It’s perfect in its simplicity to play and sing along to if you fancy a go at some tasty chords. 


This song on the recording is played on an electric guitar. It sounds amazing on an acoustic guitar too.  I often play and sing this with my acoustic.

The Capo is on fret 3.  I urge you to find the right key for your voice if you are singing along.  If you are just playing the guitar part then put your capo on fret 3 so you can play along to the recording then you’re ready.   


Verses 1 & 2: 

Chords –

Note: The guitar style in the song is sparse and free-time.  It follows the lyrics.  Play one gentle down-strum per chord with your thumb (picking hand) and let the strings ring out.  The chords and lyrics are below so you can follow.  If you’d like to hear an example click HERE for the full video lesson (or go and listen to Jeff Buckley).



Chords –

Note:  The guitar style here is the same as the Verses. Single strum. Strings ring out. 


We’re now at the Chorus where the song picks up pace in a timed, slow rhythm for the most part…..


chords –

This section on the picking hand plays a ‘fingers – thumb’ picking rhythm.  The Index, Middle & Ring fingers pick the GBe strings at the same time-gently pull the strings up and out (vid ref. 4:03). Followed by the Thumb picking the root note (the first note of each chord).  The 3 fingers pick the same 3 strings throughout this chord progression. (vid ref. for rhythm).


(All chords boxes above). This is an extension of the picking style in the Chorus.  The end slows to finish.



Now you have the chords, the picking pattern and the structure well under your fingers go and listen to Jeff Buckley’s recording of this song  it’s very clear and easy to listen to and  you’ll be able to practice by playing along.
Have a great time with this, it truly is beautiful!



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