Tonight, Tonight

by The Smashing Pumpkins • Lesson #350 • Feb 6, 2021

Video lesson

Licensed Song Sheet 5 pages

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Editor’s notes

Hey there friends! Here’s a new guitar lesson showing you how to play an acoustic version of “Tonight, Tonight” by the Smashing Pumpkins, from their 1995 classic album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. This is an amazing song on its own (the full-band version is an incredible bundle of energy), but even with an acoustic guitar you can do quite a bit to capture the magic of this song. And let me tell you: while it takes some practice to get over the hump, this one is quite fun to play. Ultimately, there’s just 4 guitar parts this song uses – and for each I’ll explain how to play it, as well as show some easier & modified versions in order to keep things accessible, should you have trouble with “the way Billy Corgan plays it”. One last note: I’ll be in standard tuning to keep things simple (tune down 1/2 step to play along with the Smashing Pumpkins). Thanks for all of the requests for this one, it was a pleasure to finally learn!

Video timestamps:

  • 0:00 Playthrough & lesson summary
  • 3:01 The 4 guitar riffs, at a glance
  • 6:19 Riff #1: G and E-minor
  • 10:18 Riff #2: C-D-Em-G (picked)
  • 13:33 Riff #3: G-D/F#-Em-Am-C
  • 16:13 Riff #4: C-G/B-D
  • 17:38 My secret stash intro tab
  • 20:41 Full playthrough, with all tabs

Lyrics with chords

Tune down 1/2 step to play along with Smashing Pumpkins. Note, my video is in standard tuning.

See my licensed song sheet for the lyrics and chords

Tune down 1/2 step to play along with Smashing Pumpkins

To play this song along with the Smashing Pumpkins version, you’ll need to tune all strings on your guitar down by a half-step. That is, E-A-D-G-B-E becomes Eb-Ab-Db-Gb-Bb-Eb. My video is in standard tuning, to keep things simple. You can play the song in whatever tuning you want (and even add a capo), using the chords I show you – but you’ll only be able to play along with the Smashing Pumpkins if you’re in their exact tuning (no capo, all strings down 1/2 step).

If you disregard tuning down 1/2 step, this song is in the key of G.

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