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“Wouldn’t It Be Nice” is a song written by Brian Wilson, Tony Asher and Mike Love for the Beach Boys’ seminal album “Pet Sounds”, released May 16 1966. The album has been hailed by many as one of the most influential rock albums of all time. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” was released as a single two months after the album’s release, with “God Only Knows” as its B-side. The song entered the Billboard charts on July 30 where it remained for eleven weeks, peaking at number 8 in September 1966.

In my attempt to reproduce the song’s sound as faithfully as possible, I’ve retained the key it was originally recorded in (F). Always exciting to venture out beyond the key of G when picking the banjo, am I right?


In measure 52 you’ll notice the abbreviation “rit.” directly above the tab. This stands for “ritardando”, a musical term denoting a gradual decrease in tempo. Despite the fact that in the lesson I say the ritardando occurs in measure 51, in the main video it happens in measure 52. Quite honesty, it could occur in either measure – it’s a musical flourish that tends to be somewhat subjective. Bottom line – there’s no right or wrong answer here, banjo peeps!

Half Speed

If you need to slow things down a bit

The Neck (Left Hand) 50% speed

Pickin’ (Right Hand) 50% speed

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