Learn To Play Happy Birthday On Guitar: Chords, Lyrics & Strumming

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Learn To Play Happy Birthday On Guitar: Chords, Lyrics & Strumming

When you are learning to play guitar, you want to start simple and work your way up. While one of the easiest songs to play is undoubtedly ‘Smoke On The Water’, another easy song has to be ‘Happy Birthday’.

Of course, learning to play ‘Happy Birthday’ also has plenty of times in which it will be useful. It is the ideal beginner song as all that you need to know is four very easy chords.

You need to know how to play C, G, D, and D7.

Before we learn how to play the song, let’s take a look at the chords.

Guitar Chords

Chords you need to learn to play G, D7, C, and D.

G

 

To play the G chord, you need to correctly place your fingers on the fretboard.

Place your first fingers on the A string at the 2nd fret.
Your second finger on the low-E string at the 3rd fret.
And, place your third finger on the high-E at the 3rd fret

When you play this chord, you are leaving the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th strings totally open. Some may want to play the 3rd fret on string 2 as well, if this is the case just move your ring finger up a fret, covering the 3rd of the first string with your little finger.

You can technically play it either way, it just depends on what is best and most comfortable for you to play.

D7

 

To play D7, you need to ensure your fingers are placed correctly on the fretboard.

Place your first finger on the 2nd string at the 1st fret.
Your second finger, on the 3rd string at the 2nd fret.
And, place your third finger on the 1st string on the 2nd fret.

When you play chord D7, always leave the fourth string open, and open play strings 2 through 6, do not play the top two strings.

C

 

When playing C, you need to ensure your fingers are in the right place on the fretboard.

Position your 1st finger on the 2nd string at the first fret.
Then, your second finger on the 4th string at the 2nd fret.
Finally, put your third finger on the 5th string at the 3rd foot.

As you play C, leave the 1st and the 3rd strings totally open, and do not strum the 6th.

D

 

In order to play the D chord properly, you need to ensure that your fingers are placed on the fretboard correctly. D is a lot like D7, except, the other way around!

Place your 1st finger on the 3rd string at the 2nd fret.
Then, place your 2nd finger on the 1st string at the 2nd fret.
Finally, place your 3rd finger at the 2nd string on the 3rd fret.

When you play chord D, leave the 4th string open, and only string the bottom 4 strings of your guitar. Mute the 5th string and the 6th string to play.

Chords Vs Lyrics For ‘Happy Birthday’

Now, let’s take a look at how the chords and lyrics for Happy Birthday on guitar match up.

– – – -G- – – -D

Happy BIRthday to YOU,

– – – – D7- – – – -G

Happy BIRthday to YOU,

– – – – C- – – – – – – G- – – –

Happy Birthday, Elvis PREsley,

– – – -D7- – – – G-

Happy BIRthday to YOU.

The capitalized letters are where the focus is on, and thus is where you also start to play the relevant chord in synchronization

Strumming Patterns

The strumming patterns for Happy Birthday are also just about as simple as the chords are.

The song is arranged in a ¾ timing, so there are 5 beats on every measure. For each beat there is a downstroke. This is the simplest strumming pattern for this song.

But, should you wish to go for it a bit more, and up your guitar game, you could try adding in an upstroke, on the 2nd and 3rd beats of each measure.

This would leave you with a strumming pattern that looks something like this:

Down, down-up, down-up, down.

1 2 and 3 4

Just repeat this pattern of strumming throughout the song and you will have yourself a slightly fancier version of the song that feels just a little more awesome and helps you get to know your guitar a little better too.

Overall

Happy Birthday is such an easy song to play on guitar, it is an ideal song for beginners to learn, as there are only 4 chords! So, get playing!

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