Happy Birthday Guitar Chords – learn how to play the happy birthday song on the guitar. Step by step instructions, chords and tabs are included in this tutorial.
Learning to play guitar is one of the most awesome hobbies you can pick up. Unlike other interests, being a pro at rocking out chords can not only earn you a lot of brownie points, but it’s also a foot in the door to a myriad of opportunities: joining a band or becoming the cool artist who plays the guitar at a beach party, for instance.
If you’re set on learning how to play the guitar, it’s essential to start with something simple and something that you are likely to play for people. My recommendation for beginners is to start with the Happy Birthday guitar chords. You will get many opportunities to practice the Birthday chords at events, and they’ll always add a little joy to your gatherings.
From personal experience, I’m going to give the disclaimer that just because you know the Happy Birthday guitar chords doesn’t mean you suddenly have an improved singing voice- so if you’ve got the calm voice of a banshee (like I do), practice caution.
Now that we have the preliminaries out of the way let’s get right to it. You’ll need a guitar, functioning fingers, and ideally a guitar-pick to strum out the perfect Birthday guitar chords. The Birthday tune can be played in many different keys so you’d want to choose one that best accentuates your voice. Given that the “Birthday” tune is probably the most popular and widely enjoyed amongst all melodies, it is easy to see the many guitar interpretations it has: ranging from punk rock to solo instrumentals. To keep things simple, I’ll be doing it in G, which is also the classic version. Once you’re comfortable with this, you can put your twist on it and find something you’re satisfied with when you play.
Here’s how it goes:
If you want to mix it up a little, you can transpose the chords to different keys.
The tune of Birthday song needs to be in 3/4th time so be sure to have three beats to a measure- as shown below for your understanding:
G Happy-birthday to D you
D7 Happy-birthday to G you
G Happy-birthday dear C Ella
G Happy-birthday D7 to G you
Got it? You are now capable of playing Birthday song on guitar unless you want to also learn Birthday melody along with guitar chords and strumming.
Let’s start with strumming first.
Adding Strumming to Happy Birthday
The simple chords of the Happy Birthday tune make it easy to make up a strumming pattern that’s simple yet delightful. The theme has a steady shuffle rhythm going on which means that even if you strum the chords simply down-up, it would sound like you’ve got the hang of it.
The down-up motion is essential, and the strumming needs to happen on a swing feel instead of the regular straight.
There are a lot of strumming patterns that you can conjure up with this, but if you’re looking for inspiration, the one I use is relatively simple and sounds great. Take it slow if it seems complicated at first because even a little bit of practice will be enough to make it melt in your hands. Notice how it hugs the ebbs and flows of the song’s rhythm.
DU D DU UD D DU U
↓↑ ↓ ↓↑ ↑↓ ↓ ↓↑ ↑
Remember, an essential key to good strumming is the focus. If you lose focus on the tune and the chords, there’s a high chance your strumming will fall out of the groove. So focus on your guitar!
Add a Melody to the Birthday Mix
Time to bring out the big guns: If you want to transform your Happy Birthday tune into something truly magical, a cool fingerpicking melody is just the thing.
Although this is coming in later, the melody is what puts together the song. Trying plucking a few chords in front of a friend and see how difficult they find it to identify what song you’re. Unless you’re singing, the melody is what brings a song together. I always recommend that beginners learn tunes alongside chords, so they understand the music.
The melody I’m sharing with you is around the C key which means that the chords accompanying will be from the core of C while adding melody notes that match the rhythm of your lyrics.
Once you get the hang of it, I promise you’ll fall in love with how complete this will sound. Just a few practices run, and you’ll be the go-to guy to play the happy birthday song in all your circles.
Just a few things to remember:
The tune is in 3/4 time
Open G’s initial two plucks-start on the third beat of the measure
Be aware of the chords you’re playing over because you’re outlining them
Most importantly, the key to becoming crazy good at anything is practice. So if you want to become a pro at playing the guitar and this is amongst your first stepping stones, put all your heart and soul into practicing. Today you’ll become an expert at Happy Birthday guitar chords, and soon you’ll be effortlessly playing Voodoo Child.
The key to playing good guitar is to keep practicing and start your learning by playing simple melodies like the happy birthday song and similar rhymes that will help you to understand the concepts. As you learn the chords, you can add your variation and style to the theme songs, and you can even build your original birthday themes. You can follow these simple tips, and tunes suggestion and learn how to play the simple happy birthday tune. But do not stop here. If you love to play, move on step by stey sharpening your skills and soon you will master playing hard tunes and can step up your game and go for complete songs.