How to Play Happy Birthday On Guitar (easy)


Happy Birthday is both a song and not really a song. It’s so bloody ubiquitous that it could, at this point, probably be considered part of our societal DNA. A song sung literally everywhere; in both Malibu mansions and crumbling Bangladeshi villages.

Guitar interpretations of ‘Happy Birthday’ are varied, from the brisk and punky version by The Ramones, to complex solo instrumentals. We’re going to tackle the basic chord progression, which you can then twist any way you like.


For a tune so widely reproduced as Happy Birthday, there’s no set key. But considering we’re playing this on a guitar, let’s make life easy for ourselves and pick the key of G. Here are the 4 chords:

Happy Birthday to You

G                                D

Happy Birthday to You

D                                G

Happy Birthday, Dear [Name]

C                                  G

Happy Birthday to You

D                                  G

That’s it for this week, folks. Exciting, wasn’t it? Equipped with this mighty chord progression, you’ll be able to provide slightly underwhelming accompaniment to the most famous song ever. Congratulations. Try to save some girls for the rest of us.

This is just the beginning of the many free guitar lessons and resources available here on Uberchord and in our app. You can learn music theory, lead guitar, how to find the right gear for your sound, or even how to move past the beginner level. Some articles we suggest checking out right now include whats a stompbox, sailing sutherland brothers key, and soloing in a key

Neelesh plays demented lead guitar in the Canadian alternative band We The Crooked. Check out their YouTube here.

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