How to play Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams on Guitar

Introduction to Summer of 69

In today’s article, we’ll be going through one of Bryan Adam’s most famous and enduring hits, “Summer of 69”. This song is characterized by several guitar tracks layered on top of each other and an arena-like sound that reminds you of Bon Jovi in their prime.

Though frequently associated with the summer season and outdoor activities, the song is, according to Adams, about several topics, making its subject matter largely ambiguous as it is often the case with famous songs.

You can learn to play the complete Summer of ’69 with guitar chords, lyrics and a strumming trainer directly in the Uberchord app.

Song Key of Summer of 69

The song is in the guitarist-friendly key of D major (learn more) and will employ only 7 chords, some of which will require a solid barre chord technique. If you are not comfortable with them, check out the 3 ways to simplify and master barre chords.

The Intro is:

I – V (Dmaj followed by Amaj progression)


vi – V – I – IV

Guitar Chords for Summer of ’69

Although primordially a rock song, you will obviously be able to play this song on an acoustic guitar. To play the intro, however, power chords are more appropriate, and actually easier to fret.
As far as technique goes, you’ll be doing a lot of simple strumming at a moderate tempo. That said, to stay as true to the original you’ll have to employ palm-muting when playing the intro, a fairly easy technique to learn.

The bridge goes like this:

In the middle you’ll be fretting the following chords:

Then you go back to the intro

That’s it.

Watch & Learn How to Play Summer of ’69

Here you have two good tutorials to help you figure out the song. The first one is more in accordance to the chord shapes posted above. I particularly like how you can get a cleaner sound by fretting the first two chord the way shown to you in the first video:

This one by the well-known Justin Sandercoe is great, too.

When learning songs, it’s well worth it comparing different tutorials and finding out what works best for you. Have fun!

Summer Of ’69 Lyrics

(D) I got my first real six-string Bought (A) it at the five-and-dime
Bought (A) it at the five-and-dime
(D) Played it ’til my fingers bled
Was the (A) summer of ’69Me and some guys from school
(D) Me and some guys from school
Had a (A) band and we tried real hard.
(D) Jimmy quit, Jody got married
I should’ve known we’d never get far(Bm) Oh, when I look (A) back now
That (D) summer seemed to last (G) forever
(Bm) And if I had the (A) choice
Yeah, I’d (D) always wanna be (G) there
(Bm) Those were the (A) best days of my life. (D) (A)(D) Ain’t no use in complainin’
When (A) you’ve got a job to do
(D) Spent my evenings down at the drive-in
And (A) that’s when I met you, yeah(Bm) Standin’ on your mama’s (A) porch
You (D) told me that you’d wait (G) forever
(Bm) Oh, and when (A) you held my hand
I knew (D) that it was now or (G) never
(Bm) Those were the (A) best days of my life. (D)
Oh, yeah.
Back (A) in the summer of (D) ’69, oh (A)Man we were killin’ time
We were young and restless
We needed to unwind
I guess nothin’ can last forever, forever, no! yeah!And now the times are changin’
Look at everything that’s come and gone
Sometimes when I play that old six-string
I think about you, wonder what went wrongStandin’ on your mama’s porch
You told me that it’d last forever
Oh, and when you held my hand
I knew that it was now or never
Those were the best days of my life

Oh, yeah.
Back in the summer of ’69, oh.
It was the summer of ’69, oh, yeah.
Me and my baby in ’69, oh.
It was the summer, the summer, the summer of ’69, yeah.


That was yet another great classic rock song to learn! Uberchord’s blog has covered songs by Neil Diamond, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Eric Clapton amongst other artists in this genre. Even if you’re not too interested in classic rock, you may like some of our other lessons and articles like bossa nova chords, maroon 5 chords, and the gbmaj chord. 

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