Easy Guitar Chords For Happy Birthday

If you’re looking for an easy way to play Happy Birthday on guitar, try this straightforward version. Only three chords are used here and it works on electric or acoustic instruments!

Start off this tune by playing two G pickup notes (on the “Hap – py” syllable) before switching up for an open C chord on the final beat of each measure (on the “to” syllable).

This version features jazz-like arrangements of the song! Enjoy!

Basic Version

This easy, fingerstyle version of Happy Birthday can be played easily on both acoustic and electric guitars with just three chords and an easy strumming pattern that beginners will quickly grasp.

Assuming your starting chord is C major, begin the song on its “birthday” syllable; add a G major chord for measure two with “you” ending on it; finally add an open F major chord on its first beat of measure three to close off this piece.

For this song, an effective strum pattern would include one down strum per quarter note of the beat. Practice until this rhythm feels natural and fluid for you; faster-tempo music may benefit from adding swing by alternating down-and-up strokes in order to make the chords less choppy and more lively.

Intermediate Version

This version adds additional chords, making the song slightly more challenging to play. Furthermore, its 3/4 time signature requires three beats per measure with each quarter note receiving one count, so remembering to start off your melody with two pickup eighth notes before your guitar chords come in on beat one is crucial to success!

Note the use of additional chords – including one dotted eighth note that’s marked with a circle and sixteenth notes held for 16th notes – which make this version sound more complex but are actually simple enough for playing along with singing.

This version also utilizes chords that can be moved up and down the neck of the guitar, providing an opportunity to practice moving D, A, and E chord triads as well as adding some additional flavor to this classic song.

Advanced Version

Make Happy Birthday fit your vocal range easily by transposing the chords to D key, keeping the same shapes but raising their pitch by half step. Or use a capo on second fret of guitar to raise its pitch by half step.

Enhance this song further by adding seventh chords into its mix. Simply replace major chords with their seventh versions – for instance D in measure three becomes D7 while G in seventh measure becomes G7 – though be wary not to overdo the seventh chords as you risk running out of rhythm!

Final Words

By combining these guitar chords and an easy strumming pattern, you can play Happy Birthday on either an acoustic or electric guitar. Keep in mind that the song is in 3/4 time; thus each beat contains three syllables. Play chords using down strum while melody line should be sang through up-struming.

The first measure begins with two G pickup notes that match the melody of “Hap-py.” In the second measure, an open C major chord is played throughout all four beats of this measure; then in its final measure a quick switch occurs from B7 back into E major for its entirety.

The seventh measure ends on a C major chord for the final “you” syllable. By practicing these chords enough, you should be able to sing and play them at once – just be sure to match up your vocal pitch to one of the “B”s (or use a capo)! Good luck and we hope you’ll enjoy playing this popular birthday tune!