Guitar Chords to Happy Birthday

guitar chords to happy birthday

As a beginner guitarist, it is wise to begin your musical journey with songs that are simple to play – for instance the popular birthday tune Happy Birthday can serve as an excellent starting point.

With practice and patience, this song utilizes only three open chords and uses a straightforward strumming pattern – all you need is three basic open chords! Once learned with ease and confidence.

Basic Chords

Chord progressions form the harmonic basis for songs. Though essential to playing tunes, mastering chord progressions may prove challenging for beginners; especially if your chosen tune uses 3/4 time (three beats to each measure).

Start playing Happy Birthday chords quickly with this lesson on simple strumming pattern. All downstrokes, with an initial gap between strummings, should provide you with an engaging rhythm for singing along at the same time.

Add some flair and make things a bit more engaging: we will also introduce the basic seventh chord. This type of chord builds off of the seventh note in your scale (you can count backwards from C to locate it). Playing it adds extra jazziness, as well as being great fun!

Alternate Chords

This song uses only open major chords and a straightforward melody, making it one of the easiest songs for beginning players to master. However, its 3/4 beat and vocal pickup notes may make it challenging for some newcomers to simultaneously sing and play simultaneously.

Add extra flair to this timeless song by experimenting with seventh chords – which are similar to standard chords but include an additional fourth note for a jazzier sound.

Use of a capo to raise the pitch of your guitar can provide another variation and still enable you to utilize chord structures easily, but will make playing easier for singers.

Finally, try playing your song in different keys. Most people tend to stick with G as it’s easier for most singers. Here are chords in D and F which also sound good – though D may require using a capo due to its higher pitch voicing.


The tune to “Happy Birthday” consists of several pitches arranged in succession; most people should find learning it straightforward.

To play the melody, employ a strumming pattern which creates rhythm within your chord progression – for instance, fast foxtrot rhythm is easy for beginners to master.

Start off the first measure with two G pickup notes to represent “Hap” and “py”. Next, play a C major open chord for the remainder of this measure.

Repeat this pattern for the second and third measures, then, in the fourth measure, strumming an F major chord on beats that correspond with “day” and “to” syllables of each verse will complete it. Feel free to experiment with various strumming patterns until finding one that works for you best; practicing with a metronome ensures accurate rhythm while slowly building speed until mastery of this song can be reached.


As its name implies, this song is commonly played during birthday celebrations. Its straightforward chord progression matches up perfectly with its lyrics for easy learning on guitar – even beginners may enjoy learning it! It even uses only three chords: open G, D and C chords!

When playing the chords to Happy Birthday, it is crucial to match them to its lyrics. The first measure begins with two pickup eighth notes to help singers find the proper pitch; thereafter, harmonies follow a pattern of “birth-day-to” where C is used on birth syllables while G represents to.

The final measure features a quick chord change from B7 to E major. If this transition feels uncomfortable for you, consider holding out the last “you” note longer in order to create a fermata effect – with practice, you will soon be singing and playing this song without ever looking down!