Norwegian Wood Guitar Chords

Norwegian Wood is a Beatles song from their 1965 album Rubber Soul that can often be taken as an indirect reference to an extramarital affair. Additionally, George Harrison played the sitar part, helping popularize Ravi Shankar and raga rock genres.

If you mention Haruki Murakami to anyone in Japan, they’re likely to recognize his novel Norwegian Wood as one of his most iconic works. This novel is now one of his best-known novels and can be seen everywhere from bookstore shelves to Japanese movie theaters.

Key of D

Norwegian Wood is an ideal song to learn on your acoustic guitar, featuring an easy riff and using only two chords! You should quickly be able to master its chord progression! Additionally, Norwegian Wood serves as an ideal introduction to learning the key of D – offering plenty of easy chords and scale patterns, plus jamming possibilities when using an open E string tuned down to D tuning – James Taylor and the Beatles both use this tuning often (such as on Copperline!)

From The Beatles’ 1965 album Rubber Soul, this song was written primarily by John Lennon but officially attributed to both him and McCartney (Lennon/McCartney). This track is notable as being the first Western rock recording featuring George Harrison’s sitar playing, marking an important step forward for raga rock while expanding Ravi Shankar’s influence into Western music.


Norwegian Wood is a soothing song and provides the ideal opportunity for honing your picking technique. The chords are relatively straightforward, allowing for plenty of experimentation with rhythm. Try counting out loud or using a metronome to find an appropriate beat!

The riff is highly infectious and easy to learn; just make sure not to get lost in a sea of chords that takes over the song’s rhythm. The melody line offers stunning beauty as it weaves its way down an octave descent with both linear and disjunct motion.

This arrangement is particularly intriguing in its juxtaposition of melodic-versus-rhythmic interest between guitar and sitar, an example of how The Beatles meticulously planned out their arrangements in greater depth than initially appears. Furthermore, this track marked an important step in Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership as well as helping introduce Ravi Shankar and Indian classical music to Western audiences.


Through the verse of this song we are using an easy D suspended chord with a waltz time signature. To maintain an even strumming pattern and ensure more fluid chord strums and better control when playing melody notes. Try keeping both your hands and wrist relaxed to achieve even strumming patterns. This will enable easier chord strums while providing greater control when picking melody notes.

Norwegian Wood is an outstanding example of melodic contrast, an essential ingredient of memorable songwriting, providing listeners with something new and unexpected to enjoy while drawing their attention towards specific melodic ideas and increasing the likelihood they’ll remember them in future performances.

John recorded the opening for Norwegian Wood on acoustic guitar and George Harrison played sitar (marking its first appearance on a Western rock recording). At this session, Lennon wrote the song as an indirect account of an extramarital affair.


Norwegian Wood is an accessible classic song to learn, featuring its instantly recognisable riff and easy chord progressions. However, one challenge in playing it lies in maintaining rhythmic beat: It can be easy to get lost in its intricate riffs and lose track of rhythm; to stay on pace when playing this piece is keeping an accurate metronome beat in place or counting out loud as needed to stay on schedule with it all.

Even though this song’s structure is relatively simple, its harmonic complexity remains noteworthy. The chord progressions include minor and major seconds, augmented and diminished chords, tritones, as well as unusual chromaticism in its Gm to Ab chord progression. Notable too is Lennon’s use of sitar in Western music – one of its first instances! Adding exotic sounding strums against Lennon’s guitar’s strident 12-string strums provides contrast.